When you bring a piece of artwork into a shop to be framed, it is more important than you may think to be sure your work is being taken care of by a certified picture framer (or CPF). The Professional Picture Framer’s Association (PPFA) has created a rigorous exam to help framers prove their professionalism, techniques and overall standard for excellence that qualifies them as a CPF.

“The process of studying was where the most benefit came.” – Harry Gaston, CPF


Emily was awarded the Warshawer Certified Picture Framers’ scholarship.

In order to take the CPF exam, a framer must have hands-on experience with conservation techniques as well as study a long list of framing literature. I am currently working on attaining my own CPF designation, and was recently honored with the Warshawer Certified Picture Framers’ scholarship! This award is given by the New England chapter of PPFA, and aids in taking the CPF exam. I have begun studying for the test and can already see the results of this hard work in my relationship with customers and the artwork that they bring in to The Art Place.

But why is trusting your artwork with a CPF so important? CPFs understand how to best keep your artwork with high monetary or (more importantly) high sentimental value safe from tears, wrinkles, acid burn, mold and mildew, staining, fading, and so much more. They know how to frame artwork in a reversible way; with conservation framing, the piece can be completely removed from the frame and matting without any change or harm to the work. A CPF framer can be trusted to keep your work safe, and explain to you the pros and cons of different framing techniques, and how they can protect your work.

A CPF framer also studies how to create a visually pleasing piece; they can create a striking design that complements the artwork and reflects a customer’s unique vision. At The Art Place, we work hard to make framing choices that enhance the work being framed, instead of distracting the eye and creating “visual clutter”. A CPF framer is also fluent in a wide variety of mats, frames, and other decorative elements that can add polish and finesse to the framing design. For example, The Art Place has over 4,000 moulding samples to choose from, as well as an array of mats from various shades of white to vibrant colors and even fabrics and textures.

Barbara Gibbs, owner of The Art Place, and Betty Kanca, mat cutting specialist, both have CPF designations. This sets our shop apart from others in a very unique way. All our employees are trained under a CPF standard and can be trusted to protect your artwork and frame it safely and with style!


Walter and Kathy put together an oversized frame for a custom framing job.


Barbara measures a fabric piece by artist Valerie Schurer Christle to be framed.


The Art Place staff (excluding Walter) with local artist Peter Ferber from left to right: Emily Marsh, Corina Willette, Barbara Gibbs, artist Peter Ferber, Katherine Tremblay, and Betty Kanca.