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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

Wexel Art's 'floating frames' buoy vinyl albums at NY NOW

Wexel Art Displays

Morgan Doherty at Wexel Art Displays' booth at NY NOW

For those who prize their vinyl LP (long player) albums for their 12x12-inch cover artwork—as well as analog audio—Austin-based picture frame maker Wexel Art Displays hung the classic albums The Velvet Underground & Nico (a.k.a. The Banana Album) and David Bowie’s Hunky Dory on its NY NOW home/lifestyle/gift market trade show exhibitor’s booth at New York’s Javits Center, along with more recent releases by the likes of Amy Winehouse and The Black Keys.

The Black Keys’ Thickfreakness, in fact, was showcased in its collectible “picture disc” issue-- framed without any sleeve or album cover, yet like the others also easily accessible thanks to Wexel’s “floating” frameless 15x15-inch double panel float frame for albums: The album cover is “sandwiched” in between two panels of mar-resistant acrylic, with thicker albums placed in the cut-out of acrylic mats available in 19 colors.

As for the Thickfreakness picture disc, it was displayed at NY NOW using a clear acrylic mat with a circle cutout.

“There’s a heavy foam piece behind the disc to protect it,” said Morgan Doherty, whose business card reads “Design Aficionado” at Wexel Art, but is also one of the company’s principals. She notes that with the float frames for albums--in fact, on all of the single panel and double panel floating frames which respectively employ magnets and specially created clear self-adhesive photo corners to hold the artwork in place--no adhesive, tape or glue is used.

“The frames are totally archival,” continued Doherty, adding that the “floating” nature of the frames permits easy removal of the framed artwork and replacement with another. Indeed, she has found the album frame perfect for displaying—and removing for playing--her vintage Alice’s Restaurant LP.

“I used to listen to it on the radio every Thanksgiving and now I just pluck it out of the frame,” says Doherty, “it” being Side One of Arlo Guthrie’s landmark 1967 album, entirely made up of his signature song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” based on the true tale of his arrest for littering on Thanksgiving Day 1965--and its blessed end result of keeping him out of the Army on account of his conviction.

“He looked really cute on the cover sitting in the dining room,” said Doherty, who appropriately keeps her copy of the album framed in her kitchen.



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