about

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  "I just wanted a little gallery wall."
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I'm Mary Ann Einarson, and (I'm pretty sure) this is the 'necessity' that gave birth to Change of Art®...
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See, I'd always wanted a 'friends & family" gallery wall – like my friends Kate and Marc. Back in 2003, I set out to finally get it done. Bought the frames, the glass and mats. Spent an evening (or more) creating the 'ideal' layout on my Mac. I'd already gathered dozens of great old & new photos of family, friends, and (way too many) of my oh-so-photogenic pup, Frank. I'd even spent an evening (or two) measuring, leveling, and hanging the empty frames. You know, to see how cool it was going to be. All that was left to do was pick the photos...

 
  
I can't recall how many people commented "Oh, I get it... The brick wall is the art, right?" Um, yeah...
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In my defense:  As a wannabe artist for most of my life, I knew what I was in for. I'd matted dozens (hundreds?) of watercolors, drawings, prints and, of course, photos... This was going to take a good chunk of time. And space. Clearing space for the near-surgical task of cleaning all the glass, matting, taping, and assembling all the pieces/parts. I also dreaded the frustration of getting it all assembled, flipping it over, and finding a spec of lint under the glass. Aaarrgh. It always happens. Start over. (Tell me this doesn't happen to you, too.)

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But, really (mostly, I think) I couldn't decide on the photos. Just 12 frames, but dozens of wonderful photos. It was just so much easier to 'think about it tomorrow'... 

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The solution to my 'decorating dilemma' came to me in the middle of the night... What would happen if I put a pocket behind the mat?  What if it could slide photos in – and out – without having to take the back off? If I could change photos easily, then I wouldn't have to fear that 'commitment'... I could slip in family photos before my cousins Susan and Mark come for a visit. I could turn the entire gallery into an homage to our neighborhood when my childhood-best-friend visits from California. My mom and dad would see their favorite pics when they visited. And, when I hosted Christmas dinner, I could load it with memories of holidays past. This could be kind of great...

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I made a 'prototype' in my kitchen sink the very next day (it still works). I remember half holding my breath as I demonstrated it to my sister Terry. Nearly a decade later, I still remember her reaction. After silence, then a lot of "wait, what?!?" and a whole lot of laughs, we decided there could be something to this. I'm pretty sure Terry came up with the name that day. Not long after, I stepped onto the longest, wackiest roller coaster ride of my life – the journey to bring Change of Art® to life.

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Ever the dreamer, I was determined to do it all right here – 100% made in USA everything.

And so, I've spent years (too many to admit) painstakingly and thoughtfully redesigning every step – and every material – to be made as locally, and sustainably as possible. Making assembly tool-free and safe, so I could partner with the good people of Anixter Center – helping to support their great work with and for disabled adults.

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I know. It's just a picture frame.

But, I truly feel that this can make a lot of people's lives a little bit – maybe even a lot – happier and nicer. Now, you can get your photos off computers and phones, and up on your walls. In gorgeous gallery displays, even. Where they can make you (and your guests) smile every time you pass by – and it's no longer a 'someday' kind of project.... Art lovers can collect more art prints, since they'll need less frames (and wall space!). Artists and photographers can sell more prints... Well, I could go on for days. Maybe check out the 'ideas' section. I'll be loading it with a few of the hundreds (literally) of ideas that have kept me awake all these years...