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Longtime downtown shop closing
First Street Gallery and Frame Co. says goodbye
First Street Frame pic
First Street Gallery and Frame Company owners Glen and Carol Skooglund, along with staff members Lynsey Hillberg and Janet Blair, pose with their dogs inside of the shop which will permanently close its doors on Oct. 15. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

After 36 years of framing art and memorabilia for the Turlock community, First Street Gallery and Frame Company is preparing to close its doors.

The shop was established in 1980 by Glen and Carol Skooglund, who began the business as a small gallery focused on custom framing. From treasured paintings to valuable sports jerseys, the two have turned ordinary objects into something special for their customers over the years. But, after nearly four decades of framework, the pair has decided that it’s time for something new.

“It’s time to move on down the road,” said Glen.

The Skooglunds plan to do just that. Glen, who has a hobby of collecting antique American flags, hopes to travel to the East Coast and take in the rich history of the places that shaped the nation’s foundation. Carol’s interests lie in the country’s national parks, and she plans to visit as many as she can during her and Glen’s travels.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Carol. “But, the reason that we’re retiring is that we’re still in good shape. If I had a guarantee that we would be good and healthy for the next 10 years, I would continue to work in a heartbeat.”

In addition to providing custom framing, the business also serves as an art gallery that displays original art and limited edition prints. Meeting artists and framers who have worked for the business over the years has been special, said Glen.

“They all brought something new to the business and we learned from them,” he said, adding that some of the shop’s former framers have even gone on to open their own frame shops.

The business’ time on First Street seemed to come full circle when a customer stepped through its doors recently. An item that she had brought to the shop during their first few years of business had broken after the hook on the back came out, causing it to fall. The Skooglunds happily fixed the frame for her, but even they couldn’t ignore the timing of the woman’s visit.

“It has all come together,” said Glen.

Though First Street Gallery and Frame Company will remain open until Oct. 15, the Skooglunds are readying for the store’s final days with a sale beginning at 6 p.m. on July 29. According to Glen, art, photography, crafts, gifts and other items will be available to purchase at lower-than-normal prices at the sale. The Turlock community is invited to stop by the 226 N. First Street location, shop and say farewell.

“We’ve met so many people, and a lot of them have become our friends,” said Glen. “It’s going to be hard not having that relationship with people from the community.”

“We can’t thank the community enough for their support over the years,” added Carol.