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Midtown Business Specializes in Custom Framing and Restoration

Writer & Photographer / Michael Durr

At the corner of College Avenue and 52nd Street, passersby will notice a blue awning that reads, “Petrov Framing & Fine Art.” Inside, customers will find a man by the name of Anatoly Petrov, an artisan frame maker. Petrov Frame Atelier offers custom and archival framing services, including museum-quality, handcrafted frames, antique frame restoration and replication, historically accurate gilding, canvas stretching, and painting conservation.

Petrov has been in his current location for about six years, and his experience and knowledge in the trade are as unique as the frames he creates. Petrov began working in New York City at what he says was one of the best framing businesses in the country. Developing his skills throughout many years, Petrov fell in love with the craft, and he continues to learn and offer various methods of custom framing and restoration.

“I go and buy the wood and we mill the frames here,” he says. “We stain, carve or guild them, so we are not limited to factory-produced molding or frames.”

What separates Petrov’s shop from other locations is that he strives to build and restore pieces in the shop. The basement has a large working area where Petrov and his assistants have access to a multitude of tools. Petrov recalls a story of a client who came into the shop with an old frame that had been damaged. The client took the frame to a few locations before visiting Petrov, and was told the frame could not be fixed. The client had an emotional attachment to this original frame, which hung in her home for many years, so she was delighted when Petrov said he could restore the frame.

“We are working to create a frame shop where you can get everything done,” Petrov says.

A frame can be more than something that simply holds artwork – it can be a complementary component of the artwork itself. The time period, wood, texture and color are all factors Petrov considers when working with a client.

“We’re frame makers and not custom framers,” Petrov says. “How many frame shops do you go and find a profile molder or table saw or sander? I love framing.”

It’s this mentality that has allowed Petrov to create a successful business model built on traditional craftsmanship.

Petrov is an advocate for keeping business in the Indianapolis area, and this is one of his primary motivations when sourcing materials for his projects. Purchasing wood from local distributors is always his preferred method.

“The money stays here in the state and helps to support our local businesses,” Petrov says.

Petrov Frame Atelier is located at 5172 North College Avenue in Indianapolis. You can give them a call at 317-293-2122 or visit them online at petrovframe.com for more information.

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