Where would we be in a neighborhood full of art galleries and artist studios without a frame shop? Luckily for the creative spirits in the neighborhood, Larry Yocom and his staff at Gallery Frames have filled this niche in Pioneer Square since 1985.
Gallery Frames at First Avenue South and Cherry Street is in what Yocom calls its final resting place – which is actually its fourth location in Pioneer Square. Since its beginnings on Second and James, Yocom worked closely with Greg Kucera Gallery and Davidson Galleries, both staples on the First Thursday art walk. Since then the store moved around until it reached its current location seven years ago. Now it’s right next door to Yocom’s other project, ArtREsource, a gallery devoted to the resale of fine art.
We caught up with Yocom at Gallery Frames, where the sample frames on display create zigzag patterns on the walls, and a small bust of a cat sticks its head out overhead.
We asked what his favorite story about working in Pioneer Square is. Yocom says he enjoyed the day of the Nisqually earthquake that shook the Pacific Northwest in 2001. “Watching the buildings clap together causing dust to be ejected between them”…was a sight to be seen, says Yocom.
Of the celebrities who frequent Gallery Frames, Yocom counts Rob Morrow in the early ’80s and Dale Chihuly as a regular.
When customers ask for recommendations for other shops to visit in Pioneer Square, Yocom recommends exploring: “Just walk around. There are many fine shops and restaurants including all the art galleries, Ragazzi’s Flying Shuttle, Wessel and Lieberman booksellers, and the Grand Central building.”
After meeting Larry Yocom, his quiet and refined demeanor shows us a sophisticated side of Pioneer Square, but his passion for the neighborhood and for the art culture here is something you’ll likely stumble upon no matter who you meet when you explore the Square.