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Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on January 28th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 47 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 47

Spotlight on: Frame Gallery

Heidi and Robert Gruetzemacher, owners


Frame Gallery owners Heidi (left) and Robert Gruetzemacher recently reopened their business with the purpose of showcasing the work of local artists like Roxanne Kucera-Sachs (right).

The Frame Gallery in Orcutt is experiencing a renaissance. And while patrons won’t find any paintings by Michelangelo or da Vinci on its walls, they will find breathtaking pieces by local, modern artists, such as Roxanne Kucera-Sachs and Betsy Jones.

“Very often, when work is on a website, it doesn’t look anything like [what you see in person],” gallery owner Heidi Gruetzemacher told the Sun in recent interview. “But here you can see the brush strokes. It’s just yummy.”

The gallerist and photographer said she and her husband, Robert, reopened Frame Gallery after a more-than-five-year hiatus because they wanted to provide a local venue that shows art by local artists.

“So many people who live here take the natural beauty of the area for granted. But then people like Roxanne can walk down the street and be inspired by something most of us normally wouldn’t pay attention to,” Heidi said.

Of Kucera-Sachs’ work—mostly plein air landscapes of the Central Coast and local architecture—she said, “I think it’s just lovely, the way she works with light and palette, and really pushes the color.”

Kucera-Sachs’ paintings are proudly displayed in the gallery’s front window, which looks out into the Oak Knolls North shopping center.

“We actually had a gallery right next door by the same name,” Heidi said.

She explained that her husband and she decided to shutter their storefront in 2008 when the economy took a dive.

“But we actually never stopped working. We had corporate clients, we just didn’t have a store front,” she said.

Those corporate clients included such well-known establishments as Marian Regional Medical Center and Rooney’s Irish Pub, for whom the Gruetzemachers framed art and other installments. They framed onsite and out of their home, and took time to enjoy making their own art.

The gallery/framing studio features art from various mediums, including paintings, photography, jewelry, and more.

Heidi said not having a storefront “definitely freed up my schedule so I could be out with the camera more.”

But now the Frame Gallery is back, and Heidi and Robert are busy framing pieces and searching for artists to put on display.

“We felt like it was the right time. It felt like the economy was getting better,” Heidi said, adding that she’d like to have as many as 12 artists showing in her gallery.

And the Gruetzemachers are interested in artists who work in all sorts of media. On the gallery floor, they currently have a display of one-of-a-kind “ChicSak” purses designed by Mary Hernandez and jewelry designed by Shannon Morrison. Both women live locally.

Robert said they’re also courting another jewelry designer who makes earrings, bracelets, pendants, and other pieces out of spent ammunition.

Other local artists interested in showing their work at the Frame Gallery can contact Heidi at 287-9402 or The gallery is located at 1157 E. Clark Ave., Suite J, in Orcutt, and is open is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information, visit


Managing Editor Amy Asman wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.

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