She recently pointed toward a set of antique hand tools piled on a rustic bench as she described her stripped-down, raw vision for a new second business location in Oil City, roughly 10 miles north, less as the crow flies, and described how she wants to empower others in the craft she loves. Parkinson saw a unique need in Oil City, a town rich in artists who, though self-sufficient, are still in need of quality framing supplies.
Part of a vision, in business, is understanding what is needed in the place you set out a shingle. Oil City is a hub of relocated artists who have been drawn to the low cost of living in a city that is seeking redefinition from its oil industry past that has mostly left it high and dry.
Parkinson opened her second storefront during Oil Heritage Festival, calling the shop Oil City Art & Frame. She admits it is a work in progress and her hours are subject to change, but she is ready to start servicing the needs of the art community with quality supplies for the do-it-yourselfer and expertly trained framing advice and making for those who are not do-it-yourselfers.
She will also offer classes on the intricacies of framing so more folks can enjoy the craftsmanship of decorating their home with their own art.
She is located on Seneca Street across the street from the National Transit building, the one-time offices of big oil money, and later the symbolic headquarters of do-gooder Ralph Nader. He gave the building to Oil City for a buck if they promised to leave it as a headquarters for non-profits. For many years, space within the building held the offices for the Arts Oil City relocation program, which offers affordable studio space to artists who would move to the area.
The Oil City Art & Frame will, if Parkinson's vision is correct, help those artists and more with options for their framing and display needs.
“If you need six inches of tape or two screws you can come here,” she said. Parkinson hopes that her supplies and expertise will help garner a family of artists who can work toward the greater good of getting their creations displayed properly and professionally.
Parkinson’s vision is to help artist’s who already do a lot of their own framing as well as those folks who have art they want to be a centerpiece within their home. She has been providing the latter, especially in Franklin, and hopes to grow even more connections now in Oil City.
At least, that is her vision.
In connection with Labor Day, Parkinson's vision also is bringing in the community industries and businesses.
Parkinson wants to see what working in Venago looks like. So she is sponsoring a photography contest focused on the region's industrial side, including the people, equipment and operations.
She is hoping photographers or others will document the important people who work to help others in what they do. She hopes this show will help support businesses and explain the important work of the folks who might otherwise go unnoticed.
Pictures are submitted electronically through the QR code included on the contest poster and the top 20 will be printed for a show on August 31 in Franklin.