Art gallery and custom framing
Kate Evens is the familiar face of The Paper Collector, located in downtown St. Cloud. The shop’s primary focus is the art gallery and custom framing services. However, as the name suggests,
the business also sells antique paper items.
The mix of The Paper Collector’s inventory is impressive, and it might give customers insight into the personalities of the proprietors who operate the gallery/antique store. Everywhere one looks, in every display or cozy nook, there are treasures
from years gone by to today’s contemporary interests.
- Artwork from local and regional artists
- Prints from major publishers, abstract to traditional renderings
- Greeting cards and pottery from the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict (Kate is a “Benny.”)
- Antique paper: advertisements, postcards, plat maps, trade cards, books, sheet music, and magazines
- Vintage photography
Almost all of the art the shop features is from local artists, says Kate. Customers also appreciate the quality of the custom framing. Today, Kate’s daughter, Cath, handles the framing as Kate offers her expert consultation.
“Choosing the right style of matting and frames can enhance the art,” says Cath. “However, the wrong combination of mat and frame can take the focus away from the art, putting too much importance on the framing.”
The Paper Collector’s selection of frames features several frame companies, each with its distinctive look. Frame styles range from contemporary colored lacquer or metal frames to gilded antique frames. Specialty frames might display embossed dragons, or be made of birch bark, or possibly, shell. Customers find the sheer number of styles from which to choose––numbering over 2,000––is truly impressive.
“Everyday items can be framed, not just art,” says Cath. Sports jerseys, trip souvenirs, and photo collages are the most common items she’s framed. However, occasionally, Kate and Cath are asked to frame an unusual piece. These have included a violin, military medals, wedding gowns, shark teeth, and a jeweled necklace.
The Paper Collector routinely participates in St. Cloud’s Downtown Art Crawls, and both Kate and Cath welcome the crowds that come.
“People like to come to look at everything,” says Kate. “Downtown is really the place to browse and to shop. People get a better feel of ‘customer service’ when store owners know your name, are personable, and build relationships… We have the greatest customers!”
Many of their customers have been with them since the shop’s opening. In 1984, Kate established The Paper Collector on Fifth Avenue, to expand her longtime interest in art and antiques. She moved the store a year-and-a-half later to its present location, just across from the Stearns County Court House.
Stop in and say, “Hello” during the Art Crawl, when you’ve got a framing project, or simply to view the treasures of this unique shop––The Paper Collector.