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Custom Picture Framing

We started as custom framers but now have discontinued that service.  However, I will gladly refer you to our certified picture framer, Shelby Oppermann .  You won't find anyone better.  We have so many great memories and hope that you'll continue to visit our fine art gallery.  Remember the following when you look for framing to preserve your memories.

  • Non-acidic materials must be used in the framing package. This includes matting and backing materials.


  • No tapes or glues may be used. 


  • Only torn Japanese papers and rice starch are used in hinging artwork to backing boards.


  • Everything in the framing package must be reversible and non-damaging to the artwork.


  • No permanent mounting procedure is performed.


  • Use only glass which filters out UV light. UV light fades artwork over time, ultimately damaging the work.


  • The artwork should not be altered in any way (such as being cut or dry-mounted to a board).

A happy customer with her custom framed artwork.

The above standards give you some idea as to the care given your artwork at carmen's. Remember, if your art has not been framed to these standards, it is not acceptable for long-term preservation. Bring it to someone you trust. carmen's began as a frame shop 36 years ago, and has been designing and building state-of-the-art framing with care since then. We stand behind our expertise.

how it all began...

carmen's gallery began as a frame shop 40 years ago at the very end of the island. Owner Carmen Lee Nance Gambrill has a great family story, so read about the spark that started it all below...


"One of the most special people in my life to this point was my grandfather. Sometimes two people just bond, and that's the way it was with us. To meet him, you might have thought him just a North Carolina farmer, but to know him was to see how sensitive, caring, and special he really was. I grew up living in "the little house" behind his home for the first 6 years of my life and then moved about a mile away until I left for college. He would pick me up for church every Sunday and let me play his 8 track tapes. When I needed him to get down on the floor and give me a pony ride, he was there. He gave me Juicy Fruit Gum on command and was the only person who would let me drink coffee with milk (or milk with coffee) and act like a grown up before I became one. When I started teaching school, I remember him driving 60 miles in order to help me take my class to the circus and afterward deliver kids all over Durham in the middle of the night. He died of cancer 36 years ago and although it really hurt me, nothing was left unsaid between us, so I dealt with it. After he died, my mother told me that he had worked his whole life with the dream of saving enough money to be able to leave each of his 7 grandchildren $1000. She presented me with mine. I knew that I wanted to do something very special and important with that money and not just squander it on something without meaning, so I started my framing business. It was very small at first, but has grown considerably, and now I feel that my grandpa would be happy with what I've done. So, you see, when I say your business is important to me, I really do mean it. To me, it's more than my business. It's my grandfather's legacy."

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