By Rachel Parker Dickerson
What JoAnn Huselton loves about her job is not only being surrounded by samples of the fine art that Conway has to offer, but also meeting customers who often become her friends.
Huselton is the owner of Pictures Et Cetera at 572 Chestnut St., which has been in business 28 years. She and her father, Hayes Jolly, started the business together in a small shop on Oak Street near Harkrider Street. Twenty years after the death of her father, Huselton is carrying on, loving every day.
"This started as a hobby and something fun to do, and it gradually became a business," she said. "It started as a service to the design trade, and it evolved into a retail business over the years."
The business has evolved further than that, as it is now not only a custom framing business, but also an art gallery.
"It was mostly custom framing with prints; then through the years it evolved to selling limited edition prints. Then we started carrying original oils," she said. "We do a lot of residential and commercial design as far as artwork. We also carry sculpture."
Although Pictures Et Cetera does not serve as a home decorating business, the shop does carry a variety of original oil paintings by local artists, which are in demand for home dÃ©cor, Huselton said.
"We're very selective of the artists we carry," she said. "We want to offer what we feel is the very best in artwork for our clientele, and we have chosen a good mix of quality artwork from a variety of artists."
Artists whose works Huselton carries at her shop include Steve Griffith, Heather Mainord, Jean Turley, Bonnie McKay, Cheryl Payne, Jason Huselton (original graphite portraiture and sculpture), Bill Ward (original fine art photography) and Ron Carter.
The most popular art is impressionistic oil paintings with bright colors, she said. Landscapes have been the top seller, followed by abstracts. She noted "everyone seems to love the texture on the oil."
She said she is also happy to have art photography by Bill Ward, because fine art photography is not very common in Conway.
Regarding the framing side of the business, Huselton said she uses quality molds with conservation framing.
"Anything you're going to want to keep, you're going to want it to keep its value," she said. "I just believe if you're going to do something, you need to do it right, that way you're not spending money needlessly the first time.
"I think it's important to help a client select a tasteful, timeless design that will last for years, rather than something trendy. If it is valuable enough to frame it, it's valuable enough to do it correctly. You need to protect the integrity of the piece so that it's protected for many years to come," she said.
Whether the item is a photograph, a diploma, or other document or keepsake, Huselton recommends methods to keep it preserved.
"You need everything inside (the frame) to be acid-free so you don't get a brown spot. Those are acid burns," she said. "Photos should never be placed directly against glass, because moisture can get in and glue the photo to the glass and ruin it. Mats are used to correct that, or a spacer."
She also loves to create shadowboxes to preserve items such as jerseys, christening gowns, military medals, and jewelry she said.
She added, "We buy moldings from several different companies so we can cherry-pick the best ones. I like people to realize we can hit all price points."
Huselton concluded, "I just love working with all my customers. So many of them become really dear friends. I have no desire to ever retire. I feel so very blessed to have a business I enjoy so very much."