It's not an exaggeration to say that Troy Amuso prepared for his career his whole life. The co-owner (with his wife, Denise) of Southport's Troy Art and Framing got his start at the age of 14, sweeping the floors of a studio after school to get his foot in the door. Before he finished high school, he came under the tutelage of a restoration expert for New York's top collections.
"When I was 16, 17 years old, I was working on Turner paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art that were worth millions of dollars," Troy says.
In 1997, Troy settled in Fairfield and opened his business. He and Denise do restorations, of course, as well as custom framing. But the Amusos' specialty is consulting. And since they maintain a gallery with connections to a large stable of local and national artists, Troy and Denise help their customers find art that fits their style.
Denise works with corporate clients, but the process is similar to working with individuals. She meets with the CEO to go over the image the business would like to present and then gets to work finding pieces. Troy focuses on the residential side. He goes into homes and uses his impressions to learn as much as he can about the family that lives there.
"You get to know the people -- you get to know their family, you get to see their home," Troy says. "It makes working with the art in their home that much more intimate."
Not that they don't encourage entire families to visit their shop as well. In a special section of their new space on the Post Road, they have a table, occasionally occupied by their 8-year-old daughter, Ava, where kids find crayons and an unlimited supply of blank paper to keep them busy while Mom and Dad shop.
And if you're more interested in what your child draws at that table than what's hanging on the walls of the gallery, Troy and Denise have you covered. They offer "Mini Masterpieces," collages of personal artwork printed, mounted and framed to order.
"We believe that art starts young," Denise says. "If you want people to love art, you've got to encourage it when they're young."
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