Summit Right Brain column: Local artist owns Studio Frame Shop in Breckenridge
To learn more about Hanni or the Studio Frame Shop’s services, go to breckenridgepictureframing.com ; Facebook: Studio Frame Shop; Instagram: studioframeshop
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Hanni Bernhart, 34, is the owner of The Studio Frame Shop in Breckenridge. The Pennsylvania native fell in love with the West after spending some time here for a snowboarding event when she was 17 and moved to Summit County in 2002. She paints with acrylics and also spends her time at her shop framing photos, artwork and concert posters.
Summit Daily: What kind of medium do you use?
Hanni Bernhart: I paint with acrylic on glass and install mirrors in the framing to create depth behind the art. I have worked with pastels as well, but prefer paint. As a custom picture framer, I feel that the framing I choose to complement my work is just as important as the colors I choose to make the piece. Framing is a medium of its own, necessary for finishing the piece, and an expression of art in and of itself.
SD: Where could people have seen your art before?
HB: I have had art openings at The Backstage Theatre, The Speakeasy Theatre and Zoe’s Hair Design. I currently have much of my work hanging at the Studio Frame Shop on Airport Road in Breckenridge. Also, I was recently commissioned by Allen-Guerra Architecture to create a piece of custom art. It was displayed in the Parade of Homes, in a beautiful house they designed on Shock Hill.
SD: How did you first get into art, and what kind of background do you have in the subject?
HB: My mother is an artist, so I was exposed to art at a young age. She is a portrait artist for a living, and I was always around her drawing and painting. We had paint and pastels around the home; naturally, I would dabble for fun. I went to art shows with her as her assistant and frame portraits on location. I also spent a summer as a caricature artist, but the pressure to instantly draw for someone else was too much. I then found my joy in creating for no reason but to express myself and my feelings at the time.
SD: What inspires you?
HB: Color mostly inspires me. I also enjoy watching my art take a life of its own, even when I didn’t really have a direction when I started making the piece.
SD: What is your work environment like — do you like to work with music, outside, etc?
HB: I am grateful to have The Studio Frame Shop where I have fantastic studio space at my fingertips. I like to work alone in the shop listening to music. Music is crucial for making the art come together and important for me to find that creative place.
SD: What are your other hobbies and interest besides your art?
HB: I share similar interests of others that are drawn to Summit County, spending time in the outdoors. My most beloved hobbies are riding bikes and skiing with my fiancé Sam and our rescue dog, Fritz. I also love a good happy hour with my pals.
SD: What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
HB: I see a lot of art coming through the frame shop. I find that the most compelling work suggests honesty. You neither have to be extremely talented, nor be praised by anyone to be making meaningful work. I believe that as long as you are creating work that you connect with and you’re true to your own creative direction, then your work is priceless. After all, some of the most influential artists have made work that many eyes don’t understand, but there is power behind their work because they stayed honest to their creative calling.
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