Mark Buckheit knows where the best drinking fountain in St. Louis is, but you can't go there unless you're a patron of the Gravois Planing Mill on Juniata Street, where Buckheit has many of his custom-made frames molded. Buckheit has been in the framing business since graduating from Washington University's art school (since rechristened the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts) with a focus on printmaking. Fifteen years ago, after a stint at the Saint Louis Art Museum, he forged out on his own and is now the most respected framer in town, enhancing and installing art for the masses, as well as for rarified dealers such as William Shearburn and Philip Slein — whose gallery his workspace lies above. With the help of his able team of associates (Shawnte Sanford, Janice Wallace and Cameron Fuller), Buckheit can get anything ready to hang beautifully on your walls — from a fragile smoke-smudge drawing made in South Africa by an artist holding paper over candle flame (which Buckheit will wisely advise you not to frame with a Plexiglas cover, unless you want the carbon to do an electrostatic flake-off) to a robustly glossy poster of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
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