Skip to Main Content

Downtown Hidden Gems: The Framing Company

Nestled on 13th and N, right next door to Metro Gallery sits The Framing Company: A quiet, yet vital part of Downtown Lincoln. 

Current owner Kevin Sullivan in the process of lining all materials to check that they fit the correct measurements.


Since 1978, formerly “The Darkroom & U-Frame-It,” The Framing Company has been around for over 40 years, originally in the building next to Spaghetti Works. 

Kevin Sullivan has been the owner for the past four years but has been working there for over twenty. Sullivan has spent much of his life working at The Framing Company. Sullivan earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1999. 

The front of The Framing Company at a glance.

“Endurance is what got me here,” Sullivan joked. Sullivan’s most immense feat was framing a 4’x 6’ canvas, but no job is too big for The Framing Company. 

Founder, Steve Petsch passed away in March. The Framing Company held a celebration of life ceremony in his honor. 

“We worked together over twenty years,” Sullivan said. “I had to do something for him, this was his shop, he started this.” 

Petsch’s Celebration of Life was held on May 28, 2023. 

Petsch helped pioneer First Fridays in Lincoln. When The Framing Company opened its doors, Petsch would host classes for budding photographers. This was when there was still a Darkroom in the back of the store. 

Original poster from the first photography classes The Framing Company hosted in 1978.

A while back the crew renovated the space to help with storage as the business demands grew. The Framing Company’s focus is the entire framing process. They help with matting, choosing the right frame, and mounting the final product. 

The Framing Company’s customer base is a third commercial product, a third design, and a third returning customers. 

When you walk into The Framing Company, you can feel its rich history. The Framing Company is covered floor-to-ceiling in vintage posters, art prints, and originals; there is something for everyone. 

“You get the feel from a person once they walk in, that and the design eye,” Sullivan said. “Throughout the years, I’ve come to learn, less is more.” 

Sullivan’s passion didn’t use to be framing, but now it’s his livelihood. Sullivan said he loves to showcase the art, vintage posters, and obviously the frames, as a sample of his finished product. 

“Sometimes I’ll find something I like next door, or a customer next door will come here,” Sullivan said. “It’s pretty nice having an art gallery next door.” 

Only a handful of framing options offered at The Framing Company.

The framing process is niche and very intricate. The Framing Company has international manufacturers for any project. This helps clear the mystery of why framing is so pricey. It doesn’t necessarily have to be! It’s a matter of the cost of the materials, labor, and overhead. 

“Our pricing could go up, honestly,” Sullivan said. To get a quote on your next project, head over to their website

The Framing Company is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.