West

In the pink teaching art classes

Kristen Young says creating art is the ultimate freedom.
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
Kristen Young says creating art is the ultimate freedom.

After 26 years as owner of San Francisco Gallery and Custom Picture Framing in Northborough, Kristin Young has expanded her business with art classes for ages 3 to 14, and themed painting parties for all ages.

With a fine arts degree from Sonoma State University in California, the 67-year-old Bay Area native has been painting and teaching art for more than 35 years.

“You’ve got to keep reinventing yourself,” the Shrewsbury resident said of her new endeavor, the Painted Pink Cat.

Q. What do you consider your specialty within the gallery and framing portion of your business?

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A.I sell artwork and offer all styles of framing imaginable, but I’m known as the shadowbox queen. I’ve framed everything from a violin to sports memorabilia, such as hockey sticks, baseball bats, and signed shirts. I stuffed a long christening dress with tissue paper to give it a life of its own, and then sewed rosettes on the mat to match the ones on the dress. Other times, I draw out and put borders of interest around the actual piece. There’s a fine art to shadowboxing.

Q. Why did you open the Painted Pink Cat as a division of San Francisco Gallery and Framing?

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A.Although I very much enjoy the creativity and precision involved with custom framing, I know that I have more to offer my community. In the Painted Pink Cat, I have made a warm and inspiring place where folks can come and enjoy the many benefits of art.

Q. Why should someone convinced that he or she has no artistic ability give it a try anyway?

A.Creating art is the ultimate form of freedom. When I was a child, I turned to art because that’s the one place where there is no judgment. I could express how I saw the beauty of the world, with no right or wrong. You don’t have to be a van Gogh or a Picasso to create meaningful art and enjoy it. And if you make a mistake, go with it, because you will be amazed by what can develop from it. I believe there is an artist gene in everyone.

The Painted Pink Cat, at San Francisco Gallery and Custom Picture Framing, 10 SW Cutoff, Northborough. 508-393-2266, www.paintedpinkcat.com.

Cindy Cantrell may be reached at cindycantrell20@gmail.com.