Framing talent and treasures

Maria Mackovjak recently opened Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery on Lowell Street in Old Town Silverdale. She frames various pieces of artwork and displays local artists’ works throughout the store.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
Maria Mackovjak recently opened Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery on Lowell Street in Old Town Silverdale. She frames various pieces of artwork and displays local artists’ works throughout the store.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

From the outside, Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery appears nothing more than a doublewide trailer.

But on the inside, it is overflowing with colorful paintings, photographs and jewelry, all created by local artists.

“When the outside looks one way you just have to look on the inside,” said Maria Mackovjak, owner of Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery.

Mackovjak opened the framing business and art gallery four months ago, but she has been framing for about 20 years. The former Navy officer began framing in Kitsap County when she opened the Great Frame Maker in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

“I’ve always loved it (art),” she said. “I’m in total awe of creative people, it always amazes me.”

Mackovjak, originally from Spain, worked as an English as a Second Language teacher for two years in Wisconsin. She briefly served as a supply officer in the Navy before succumbing to her love of art and opening her framing business.

“Back when I was in college smart girls didn’t go into art, they went into business,” Mackovjak said.

Mackovjak frames artwork of all kinds and creates military shadowboxes and memorial boxes. She does conservation quality framing in which she uses materials that will not damage the artwork and keeps it from deteriorating. Mackovjak uses materials such as UV glass, acid-free mats and acid-free adhesives to ensure the artwork will not be damaged.

“This is really important when it comes to quality framing,” Mackovjak said. “As a consumer, you never want to approve any process that will permanently damage or change artwork.”

She offers several services including giclees, or high quality artwork reproductions, from original artwork, digital enhancement, creates artists’ portfolios and will work on damaged photographs and artwork. She also will work with interior designers to coordinate artwork and framing within the living spaces of peoples’ homes.

“I also want to be able to take my framing on the road, bringing it to the consumers’ homes so that it can make the designing process smoother and more personal,” Mackovjak said. “That way I can really see what the surrounding spaces look like and what framing design would most enhance the art and the home.”

Mackovjak hopes people will take the time to peruse the Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery’s collection of local artwork. She only carries local artists and hopes people will take the time to view the collections.

“My goal is to make sure everyone knows there is talent in Kitsap County,” she said. “There’s so much talent here, it’s just overflowing.”

Mackovjak hosted an artists’ reception and ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, fund-raiser Saturday. The show featured original watercolors created by six local women. This was their first art show and Mackovjak was impressed by their work.

“I just work with really great people that have something special,” she said. “It’s such a joy to frame their artwork and bring their work to life.”

Mackovjak believes in giving back to the community and also donated frames to the Bremerton/Central Kitsap Relay For Life.

Mackovjak hung the 608 Uncovered art show in June in Ploy Studios in downtown Bremerton. She framed 90 percent of the artwork that was on display throughout the month of June.

“People are so appreciative when you bring their artwork to life,” she said.

Mackovjak has framed everything from paintings and photographs to teacups, baby booties and a christening gown made out of a parachute.

“Everyone’s got a treasure that needs to be framed,” she said with a smile.

Mackovjak enjoys working with emerging artists and is currently working with a 13-year-old photographer. She is highly impressed with the young girl’s photography skills and enjoys framing her artwork.

“You just know they’re going places,” Mackovjak said. “Artists look at life a little bit differently.”

Mackovjak is not an artist herself, but feels inspired and privileged to be able to frame and show local artists’ works.

“I get to babysit their art,” she chuckled. “This is the closest I’ll ever be to an artist.”

Mackovjak has purchased several pieces of artwork shown at Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery. She constantly reminds herself that she no longer has wall space at home to display more artwork.

“I’m like a kid in a candy store,” she said with a smile. “I think I have the best job in the world.”

Mackovjak feels that people should purchase original artwork as opposed to buying packaged goods from large corporations.

“Everyone can afford original art. You can get something with a connection to the area,” she said. “It’s money going back into Kitsap County, not some big corporation.”

Although owning her own business is hard work, Mackovjak loves every minute of it. She hopes to stay in business for years to come, providing custom framing options for Kitsap County and displaying the talent of local artists on the walls and shelves of Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery.

“It is so gratifying to own your own business,” Mackovjak said. “Every time I turn the key and open the door I feel so blessed.”

Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery

3255 NW Lowell Street

Silverdale, WA 98383

(360) 698-1507

Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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