Scout’s Honored 2019
Cambridge Art & Frame at the Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second Street, (617) 547-5944
Tucked inside the Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge Art & Frame is a single room, its walls lined with frame materials and sheets of glass, worktables, and tools of the craft. It’s a workshop, not a storefront, and for owner Andrew Montone that’s an important distinction.
“When someone comes in here and gives us a project, they’re talking to the person doing that project, either my daughter Adrienne or me,” Montone says. “We do it all here, and we guarantee our work.”
He opened Cambridge Art & Frame in 2008 after a career in corporate marketing, coming in as the partner of a Charlestown frame shop owner who wanted to expand into Cambridge. The son of an artist, Montone was familiar with framing but hadn’t really done any himself. He was good with his hands and a quick learner, and a year later, he bought out his partner to become sole proprietor.
“I started from ground zero—I didn’t have any clients, but I knew how to market and I knew about the graphic arts,” Montone says. “I put that stuff together.”
Today his customers range from corporations to neighborhood residents and artists. He’s committed to doing work to the highest standard because Montone understands art has value to its owner, whether it’s a rare piece or personally important. He lets the value of the piece direct his recommendations for framing and doesn’t believe in upselling customers with components they don’t need, like museum-quality glass for an inexpensive poster. But he also treats all the pieces he frames with care, donning white gloves before he handles paper and storing art in protective sleeves until it is framed.
“Once they’re in here, it’s kind of an experience for them,” Montone says. “They can see we’re enthusiastic about what we do. We feel that helps keep our regular customers coming in, and new customers following, as well.”