Gordy Fine Art and Framing Company has been a part of Boyce Block in downtown Muncie for over 25 years. Store owners, Carl and Barbara Schafer spent years in the museum profession, grooming their love for art and now showing it to the Muncie community. Grace Hollars, DN
Muncie Origins: Business preserves community's art history through handmade frames
Editor's note: Muncie Origins is a Ball State Daily News series profiling various businesses that originated in Muncie.
Special wood, carving tools and sometimes chains are only a few of the requirements needed to create custom-made frames and repair different art pieces taken to Gordy Fine Art and Framing Company.
The company takes pride in their ability to help the community as well as their historical accuracy when it comes to artifacts because “every framing job is not just a framing job, it’s also a preservation.”
“We offer a level of quality craftsmanship and originality in picture framing that is really unusual,” said Carl Schafer, one of the owners of the company. “We’re really one of the only shops between Chicago and Cleveland that does this level of work, so we’re doing museum quality work, and we offer that to our clientele, which reaches all around Indiana.”
Gordy Fine Art and Framing has been a part of the Muncie community for over 25 years, but Schafer and his wife have only owned the business since 2015.
Originally, Brian and Genny Gordy owned the company. Through their work with the David Owsley Museum, the couple was introduced to Carl Schafer, who was the associate director of the museum at the time.
In 2015, when the Gordys decided to retire, Schafer and his wife Barbara saw an opportunity they felt they couldn’t pass up.
“[My wife and I] got to points in our career where they became a little more administrative than we had started out doing,” Schafer said. “We loved being next to objects, and our careers grew out of that, but [by the end] we were managing people and getting a little bit ahead of where we wanted to be.”
Since purchasing the company, Schafer said his favorite jobs have been restoring art community members unexpectedly find in their attics and bring him.
“Some of the best feelings we’ve ever had is when we can save things for them,” Schafer said. “Then they have something that is a real treasure for them.”
Additionally, Barbara Schafer said she and her husband enjoy the challenge of adapting their methods based on what a customer needs.
“I like that it’s different every day and people seem to bring in things that are important to them and sort of challenge you to do the best for them,” Barbara said. “I just like the fact that we don't follow a formula book here — we do what we think is best based on our experience.”
Beyond helping customers preserve their pasts, Barbara also said Gordy Fine Art and Framing offers the community an “art scene,” because the business hosts an art gallery that represents 25 regional artists from the East-Central Indiana area every year.
Every artist showcased at Gordy Fine Art and Framing has some connection to the Muncie or Ball State community, including the current artist, Kevin Campbell, who is a Ball State alumnus with his show entitled “Pieces of Infinity.”
Gordy Fine Art and Framing also utilizes First Thursdays to help introduce the community to art.
“Art is a really important thing because it tells us who we are,” Carl said. “Artists are always reflecting, and at least for me, if it's successful, its holding up some kind of reflection of ourselves. So, we always learn something about being a human being or what’s going on in this particular moment in history.”