Sherri Haupert has been framed.
And that’s a good thing.
The work of the popular Independence photographer has been framed and displayed in the homes of people across the country.
When she’s not taking photos, she’s busy in her haupART Frame Gallery inside Art Squared, 111 N. Main St. on the Independence Square across the street from Ophelia’s.
Haupert’s frame/photo gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and by appointment, 816-461-1717. She is the featured artist this month at Art Squared.
Her photos are eye-pleasing works that tell a story, much like Norman Rockwell’s classic Saturday Evening Post covers.
Her most popular photo features two old bicycles that, at one time, was simply called Bologna Bikes, because they were photographed in Bologna, Italy.
But that all changed when a fan approached her at Parkville’s June Jazz art event.
“That photo should be called ‘The Marriage,’” the enthusiastic fan told Haupert, as they both studied the photo of the two bicycles – one bright and shiny, the other feeling the ravages of aging. “ ‘Can you see it? They are growing old together, through sickness and health with a chain bonding them together.’
“I looked at the photo and agreed with what she was saying. It was the first time someone had approached me about one of my photos and had such an emotional connection. From that moment on, the photo became ‘The Marriage,’ and I was thrilled.”
A similar encounter took place when an Art Squared visitor saw a colorful photo of roses that Haupert had displayed on her wall. She purchased the photo and a day or two later gave the photographer a call.
“I just wanted you to know that I placed your photo in my house so it is the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see when I go to bed – and it makes me smile,” Haupert said, a touch of awe in her voice.
“No one had ever called me and told me something like that. I asked her if she would call me again tomorrow, to tell me the same thing. And then I asked her to call me two times a week because – wow! – that really made an impact on me. That was a very special phone call.”
And it’s not just adults who have a connection with her photos. At one showing, a large photo of stone stair steps caught the attention of a small child.
“I was watching him,” Haupert said, smiling, “and he went over to the photo, took a step up like he was going to climb the stairs, and then he took a step back – it was like he was thinking, ‘Why can’t I climb those stairs?’ That was another special moment.”
When she’s not making her own special art with a camera, Haupert is enhancing the art of customers who bring items into her gallery to be framed.
“This is the best location in the world, with all the artists and the featured artists we have every month,” said Haupert, who is the Art Squared featured artist for November. “When I frame a piece, I want to protect it and enhance it.
“I want to make it something special, something they will enjoy displaying in their home and looking at every day. I want everyone to know that when they come into my gallery, they have a friend in the framing business.”
See, getting framed isn’t always a bad thing.