When selecting a piece of art for the home, it is often chosen because it speaks to you—perhaps the colors are either calming or invigorating, perhaps the subject matter evokes a pleasant memory, or perhaps it is something deep and unspeakable in the brushwork of a painting. Before it is time to hang the beautiful piece of art, where it will become part of the comforting atmosphere of the home, you must find just the right way to display it with complementary mats and a frame that not only fits the art but also ties it in with its surroundings.
An expansive facility with thousands of frame and mat selections in all styles and materials, Wildman Art Framing in the Dallas Design District prides itself on its extensive selection of custom period frames, gilded and painted finishes, hardwoods, leather, steel, acrylic boxes and photo frames. Wildman also carries a wide range of mats in any color and texture imaginable, including silks and linens. From sleek white frames to ornate, hand-carved 22-karat goldleafed frames, Wildman Art Framing can serve the needs of any client and any type of space and budget
“What I enjoy is that it’s a business that makes people happy,” says Donna Wildman. With her expert eye and willingness to listen to clients and discern their sense of style, she is able to create something beautiful and personal for her clients, even when they are unsure of what it is they are looking for. “I enjoy seeing the look on their faces when they see it all come
together,” she says.
One of Wildman’s most unique offerings is the French mat, a specialty of Donna’s. She carefully mixes just the right shade of watercolor to complement a piece of art and then applies it delicately to a mat. Next, she meticulously handdraws straight lines to frame in the watercolor, creating an extra layer of detail to draw the eye into the work of art. For an even more ornate look, she sometimes cuts thin strips of decorative bookbinding paper and applies it between the hand-drawn lines. French mats are well suited for period pieces, she explains, such as botanicals, architectural pieces or maps.
Wildman regularly serves retail, corporate and designer clients. Willing and able to accommodate any need, Wildman Art Framing caters to commercial clients as well, framing series of artworks, mirrors and reproductions for hospitality and corporate settings.
Wildman Art Framing’s conservation framing includes museum mounting, frame repair and restoration, and object and garment mounting, and Wildman always uses archival materials in each project. The Wildmans have framed everything from photographs and paintings to 18th-century tapestries, Italian tilework and a kilt that once belonged to the Duke of Windsor.
Donna and David Wildman originally opened Wildman Art Framing in a small carriage house next to an antiques store on Fairmount Street in 1991. Their specialist eyes for art and design earned them a widespread and respected reputation. Within a few years, the Wildmans had outgrown their 800-square-foot showroom, and they moved to a larger space on Hi Line Drive.
Shortly after acquiring Pettigrew, an upscale custom furnishings store, in 2010, the Wildmans moved both businesses to their current locations adjacent to one another on Market Center Boulevard.
As a testament to the quality of work Wildman Art Framing offers, repeat business is quite common. Customers not only return with new works of art and relics, they also come back to Wildman to reframe pieces they had framed there years ago. “I’m on round three for some clients,” Donna Wildman says with a smile, explaining that it is common for customers to return to reframe their art when they are moving, remodeling or updating their home’s décor. “People love their art,” Donna Wildman says, adding that with a new frame, “it’s like a brand new piece.”
Krista Franks Brock is a freelance writer and editor in Dallas. Visit kristafranksbrock.wordpress.com.