Creative Framing, a shop that has been a Taos fixture for over thirty years, has a new owner and a new location: James “Jim” Cox has reopened in The Enchanted Plaza, on the corner of Salazar and Paseo del Cañon West.
“New people and new place, but same great service,” Cox said.
Originally published in Taos News
Cox grew up in the Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico areas. He went to college to be an architect but changed paths and decided to become a painter instead. He apprenticed with an established artist, Dalhart Windberg, in Austin, Texas, during the 80’s.
“He encouraged me to attend the Schuler School in Baltimore,” Cox said. “It was there where I learned the Flemish style and the Hudson River genre of painting.”
Cox lived for around fifteen years in Baltimore, where he kept a teaching practice and also learned how to frame. But he didn’t stop painting.
“It was good because I had these three options to make a living,” he said. “And I liked all of them.”
He also worked on commissions and created some big murals, something he expects to do in Taos soon.
Cox and his family moved to Taos in 2002.
“We vacationed here,” he said. “My wife and I honeymooned here, and my parents retired in Angel Fire. We wanted to raise our children away from the Baltimore/DC metro mentality, and, after witnessing 911 up close, we decided to move to Taos.”
In 2004 he bought Taos DIY from Frank Fell.
“Frank had started it as a special service to artists who had some experience with framing and wanted to cut corners in the labor cost,” Cox said. “He and his wife opened the business in 2001 because nobody in Taos had anything like that and many local artists couldn’t afford retail framing. It was a very special niche.”
When Cox got the business he incorporated a fine art element, selling his own paintings and other artists’ works.
“The business was located on the Plaza as Taos Fine Art & Framing for two years,” he said.
Later he started working with Creative Framing, helping owner Renze Nesbit run the business and eventually buying it from her.
“Renze and her husband had opened it in the 80’s,” he said. “Creative Framing had a long standing reputation and was a successful moneymaking business, which is rare in this town. Renze’s husband died a few years ago and when she was ready to retire, she sold the building, and then sold her business to me.”
Cox left the Plaza shop in October 2015 and spent the last three months of the year finishing Nesbit’s orders and closing her store.
“She turned to me a lot of her clientele, her inventory and her worktables, which I didn’t have, as well as the computer programs,” he said. “Now she is happily retired.”
Creative Framing Services
A question that people often ask is, “Why framing at all?”
“The right framing can make a piece of art come to life,” Cox said. “Proper framing not only accentuates the piece’s best features, but also protects it from damage by light, dust and moisture.”
Cox offers custom framing and matting with archival, conservation, and museum grade materials as well as hand-stretched canvas.
The store carries different kinds of frames: traditional gold, silver, black, and a variety of natural woods.
“Natural, rustic and distressed looks are very popular in Taos,” he said.
He gives his customers the choice of UV blocking glass (to protect the work of art from the sun’s harmful rays) and regular glass.
“We also love working with artists and helping them on a DIY basis,” Cox said. “Besides, we can do artwork installations in museums, homes or any other space.”
The teacher: painting workshops
Cox has been offering painting workshops at the Blumenschein Museum courtyard studio.
“My shop is more a production space,” he said, “but I like to get out and paint in the open air, then bring the work back to the studio and finish it here.”
Cox considers himself most adept in oil painting but he has taught acrylics, pastels and watercolors too.
“I can also teach people how to make sketches and create pencil and charcoal drawings,” he said. “This will be very useful for beginners and then we will transition into painting.”
He plans to start a summer painting workshop soon.
To find out more about the workshops or have your artwork framed visit Creative Framing at 1027 Salazar Rd, Suite G or call 575 758 3317 and 575 770 7960.