Local Frame Shops Persevere through Coronavirus

by Wanda Kerns of Expressions Gallery & Framing, and Micah Trampe and Nathan Trampe of Main Frame

Edited by Sara Johnson, SAGE Community Arts


The visual arts community in Sheridan is not just comprised of artists, galleries, and organizations like SAGE, but also includes the locally-owned framing shops that make it possible for artists to display their work to the public. We asked our friends at Expressions Gallery & Framing and our friends at Main Frame how they were coping with the coronavirus crisis this spring.


On Weathering the Storm:


Wanda, wearing a pink sweater smiles for a selfie inside her frame shop.
Wanda Kerns, owner of Expressions Gallery & Framing

Wanda Kerns, Expressions Gallery & Framing

"We are not alone in that everyone has had emotional roller-coasters to work through. New business virtually stopped for the first several weeks. We were beginning to face the hard decision of laying off staff when the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan surfaced. I am very thankful for the opportunity to keep my staff on throughout the 8-week respite the PPP program has provided. With that time, we have been touching base with several of our artists and we have been able to complete a lot of framing projects."



Nathan and Micah smile for the camera in front of a sign that says "Full Time Artist".
Brothers Nathan Trampe (left) and Micah Trampe (right), owners of Main Frame

Micah Trampe and Nathan Trampe, Main Frame:

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” - Vincent Van Gogh


After managing Main Frame for two years, we purchased the business in January. Although we knew owning a business would come with risks, we never dreamed that a pandemic would change the world three months later. Though a lot has changed since COVID-19 started, our excitement for this business has not. We are still looking forward to serving the Sheridan community and offering the same quality of service that our customers have come to expect over the last couple of years."


On Making the Most of Things:


a framed collection of an old dollar bill, a mid-century photo, and an old postcard
Example of a custom framing order of family memorabilia by Expressions Gallery & Framing

Wanda Kerns, Expressions Gallery & Framing

"We have utilized this time to teach ourselves a lot of new techniques, update ourselves on preservation standards, and to reach out and embrace our creative sides even more with our designs.


Overall, I feel this time may have given us the chance to step back and see where we can improve and build on what we have accomplished already, which is a lot. I’m very proud of the progress we have made. As of June, 2020, Expressions will have been in business for 4 wonderful years. In that time, we have sold a lot of art and completed thousands of custom frames. We have developed great relationships with other businesses, and galleries, and met and represented hundreds of wonderful artists and customers."


A wall of framing material samples on the left; in the distance are multiple shelves with examples of artwork, and tshirts for sale
Inside the remodeled Main Frame shop

Micah Trampe & Nathan Trampe, Main Frame

"With a little more down-time around the shop in the last couple of months, we have taken the opportunity to update our gallery space. Next time you set foot in our frame shop, it will look a little bit different! We’ve changed the colors of the walls, added some aged tin and shelving, and poured concrete countertops. Our gallery will now also be serving as a retail space for our brand, Full Time Artist."


On Looking to the Future:


teenage girl smiles at the camera while holding up and looking through a picture frame
Making the most of things at Expressions

Wanda Kerns, Expressions Gallery & Framing

"I’m thankful for my staff and artists and especially our customers. We are currently offering 10% off framing services for SAGE Members upon request. Due to the reduced traffic, it is very easy for us to sanitize between visits. We have also been providing curbside pick up and drop off as well as free delivery on Fridays. We will modify the customer experience as needed to ensure their safety.


For our high-risk customers, we have also been taking individual one on one appointments during our closed hours to ensure we are able to sanitize appropriately and to ensure no one else comes in during the transaction. We have been closed on Saturdays but are still working six to seven days a week to provide the best service we can to the customers we have."