It all began in early 1980 Rollie LaMarche along with a friend, Rob Landreth, decided to purchase a small picture framing shop called Taylor Craft from Clarence Taylor. They moved the shop from Clarence’s garage to Rollie’s garage in northeast Edmonton and Rollie learned the skills of picture framing by hand with hand tools from Clarence Taylor. Clarence who was in his mid-seventies at the time was an excellent picture framer.
Picture This . . .
In the summer of 1981 Picture This! framing & gallery opened it’s doors for the first time in the Broadmoor Centre of
Sherwood Park with a successful grand opening and great support by friends, local residents and family.
Times were not always rosy, little did LaMarche know that he had started the business at the beginning of a recession and many businesses closed during the early 80’s. Interest rates had gone to 22% and it was tough times for many. “We had decided to persevere, no matter what, people needed pictures and picture framing for their homes and offices” says Rollie LaMarche “and we would be here to supply them.”
They held do-it-yourself picture framing classes through Parks and Recreation, photography framing classes and craft classes which turned out to be quite popular covered by the local newspapers and classes were filled. Pottery, stained glass and other gift items were brought in, along with posters, prints and custom orders for prints as customers were looking to decorate their homes and offices.
In early 1984 Rollie participated in the (MAP) management assistance program which was the beginning of numerous programs he has taken to receive coaching on improving customer service and making their business better. As he recalls all three coaches from MAP were amazed on how well they were doing especially with the economy and the poor location and all three suggested that Picture This would do wonders in a better location. With the lease coming
up for renewal and more research Picture This framing & gallery, in July 1984 moved to a new location that would turn out to be a very successful move. That location is where they are today.
Recognizing that customers needed to be kept happy through quality workmanship, good service and creative designs
LaMarche decided that it was time to use better tools in assembling picture frames so that they could spend more time in taking care of customers. Picture This was one of the first in Canada to bring in state of the art computerized mat cutter.
Picture This developed an excellent reputation for good quality picture framing and won numerous awards including the Grand prize for one of the largest picture framing competitions in North America the Larson Juhl Creative Classic with front page coverage on Picture Framing Magazine, again with honourable mention only a few years later, First place for PPFA-CONA professional picture framers association picture framing competition. Other awards include the 1991 Winning Spirit award, 1993 Chamber of Commerce Business persons of the year award and The Greenwich Workshop picture framing competition.
Picture This, today, represents over 150 national, international and professional local artists. Many of these talented artists have won awards themselves and have been featured in magazines, interviewed on radio and TV. Some are also featured in books, have written books and are art instructors to artists who would like to be professional artists. You can view their art, see their biographies and artist credentials on the website at www.picturethisgallery.com.
To this day, Picture This believes in giving back to the community that has supported them for so many years and they have sponsored and supported many sports, clubs and cultural events and will continue to do so. They are the Official Picture Framers for Edmonton and Northern Alberta Crime Stoppers, through their very successful show Masterpieces in Miniature along with participating artists have donated thousands of dollars to the Arts in Medicine program at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and are now supporting the future development of the Art Therapy Room in Wellspring Edmonton, a place to help cancer patients through the healing process.
Picture This! framing & gallery as it looks today