“The finishing touch is the framing. It’s like putting jewelry on. That makes or breaks it.”
By Shana Siren Kempton
November 6, 2022
At the end of a quiet, wooded road awaits a delightful, moss green abode which beckons the curious, the wary, the seeking, and the art-loving. Home to Mia and Vince Fallis, Vincenzo’s Art Grotto is an enclave of high quality framing and art preservation. Nestled on an unassuming street in the Holmes Hills neighborhood of Belton and bordering the Village of Loch Lloyd, Vincenzo’s is a destination – an artist’s date for oneself and for one’s treasured pictures and collections.
Boasting over 600 choices in frames, Vincenzo’s offers archival quality mats, glass, and acrylic, all cut in house. “Our purpose, when we frame, is to protect, preserve and teach people the proper ways of caring for their artwork for it to last lifetimes,” says Vince.
“Art should be enjoyed,” says Mia, whose walls are filled with her repousse metalwork, watercolors, and denim work alongside Vince’s encaustic photography. “The finishing touch is the framing. It’s like putting jewelry on – that final piece of the artwork is the framing. That makes or breaks it.”
Drawing inspiration from travels to Italy, the term “art grotto” harks back to a traditional grotto which is a cave-like structure filled with relics and artwork for devotion. Vincenzo’s Art Grotto offers framing and art coaching, but it, too, is filled with artwork created by the founding couple as well as a palpable sense of devotion the two have for one another. They created this space together. It is a place of inspiration as they share their story and listen to yours.
It’s perfectly fitting that Mia and Vince first met at a frame shop. Mia had masses of artwork ready for presentation, and master framer Vince gave them the finishing touch. “We met, came together, and one finished out the other person…two making one,” says Mia.
With Mia as inspiration, Vince spent two years completing his master’s thesis in art at UMKC. He created “Angels of Inspiration: a Tribute to Cancer Survivors.”
Mia, who has battled cancer since the age of 14 and who currently lives with stage IV carcinoid cancer, is a fighter. “I’ve had a long journey and I’ve had to hold on a long time,” says Mia with conviction.
She and ten other cancer survivors were photographed by Vince in the very studio that later became the art grotto. As earthly angels to others diagnosed with cancer, they dressed in wings to embody one of four distinct angels. Vince utilized encaustic photography for the final pieces which were then exhibited throughout the city and are now on display at Vincenzo’s.
“Everything we do for art is not typical…it’s different,” says Mia. The Fallis’ invite the public onto their road less traveled for respite and inspiration and to preserve or make new memories with their framing expertise. “Everything is spiritual,” says Mia. “You can’t be open about it with everybody but it leaks out and that’s our life.”
Vincenzo’s welcomes the public to their open house on November 5, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Bring in artwork and ideas or stop by for inspiration and a taste of Mia’s fresh baked pecans. Visitors will receive 10 percent off their first order. Vincenzo’s Art Grotto is located at 112 W. 165th Street. Visit http://www.vincenzosartgrotto.com or call 816-738-1986 for more information.
We embrace artists who have different visions, use different materials, and different processes.
We will inspire, nurture and celebrate artists who pursue Different in this world. We provide the environment for their success through our Professional Custom Picture Framing
Born in Oregon, Juanita (Mia) Morgan, has lived in the Midwest most of her life residing in both Kansas and Missouri. Morgans’ love of art began at the age of fourteen when she began drawing cartoons and portraits. By the age of 16 she attended vocational school with a focus on graphic design, layout design, and printing. Over the years Morgan has continued her professional development as an artist by studying under other artists in the Kansas City Metro Area. Her career has provided her opportunities to explore her creative side in unique ways from her position as a Tri-Chem distributor/instructor to memorial design.
In 2011, when a tornado destroyed a neighboring community, Morgan decided to collect jeans for the victims and families in Joplin, MO. She was overwhelmed by the response and collected over 14 truck loads of denim pants in various sizes and conditions. Morgan began quilting with the fabric from the jeans that were not unusable for wear. She was so inspired by the unique stitching designs and embellishments that she discovered in the various pieces. Morgan now considers herself a fiber artist using primarily recycled and repurposed denim to create her unique art pieces.
Repurposing what would normally be discarded, Morgan is able to incorporate the various elements of the found materials into her compositions. Labels, rivets, zippers, seams, and buttons can all be found in her fiber paintings. In just five short years she has been able to repurpose more than 5,000 pairs of jeans. For Morgan, the opportunity to take otherwise unwanted and unusable items and turn them into a work of art that can adorn the walls of her patrons around the world gives her great joy."There is no such thing as "away." When we throw something away it must go somewhere." – Annie Leonard
Originally from Kansas, Vince Fallis began his long career in art drawing superheroes and taking snapshots on the many, long bus rides to California he took as an adolescent. There, his father taught him how to use a Canon AE-1 and 8mm movie cameras, which he began using to document these cross-country adventures.After 30 years in retail management, never having abandoned his creative passion, Fallis returned to school to complete his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.His current photographic series is heavily influenced by the teachings of Elijah Gowin, whose insight and expertise in alternative photography changed Fallis’ perception on form and narrative in encaustic photography.He aspires to pursue his MFA, with the goal of teaching and opening an independent gallery.
In my practice I enjoy a wide range of photographic methods, from using pinhole and tilt shift lenses, to free lensing. Typically, I begin most of the work on film, but may employ various digital editing techniques to enhance the dreamlike quality of the photographs. My past work Fallen Stars was inspired by the works of John Milton, Dante Alighieri, Gustave Doré, and the Book of Genesis. This work utilized both shallow depth of field and differing focal planes, drawing the viewer to the subject through a more subtle, indirect motion. The aesthetic is that of an aged scroll, unearthed from a time long lost, giving the viewer a window into these re-imagined histories.Whether landscape, portraiture or staged scenes, I strive to create drama and movement, inspired by the classical curves and poses of Greek, Roman, and Renaissance art. Through my own unique blend of alternative processes, I aim to push the visual perception of the viewer, while challenging societal norms and preconceived beliefs by depicting narrative images full of contradictions and mystery.Today, I have migrated to the art of encaustic photography. Working with hot wax in transfers and painting of photographs has brought about its own challenges, yet it is most rewarding and I believe the place I will call home.
Old Nashville Homestead
Encaustic Photography on Wood Pallet
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