Saturday, April 29, 2023

Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants

Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants Cycle 18 is open through May 19. These national grants of up to $5,000 support direct treatment expenses for medical, dental or mental health emergencies that occurred September 1, 2022 or later; the deadline is May 19, 2023.

Choreographers, those creating in the visual arts, and those creating in the film/video/electronic/digital arts, living anywhere in the U.S., D.C, US territories, or tribal nations are eligible. Cycle 19 will open June 20, with a deadline of July 21, for emergencies occurring December 1, 2022 and later. A recorded information session, along with guidelines and the online application, are available on their website.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Tomorrow: Insights with Laura Roulet

Insights: Laura Roulet

Tomorrow, 4pm–6pm

Join the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art in Reston, Virginia tomorrow for an Insights program spotlighting an academic perspective of the work currently on view at Tephra ICA. This Insights program will feature my good friend independent curator and writer Laura Roulet who will speak about the Hacia la Vida | Toward Life exhibition.

Please RSVP here. In addition to the in-person program, Insights will be livestreamed beginning at 4:30pm and guests are welcome to join via Zoom with this link. This program is generously supported by Reston Community Center.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival

On May 13 & 14, 2023, the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival takes over Woodmont Triangle, along Norfolk, Auburn & Del Ray Avenues, welcoming over 100 of the nation's best artists, live entertainment, and Bethesda restaurants. 

Take a glance at the artists attending this year's festival by clicking here

Admission to the festival is FREE and free parking is available in the public parking garage on Auburn Avenue. This event is held rain or shine. Sign up to volunteer here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


This is why I always tell artists to do the OUT OF ORDER show at the Maryland Art Place in Baltimore!

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Black Art: In the Presence of LIGHT

Bethesda's Gallery B welcomes The Black Art Today Foundation for the first time, exhibiting their latest show, “Black Art: In the Presence of LIGHT.” 

Inspired by the documentary, Black Art: In the Absence of Light. This exhibit answers the challenging question to all Black and African American artists, “Are you willing to make [art] in the absence of light?” The foundation’s 27 member artists collectively respond that their work is LIGHT. 

The artwork will be exhibited from May 5 - May 28, 2023 with an opening reception on Sunday, May 7th from 2pm -5pm. Gallery hours for the show will be Friday – Saturday, 12-7pm, and Sundays, 11-6pm. Gallery B is located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E, Bethesda, MD, in the former location of the DMV's iconic Fraser Gallery.

Featuring Artists


Kibibi Ajanku

Tanya Bracey

Bryane Broadie

Jamil Burton

Karen Y. Buster

David W.M. Cassidy

Dr. Vanessa Chappell-Lee

Keiona Clark

Thomas E. Dade

Emery Franklin 

Scott Fulton

Marilyn Gates

Brayden Green

Anita Henley

Sarah Jones

Erasto Curtis Matthews

James E. Murphy Jr.

Esther Okehi

Babacar Pouye

Alma Robert

B/ue Robin

Harriet Smith

Dr. Yemonja Smalls

K. Sparks

Shirlene Thomas

Anthony Young

Monday, April 24, 2023

Project RestART looking for curators

What is Project RestART?

Project RestART provides sponsorship opportunities to Black curators residing and creating in Baltimore City to encourage the curation of cultural experiences centering Black creatives. Project RestART is a direct action to re-stimulate the cultural economy and to address some of the challenges caused by Covid-19.

- Sponsorships will be provided for the months of: January, February, April, June, July, September, November, December
- The application for sponsorships for a sponsorship month will open the first of the previous month. (Ex. Application for April sponsorships will open March 1st)
- The application will be open for 2 weeks. After that, applicants will be decided upon by the Programs team.

Click here for more information.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Call for Artists - Prince George's Arts and Humanities Council Digital Open Call

The Prince George's Arts and Humanities Council looks to showcase the diverse artistic and scholarly disciplines active in Prince George's County, Maryland. While our physical programs are on hold in support and compliance with the State's efforts to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we turn to our screens for connection. 

Additionally, all programs must be prerecorded and go through a vetting process with the exception of Studio Visits. Studio Visits will require a pre studio visit with PGAHC Senior Program Manager. Thereafter, we will determine the best platform to show your visual artworks with audience questions and feedback in real-time. 

If you are interested in showcasing your work for dispersal on their social media platforms please complete the form by clicking here for more information. Please note, all work must be family-friendly. There may be no suggestive or explicit content nor language. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Eleanor Kotlarik Wang at Studio Gallery


Almost Forgotten

Eleanor Kotlarik Wang

Curated by Gaby Mizes

April 26 - May 20, 2023

Evening Serenade by Eleanor Kotlarik Wang
Evening Serenade by Eleanor Kotlarik Wang

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 29th, 3-5 pm

First Friday: Friday, May 5th, 5-8 pm

Third Thursday: Thursday, May 18th, 5-8 pm

Closing Reception: Saturday, May 20th, 3-6 pm

Friday, April 21, 2023

Harper Lee

Happy birthday to Harper Lee (1926-2016), whose first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, about racial injustice in a small Alabama town, sold more than 40 million copies!

Photo: HarperCollins & Penguin Random 

The curious case of losing an art competition to AI

Hyperallergic's Rhea Nayyar details the story of German photographer Boris Eldagsen:

Could you imagine losing an art competition to a robot? It’s happened before, and it happened again when Boris Eldagsen, a career photographer from Berlin, Germany, submitted an AI-generated image for the 2023 Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA) under the Creative category. Eldagsen claims that he disclosed to both Sony and the competition organizer, Creo Arts, that his work was made using AI, but neither would outright acknowledge it until he took matters into his own hands.

To toot my own horn, I sorta, kinda predicted this waaaay back in 2003 in this post.

Listen to NPR's Scott Detrow talks with photographer Boris Elgadsen about this issue.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards

Application Closing April 26th

The annual Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards is seeking artists creating work in all media! 

The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards founded by Carol Trawick awards  $14,000 in annual prize monies. The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards will feature the artwork of eight finalists at Gallery B from September 7 – October 1, 2023. $14,000 in prize monies are provided to the winning artists. All artists from Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia are eligible, and the deadline to apply is April 26, 2023.

The Trawick Prize deadline is April 26, 2023.

Details here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

36th Annual Northern National Art Competition jurying - done!

I just finished jurying the 36th Annual Northern National Art Competition - 613 entries! Such a hard job to say "no" because there were sooooooo many really good entries! But this show will rock... and once I see the artwork in person, I may find a couple of surprise new artists to bring back to the DMV!

The "YES" entries will astound the national!

Buah... ah.. ah...

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Women Artists of the DMV

According to the research done by the Washington City Paper in 2017, the term “DMV” to refer to the District, Maryland and Virginia first appeared in a post that I wrote in 2003 – And yes! I do claim that I invented it! 

The Greater Washington, D.C., capital region (the DMV) is not only home to some of the best art museums in the world, dozens of art galleries, non-profit art spaces, alternative art venues, and art organizations, but it also supports fertilizes of the best and most creative visual art scenes in the nation. 

This scene is kindled and ignited to a large extent by female artists of all ages, races and ethnicities – an artistic female universe significantly more diverse than just about any of other major city on the planet. 

Celebrating this art scene, I have and am compiling works by a number of leading and talented emerging contemporary female visual artists who represent the tens of thousands of women artists working in this culturally and ethnically diverse region.

Equally diverse are the artistic styles and media you will see in this curated exhibition, the first of its kind for the capital area. 

With more than 100 works of art potentially available for curatorial selection, this exhibition offers a primer for both the experienced art eye and the beginning collector, highlighting a selection of talented artists who usually deserve more attention on a local, regional and national scale.

Next: The potential venue(s) and dates for this show.

Monday, April 17, 2023

The Rampant Lilith

This is a new mixed media painting which will make its debut at the Volta Art Fair in New York City next May. It is "The Rampant Lilith" and it is part of my repetitive, obsessive works - it marries two of my artistic obsessions: The Lilith and the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. She is covered in woad-colored Pictish tattoos. 40x32 inches, mixed media painting on 600 weight paper.

The Rampant Lilith - 2023 painting by Florencio Lennox Campello
The Rampant Lilith
2023 mixed media painting by Florencio Lennox Campello, 40x32 inches

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Holly Buehler at Yellow Barn Studio

Yesterday we went to beautiful Glen Echo to check out some of the new shows at the various galleries hosted by that national treasure - while there we ran into the DMV's most prolific art collector (Steve Krensky), so I knew immediately that if Krensky was there, something good was being showcased.

The Yellow Barn Studio is part of that complex.  Founded by acclaimed artist Walter Bartman, The Yellow Barn Studio is "a haven for budding artists and experienced painters alike. We offer classes in watercolor, oil, acrylic, drawing, and printmaking, with a special emphasis on plein air painting."

The opening for the 2-day show was by artist Holly Buehler. Titled "Color Obsession" it provided ample evidence that Buehler is not only obsessed with color, but also that she has developed a remarkable mastery over that most challenging of visual art goals: to be able to deliver a representational scene solely based on the brushy application of pure color.

Holly Buehler at Yellow Barn Studio

Holly Buehler at Yellow Barn Studio

And now that the Covidian Age has officially ended, it was so nice to see an opening fairly crowded, red dots all over the place (Buehler's works are incredibly affordable) and people having a great time!

Coming next to the Yellow Barn Studio in 2023:

April 22-23 Shirin Shahram
May 6-7 Alvin M Cohen Retrospective 1923-2003
May 20-21 Roger Perez & Carolyn Boccella Bagin
May 27-28 Friends of the YB Small Works Show
June 3-4 Folk Festival at Glen Echo Park
June 10-11 Marian Willinger & Wendy Smith
June 17-18 Bill Johnson
June 24-25 Eric Westbrook
July 1-2 Arleen Cannata Seed & Maro Nalabandian
July 15-16 Emil Markulis
Aug 12-13 Paintings from Workshops Abroad with Walt Bartman
Sept 2-3 Friends of the YB Drawing Show
Sept 9-10 Jen Sterling & Michele Hoben
Sept 16-17 Cheryl Bearss
Sept 23-24 Jean Schlesinger & Eve Troncone
Sept 30-Oct 1 Leni Paquet-Morante & Steve Moen
Oct 7-8 Paul Zapatka
Oct 14-15 David Bottini
Oct 22-23 Ann Schlesinger – Jacob Memorial Show
Oct 28-29 Alexandra Cheshire
Nov 4-5 Helene Patterson & Margie Alagia-Ingram
Nov 11-12 Walter Bartman
Nov 18-19 Anatol Woolf
Nov 25-26 Jenny Wilson
Dec 2-17 Friends of the YB Members Show

Saturday, April 15, 2023

J. Jordan Bruns

The missus and I went to beautiful Glen Echo today to check out a couple of new shows, including J. Jordan Bruns solo, which according to the news release:

The Popcorn Gallery is proud to present Playing with Reality: 15 Years at Glen Echo Park a solo exhibition by Glen Echo Park Resident Artist J. Jordan Bruns. Bruns has been creating a wide range of paintings in the Stone Tower Studio since joining the Park 15 years ago. He is known for his large-scale abstractions depicting themes of order vs. chaos. This retrospective show celebrates his range as an artist, featuring a stunning collection of paintings with varying degrees of realism. From portraits and landscapes that evoke mood and personality to still life paintings that border on "trompe l'oeil" realism, utilizing expert oil painting techniques, demonstrating the breadth of his artistic output.

J. Jordan Bruns at Glen Echo

J. Jordan Bruns at Glen Echo
This series of acrylic wash painting was executed when Bruns lived in Japan for a few years and explored that nation's artistic ancestry - both in media and subject
Detail of Bruns spectacular brush mastery from one of the above Japanese washes. I think that Bruns' Japanese period works speak for their own - they tell the tale of a brush master absorbing the Japanese scenery with the facility of a seasoned brush painter; they are nonetheless fresh and contemporary - this is a rare marriage indeed.

But it is Bruns immensely fresh series of studio portraits which (in my opion) dominate the show, not only for the facility with which Bruns delivers the brushy color application to define the subject with immense freshness and skill, but also by the unintended juxtapositioning that they deliver to the show when paired with the Japanese paintings - it is as if two master artists decided to hold a two person show: One a master color-wash painter, the other a master of the color scale.  And it works!

This is a terrific example of an artist's artists show - it allows Bruns to flex his formidable painting skills in two opposite directions and showcase his mastery over both!

The show runs through April 30th and there will be a Virtual Artist Talk: Thursday, April 27, 7 pm (Zoom) --  Join Zoom Meeting at the link here.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Irina Lawton and Clara Young Kim at MEG




a New Member Exhibition featuring artists Irina Lawton and Clara Young Kim
Exhibition Dates April 25 - May 21, 2023Opening Reception & Artist TalkApril 29, 2023  2 - 4 pm

The ExhibitionINTERNAL LANDSCAPE, a new fine art photography exhibition at Multiple Exposures Gallery (MEG), introduces Irina Lawton and Clara Young Kim, MEG's two newest members. Accomplished fine art photographers, each has a keen eye and an affinity for conveying connections between the natural world and our inner selves. Though very different in style, the duo's 23 images in INTERNAL LANDSCAPE explore these connections and bear witness to the beauty to be found in the space between inner experiences and the landscapes of the natural world. INTERNAL LANDSCAPE is on display at Multiple Exposures Gallery from April 25 - May 21, 2023. An opening reception and artist talk will be held on Saturday, April 29, from 2pm-4pm (artist talk at 3pm). Multiple Exposures Galley is located in the Torpedo Factory Art Center, #312, in Alexandria, Virginia. 
The Artists

Irina LawtonIrina Lawton is a visual artist living and working in the DC Metro area. Born in Latvia and educated in Moscow, Irina’s work reflects a wide range of influences and artistic styles. Her interests include the psychological intensity of portraiture, the sensibility and pictorial aesthetics of the turn of the 20th century, and the complex political and social consequences of change in post-communist Russia. Irina’s photography across these diverse areas of interest is linked in style and method by use of multiple layers of meaning to convey a complex narrative in a single frame.Clara Young KimThrough her photography, Clara Young Kim enjoys creating and sharing moments that strike a chord in viewer's souls. Born in Seoul, Korea, Clara began her study of music at age 4 and majored in voice at Yongsei University. Today, this musical background plays a strong role in Clara's way of capturing images and moments. She believes the elements of an image, including the colors, lines, shapes, brightness, and contrast, each contain their own notes and beats. When they work together in harmony, a beautiful image and work of art results.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Copyright Law and Public Performance

WALA/GMU “Copyright Law and Public Performance" Online Fireside Chat and Legal Clinic

Tuesday, April 18, 20232pm

Discover what to consider when publicly performing your own work or the work of others. Explore the life cycle of a work, from creation to licensing and earning royalties. 

When do I need a license, and how can I get one? 

How do I get paid when others use my work? 

What constitutes infringement? 

… And more! 

Join the Student Advocates from the George Mason Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic for a conversation with producers from Mason’s Green Machine. Event co-sponsored by Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts. 

The event will be held over Zoom on Tuesday, April 18th, from 2:00 to 3:30 EDT. Participants will be sent a Zoom link in advance of the meeting. 

Please send questions about performing works publicly in advance when registering on Eventbrite, or to

Sharing your questions in advance will help the Clinic cater to the live audience and better prepare for an active discussion. Register here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

DWIGHTMESS Opening coming up

D W I G H T MESS is looking forward to the arrival this week of their first Swekt & Drang Artist Resident, Max Huffman!

Max will be inking there at the compound in addition to conducting fellowship with area artists & cartoonists over the course of his stay.

Max is a cartoonist & illustrator based in Carrboro, NC.

Join them on Friday, April 21st from 7-8:30pm for a One-Night Exhibition of Max's work completed during his residency + Artist Talk! Free Admission!

Stay with them from 8:30-10pm for a Special Dinner in honor of the artist!

$15 for a Carnivore or Vegan/Gluten-Free home-cooked meal -- Space is limited, Get your ticket now !!


Cartooning & Comic Arts

805 Silver Spring Ave.

Silver Spring, MD 20912

[entrance on Ripley Street]

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Art scam

I often alert readers to art scammers, those nasty trolls that prey on the good will of artists eager to make a sale. 

As soon as I out them, I often get an email or two from people who were about the ship the work to the scammer – “He paid me with an international money order” or “He paid me with several credit cards” – so how does the scam work. 

First and foremost, be suspicious of any email that comes out of the blue offering to buy your artwork (without any specificity to “what artwork”) and offering to pay for all shipping (usually overseas). Ask for a phone number to talk to the person – the scammer will usually avoid this and stop communicating. If you’ve been taken and received an international check and taken it to your bank, wait for the check to clear – not just with your bank, but also with the foreign bank where the check is drawn – that’s the usual part that bites back with fakes. 

With credit cards, call the issuing bank and express your concerns; if the emailer offers to send you several credit cards and have you run them until one clears… well then, red alert! 

Visit for more details and info: Be aware! 

Monday, April 10, 2023

A guerrilla technique for saving money on framing costs

There are some steps that artists can take to reduce significantly the cost of framing. I will try to list the most common mistakes, how to avoid them, and more importantly, how to get your artwork framed for a lot less than taking it to a framing shop to get it framed.

Read the whole article here.

Sunday, April 09, 2023

Talking To Amanda Coelho

The Chronicles of Piercing Ken was in attendance at the Spring 2023 edition of the Affordable Art Fair in New York and he stopped by the Alida Anderson Art Projects booth and talked to artist Amanda Coelho about her work.  Shot by site founder Ken Pierce with the Canon Powershot! See it here.

Saturday, April 08, 2023

The $200,000 Capital Art Prize

I first offered this idea in 2003 - it was completely ignored! I've updated it a little for 2023.

The Universities

There are several important, major universities in and around the DMV area. In most cases each is working, as most universities do, their own, individual visual arts exhibition program, which is normally mix of exhibitions by their students, faculty and invited artists.

Almost without exception there is very little coordination between the different venues, which in some cases boast some of the nicest exhibition spaces in town. This is not unusual, as I imagine that in most cities this is also the same case, as the focus of the university gallery is in fact the university.

And here is where we can make a major change, and use the extraordinary resources afforded to our area by these venues, and their academic standing, to help Washington expand its worldwide visual art standing.

What we need to happen is for one of the local university art school chairs, or college deans, or even university gallery directors, to take the initiative to start coordinating a joint effort to create one annual combined, joint exhibition that synchronizes a focused exhibition that is spread throughout the Greater Washington area.

Imagine a national survey of art, with a good title and perhaps even a good, donated chunk of money as a prize. Say we call it “The Capital Art Prize” (OK, OK we’ll have to work on the title) and because good ideas sometimes attract funding, maybe we can convince a major local company like Lockheed Martin, or AOL or Booze Allen and Hamilton, or (be still my beating heart), The Washington Post, or Amazon, to help fund it on an annual basis.

This synchronized event can be modeled somewhat on what the Whitney does, but better. The Whitney Biennial’s Achilles heel is its over-reliance on hired curators. Unless an artist lives and works in NYC, LA or SF or is already in the local radar of one of the curators for that particular year, chances are slim to none that the artist will come to the attention of those Biennial curators. Hence great art and potentially great artists may be ignored.

In addition to the use of invited curators, also imagine that this event puts forth a national call for artists, independent and museum curators, schools, art organizations and galleries to submit works for consideration. Send us your slides, CD ROMS and photographs (and a self addressed, stamped envelope for their return) your images online.

Anyone can submit and in a fair selection process, since art is truly in the eyes (and agenda) of the beholder, anyone can be selected to exhibit. A truly American concept for a national American art survey that will leave the Whitney and other continental Biennials in the dust.

And because the exhibition venues are spread around the capital area region, in galleries at Georgetown, George Mason, George Washington, American, Catholic, Howard, University of Maryland, Montgomery Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, and the many others I am sure to be forgetting momentarily, we could put up one of the largest, most diverse, and influential American art surveys in the nation.

This will take a lot of work to set up initially, as one key university person needs to take the lead and emerge from the pack of largely unknown, anonymous group of academics currently running our area’s university art programs. On the other hand, this could be an exhibition that can and will put names and faces on the international art world map, much like the Whitney Biennial sometimes elevates its curators a notch above the rest

Some universities will resist, as the easiest thing to do is to do things as they have always been done, and not really create “new” work. But given that a strong leader among our academic community emerges and takes the lead for this idea, then even if we start with a set of four or five venues, in a joint, coordinated effort, others will follow.

This will not be an easy job to do, and as it grows, so will the bureaucracy around it. But starting it up will be the hardest part, and as momentum grows, things will become easier. Whoever, if anyone, takes this idea and runs with it, will face many huge obstacles and many negative people. He or she will need to convince other university/college gallery directors to participate. They in turn, will have to convince their superiors, who will, in turn have to approve (and perhaps help kick-start the funding) the joint project.

This leader will also have to coordinate the approach to get a local giant to fund this effort, but I suspect that once he/she/them has aligned a few colleges and universities, this may become easier (it’s never easy) as the “buzz” and need for the event develops.

This is all a lot of work, and initially, until a bureaucracy is established around the annual event, many, many volunteers will be needed. I hope that some of these can be drawn from the school’s student body, alumni who are artists, and other local artists, much like Art-O-Matic draws from the collective muscle of our area’s significant artist population.

Our area universities and colleges already have significant media resources at their disposal, to help spread the word. They run school newspapers, radio stations, etc. and also provide a constant flow of new blood to our major mainstream media.

The goal (or perhaps “the dream”) would be a national level survey of art, which may look, review and/or jury the work of maybe 50,000 artists around the nation, and select perhaps 100 each year, showcase their work around a dozen academic galleries, and award a $100,000 $200,000 cash award as the Capital Art Prize, plus various other awards (Emerging Artist, Young Artist, etc.). Art of a nature and scale that will attract visitors to the university galleries, attention to our area, piss some people off, excite others, create interest, discussion and buzz around Washington and our art scene.

There’s nothing more empowering than an idea whose time has come.

Friday, April 07, 2023

On the subject of framing for a lot less

Me: Custom framing is expensive!

You: Everybody knows that!

The average price for custom framing around the DMV is brutal - and sometimes complicated (or made complicated by frustrated designers posing as framers or artists who have seen too many Rococo framing in museums).

Unless you're Frida Kahlo, generally speaking, the job of a frame for a work of visual art is first and foremost to protect the art.


And in the 21st century, and most of the 20th, the simpler the better; the less noticeable the frame, the more that the art is noticed.

If you have plenty of shekels, then a good framer will do a great job.

For the vast majority of artists, a frame should not cost as much as repairing your transmission.

You: Can you get to the guerrilla technique part already?

Most artwork is done on geometric substrates; even if you cut paper or stretch your own canvas, most of the times it is either a square or a rectangle; ovals went out ages ago; in fact they were never really in.

In the USA, these art substrates come in standard sizes that apply not only to the substrates (paper, canvas, board, wood, etc.), but also to mats, frames, and glass.

Thus, if you work on a standard size substrate to start with, you're almost home, because then you can eliminate the middle man to getting your work on a wall: the custom framer.

An 8x10 substrate will fit into an 11x14 pre-cut mat and into an 11x14 pre-cut frame; and 11x14 substrate will fit into a 16x20, a 16x20 into a 20x24 and so on.

Around the DMV, both Ikea and AC Moore's have ridiculously affordable prices for acceptable, minimalist frames. With AC Moore's if you sign up for sales alerts, you'll be bombarded with coupons (the best one is their 25% off for your purchase - including sales items; otherwise you get their 55% off regular price coupon emailed to you every 30 seconds).  Practically every frame at Ikea is a minimalist frame, but be careful because many of them are European size standards, which are different from US; however, Ikea frames generally come with acid-buffered mats, with is a nice "bennie" to have.

By the way, if you need a lot of frames in the same size - let's say two dozen frames, then I suggest that you find the ready made frame that you like and that will accommodate tour work (this usually works for photographers), turn it over and see who makes the frame and then contact the manufacturer (if it's in the USA) and see if they will sell you the frames directly. There's usually a minimum order to "qualify" for this option, and thus situations may vary according to your needs.

If you want to do artwork in other than standard sizes, then more power to you, and framing just got a little pricier, but there's also a technique.

First find a ready made frame that is bigger than your odd shaped artwork and visualize the artwork inside the frame. If the proportions are agreeable to you -- let's say you have a rectangular work which can be matted with both sides and top the same and bottom "heavy" - that is perfectly acceptable.

Once you have the frame, go to a framer and have them cut you a mat that has the outside dimensions of your frame and have them cut a window that fits your work. Now you are only paying them to cut a custom mat, rather than paying them to do that as well as creating a custom frame and glass from scratch. It should reduce your costs by about 80%.

Then just bring your matted work home, pop it into the frame and as the Brits say: "Bob's your uncle."