Thirty-two years ago this week, Jan Koor opened Great Road Gallery & Framing. Known to more than one generation of artists as ‘Bud,’ Koor has become Bedford’s go-to source for framing and fine art conservation ever since.
Toward the end of 2020, it seemed that the gallery and framing business would close at the end of the year when Koor decided to retire. But then, Julie Schaeffer-Santarelli happened to visit the store.
“Bud was doing what he does best: He was so welcoming and it was clear that he loves what he’s doing — making people happy, making connections in the community, and surrounding himself with what he loves.”
Schaeffer-Santarelli asked if she could come in and work part time and learned that the store was for sale. A practicing print maker with a master’s degree in education, she dabbles in other media as well. Koor said, “We welcome Julie with open arms, and are pleased to say that the gallery’s legacy will continue.”
With his goal of spending more time with his family and multiple grandchildren secure, Koor plans to be in the store for some time each week while Schaeffer-Santarelli settles in.
He’s leaving big shoes to fill. Maureen Sullivan, the recently retired Executive Director of the Bedford Chamber of Commerce, recalled that Koor served on the Chamber’s Board of Directors for all the years she was the Executive Director. “He not only was a successful business owner but instrumental in making the Chamber what it is today,” Sullivan continued. “I could always count on Bud to sell tickets for our big events, sponsor Flavors of Bedford, work on the Holiday Walk About, and share his valuable retail experience with our board.
“Bedford residents will surely miss his excellent framing and work,” Sullivan continued. “I wish Bud the best in his retirement.”
Often offering a wall in his studio where painters, print makers, and photographers from the Bedford Arts and Crafts Society (BACS) showed their work, BACS president Sylvia Mallory said, “The cheerful service and easy convenience that Bud has provided to the local community will be deeply missed. I share with others in extending my sincere good wishes to him for a fantastic retirement.”
Late Saturday, January 2, Koor posted the following statement on the Bedford MA Today Facebook group:
On this New Year’s weekend
I want to thank all the wonderful customers
I have had the privilege of knowing these past 32 years.
I have enjoyed our time preserving and designing your art & memorabilia.
I worked with care.
I am proud of the legacy of fine framing.
I wish every one of my clients and friends the very best.
I will remember my shop fondly.
Great Road Gallery and Framing!
Farewell to All!