a hope design

Congratulating the frame maker…

In Life is Random on June 29, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Say you were an artist. You painted the most beautiful oil painting in your career. You worked for months on this creation. Every stroke lovingly placed and every color revealing the emotion of your intent.

This wonderful painting must be shown to the world. But first, you must have it framed. You find a reputable framing shop. The framer, a knowledgeable and talented person, offers the perfect foil for your masterpiece. It doesn’t detract from the beauty of your painting…it enhances it. Fine craftmanship for your work of art. Your baby. Your creation. The source of pride and ownership.

An art show! That is the next step! Show the world this lovely work of art.

A dealer has offered to host the art show. You wait patiently for the night of the gallery opening with your lovingly created work of art.

On the night of the opening, you show up at the gallery dressed in your best cocktail attire, ready to hear what everyone has to say about your masterpiece. What!?! The door is locked? You cannot come in? But that is your painting there on the wall!

Who is that person standing beside it? The framer? Yes, he is skilled, but… Why aren’t you there? You imagined this work of art and brought it to life! Why is everyone shaking the framer’s hand? Why is he getting the congratulations? Yes, he made it look presentable to the public, but you were the creative force behind the painting.

The outrage! The frustration!

This is the story that plays out in my head every time I pick up a newspaper or a magazine covering the opening of a new building, primarily those that MY employers had a hand in designing. Why is it that the architect is rarely mentioned in the articles? I ask that, and the answer I get is “It is always like that. They mention the construction company, not the architect.”

I have had the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes in an architecture firm for three years now. I see the preliminary sketches changing day by day to become the final photographs taken once the job has been built. It is an exciting process. Did you know that a lot of the design comes from Intern Architects? They cannot legally call themselves architects, but they are the creative force behind many designs. They work under the tutelage of a Registered Architect. They have a Bachelor’s of Architecture, a five year degree, I believe. (I will correct that later if I am wrong.) After graduation, they must work in the field for three to four years and pass a series of tests before being able to stamp documents as a fully registered architect. Well, they must pass all the tests then pay their membership dues to AIA to get a stamp. Getting the stamp isn’t the final say. One rarely uses that stamp when it first arrives. Senior architects stamp the plans, those who have many years’ experience.

Architects are artists. They choose the palette from stone, brick, mortar, wood. They design the artwork that lives and breathes as we dwell and work within it. It is functional artwork, an even more difficult breed of art to create.

Next time you read an article about a ribbon cutting or pass by a newly finished building, consider the artist behind that design. You are looking at his painting, her sculpture. Let’s give them a little credit.

I write this for my Intern Architect friends with whom I work. They are a talented group of people. I hope to see more and more their creations around the State of Mississippi in my lifetime.

To Erin, Lacie, Greg, Ralph, Anderson, Ben, Brad and Adam.



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