Finding art in the outdoors while creating a new gallery concept
If Suzie Royce Cruse isn’t in her frame shop and art gallery in Winter Park, she can often be found on the trail system behind her house biking in the summer or skiing in the winter, most likely with her dogs. She is the epitome of someone who cannot stay still.
She is always moving, creating, thinking, doing.
It is important for her to be outside doing something active. “The people who know me, know that,” she said.
Now that she owns and operates WP Framewerx in Winter Park (on Main Street next to Deno’s), time outside is at a premium. She maximizes her time outdoors collecting artifacts for her own art and for frames. Her mantra is: “I am bringing the outdoors in.”
Suzie moved to Grand County 11 years ago from the San Francisco Bay Area. After earning a master’s degree in library science, taking classes in preservation, restoration and archiving, and working for more than 10 years as a librarian, she has honed her skills and developed a passion for preserving art.
“Behind the frame, you will find the proper adhesives, boards and techniques to keep your art safe from the elements in the air that tend to eventually destroy the art itself,” she said.
She recently completed a four day workshop in Denver learning framing practices and is ready to put her skills to work at WP Framewerx.
“Everyone’s taste in art and design runs so differently, it is fun to take a piece of art, whether I hang it in my own house or not. With the shop, I enjoy watching a frame package come together and see the piece blend as if it belonged together from the beginning. It’s almost as if the artist created it as one.”
But what is most interesting about Suzie’s style in art and life is how she incorporates “unloved” objects into her own art creations and into her business.
“I find unwanted objects and put them together to tell a story,” she said. “I use damaged books, rusty bolts, wire, old paint, and rocks. You name it – I hoard it.”
She has several different art and framing projects in progress at once. One special piece that merges the idea of “artistic recycling” is one she and several friends are creating: beetle kill and local barn-wood frames.
“I also repair old frames and reuse them for other projects, all while trying to keep the money in Grand County,” she said.
As a small business owner, she may not be out on the trails this fall as much as she would like. “As everyone knows, small business owners work long hours. But when I’m not working or sleeping, I am riding my mountain bike or hiking with my two dogs everyday. When I’m out on the trail, I’m exercising, but I’m also working. Just the other day while on the trails in Winter Park, I picked up a piece of wire and saw that it was actually a dancer. When I got home, I mounted it on barn wood and adorned the dancer with a skirt and wings. I see art in everything. Sometimes, I am looking down so much I trip and fall down or crash my bike.”
All these bumps and bruises are for her art – for her business.
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