Giacomo combines passion for art, love of problem-solving


Harlan Giacomo’s past lives — and there are many — converge at Frame Solutions, the six-and-a-half-year-old shop located at 9912 Clayton Road that he co-owns with his wife.

Along the way, Giacomo has been a student, a soldier, a flight instructor, an engineer, and a photographer, to name a few.

Advertisement for the J

“I’ve brought my engineering and other life experiences into the store. I consider myself a problem solver. You find a known solution to an unknown problem and apply the best practices.”

The fine art photographer and former design engineer applies his analytical skills to create a scientific approach in preserving and displaying artwork. The range of those skills pepper the walls of the shop from a profile of his wife in prayer to a three dimensional abstract of the St. Louis skyline adorning a business office.

“I like texture and have a flair for the dramatic subject, yet simple,” he explains. “I like that feeling of making a subject saturated and special.”

Don’t let the humble fa çade along Clayton Road fool you. The business has attracted attention from trade magazines for its high volume capability to complete large scale projects for companies such as Anheuser-Busch.

Giacomo is steadily building a name within the industry by incorporating computer principles, such as “3D CAD” systems and high resolution techniques to display art in its best light. From its outset, Frame Solutions infused cutting edge technology into art, deliberately blurring the lines between the two.

“I don’t delineate art from technology. I’m a student of the Japanese manufacturing technique to surround the product with automation to improve its quality.”

His foundation for Frame Solutions and such art would take root as a teenager when he developed a penchant for photography as a thirteen year-old apprentice under a master photographer in his hometown of Evanston, Illinois.

He attended several universities, including University of Illinois-Chicago Circle where he ultimately received his bachelors degree and Washington University for his MBA.

Along the way, there was a pit stop in his education when he joined the Air Force and served in the Vietnam War.

Through the G.I. Bill, he gained the computer, electronic, and manufacturing skills that led him to become director of Research, then later Business Development at Coin Acceptors in the St. Louis area. After leaving the company, he scouted franchising opportunities, but none were appealing.

“I knew whatever I did, it would be better if I had some expertise and knowledge of the subject so instead I went out on my own.”

Hence, all those years from a boy behind a camera to a man possessing a computer mind came full circle with a goal to provide superior work for those who walk through his doors.

“What makes my business is my commitment and quality to the customer. It may not always be the best business model, but I’m at a stage of my life that I don’t want to put out a poor product.”