Preserving our loved ones’ mementoes

November 13, 2022

Though he was a graphic artist by trade, my father’s original paintings hung throughout our home. My favorite one shows three boys running down a hill while a kite soars behind them.

I have always wondered if he painted it before his service as a paratrooper during World War II or after the war ended. Before the war, my mother said, he was much happier, and after the war ended, he had many struggles adjusting to civilian life. I wish he had shared the stories behind the subjects. Who are these young men?

A few months ago, I took my father’s painting to the Peninsula Gallery to consult with Carol Boyd-Heron about a suitable frame. Located on the first floor of the Beacon Motel in Lewes, the Peninsula Gallery is one of the largest galleries featuring both original art and custom framing in the state of Delaware.

She went to an enormous rack, pulled out one frame sample and fit it around the edge of the painting.

“That’s it!” I exclaimed. “I can’t believe you nailed it on the first try!”

Carol said, “The greatest satisfaction we get from framing is when a client comes to collect the project and is overwhelmed with the transformation. My design theory with framing is that someone should be able to walk into your home and admire the beauty of a painting. Then a week later, you say, ‘Wow, that really is the perfect frame!’”

Carol apprenticed in a custom framing gallery in Dayton, Ohio. While she was studying for an architectural and interior design degree, she learned a lot about scale, proportion, balance and color.

“What really attracted me to custom framing was the challenge presented with each new piece of art brought in by a customer. The possibilities are endless for the look of a finished product. I have over 1,000 matt colors and textures to work with, and approximately 700 corner samples to choose from,” she said.

“Having a conversation with a client helps me to get a sense of their home style and aesthetic. Having stood on the design side of the consultation table, I can visualize the finished product even before it’s completed. Just like the phrase, ‘I’ll know it when I see it,’ I know we’ve gotten the design right when ‘all the molecules are dancing on the table!’”

The gallery in Lewes has two areas: the framing department and the main gallery, which shows works by artists who are showing under an annual contract basis. That number varies from approximately 25 to 30 at one time, but the gallery is always changing. The artists are required to refresh their art at least four times a year and replace pieces as they sell.

Besides representing local and regional artists, the Peninsula Gallery has connections with artists who live in Canada and the United Kingdom. The exhibition space changes on a monthly basis and allows for a variety of work.

Tony Boyd-Heron explained, “This gives us the opportunity to introduce new artists, and diverse subjects and mediums. All the work in that space must be newly created and never been shown at any other gallery. We are usually booking shows for that space two years in advance in order to give the artist time to get a fresh body of work together.”

Carol has had the opportunity to frame many unique items in her gallery. “Whether it’s a 3-year-old granddaughter’s first handprint turkey on a paper plate or a $300,000 Grandma Moses painting, everything to me has the same value – priceless,” she said.

“I’ve created many beautiful memory boxes. For example, an avid music lover brought me a collection from a favorite artist that included concert tickets, backstage passes, autographs, drumsticks and guitar picks. I’m just finishing up a military career box which includes an American flag, medals and ribbons, name badges, photographs and patches from the customer’s different tours.”

The gallery hosts monthly meet-the-artist receptions, usually on the first Saturday of the month. The current exhibit, titled Kindred Spirits, featuring works by Richard Calvo and Howard Eberle, runs through Sunday, Nov. 20.

Their last reception, a Small Jewels show, will feature artworks of 8-by-10-inches or less in size and priced less than $500. Approximately 30 artists participated, submitting five pieces each. The show will open Saturday, Nov. 26, with a reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

All of the artwork is available to view on the gallery website, The address is 520 E. Savannah Road, Lewes; phone 302-645-0551.


Reach Lisa Graff at Find her on Facebook by searching Our Senior Yearbook; on Twitter @#lisajgraff1 and at her website,







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