Cecily Spreads The Love

Gianna Volpe
Cecily Jaffe and Kristen Asher-O’Rourke at the Jamesport frame shop, a reimagined version of Cecily’s Love Lane Gallery. Independent/Gianna Volpe
Cecily Jaffe and Kristen Asher-O’Rourke at the Jamesport frame shop, a reimagined version of Cecily’s Love Lane Gallery. Independent/Gianna Volpe

If you’ve made your way to Love Lane this winter, you may be shocked to see Cecily’s Love Lane Gallery has shut its doors for good. But not really. Cecily Jaffe, known to many as the veteran matriarch of the quaint shopping community’s old guard, has moved her custom framing business west to Jamesport, where her business is now known as Jamesport Art & Framing.

“When I closed the gallery, I was the last person left on Love Lane of all the people who had been there for the 20-odd years I had been there,” Jaffe said of the street’s evolving face. “Everything had changed — every single other business or building. A lot of the businesses stayed the same, but they had different owners.” Among those is the well-loved Village Cheese Shop, which was once owned and operated by Rosemary Batchellor and is now headed by Michael Affatato.

“The only other person still there in the last few years was Pat Moriarty of Bauer’s Love Lane Shoppe,” Jaffe said. “I got Loretta Bauer the other store probably back in 1999 or 2000.”

After spending years doing custom framing work on the cutest block on the North Fork, Jaffe began the enormous task of moving her business in October alongside 35-year-old professional photographer Kristen Asher-O’Rourke, near Duffy’s Deli on Jamesport’s main drag, where the two are currently enjoying a fresh start in a hamlet they both once called home.

“I met Cecily because her daughter and I were best friends when we were 11 and 12 years old,” Asher-O’Rourke said of fond memories of her best friend’s mother. “We caused a lot of trouble in Jamesport and Cecily was cool with it all. She let it all slide.”

Jaffe, ever the artist, spent her 20s working in rock-and-roll light shows, her 30s and the start of her 40s “working quietly” as the assistant curator at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and ultimately came to custom framing after a short stint doing commercial sculpting from home.

“Cecily is a great mentor. She has a vast background in art and is able to both share that knowledge and wisdom, as well as apply it to what we’re doing here,” said her apprentice, who may one day become successor. “I’m trying to use my background in photography to bring things full circle at the new shop. I offer re-touching, so if someone comes in with an old, beat-up print, I can re-touch and we can put it in a new frame, so we’re doing both photo and art reproduction now, which brings together my background with the framing element.”

Asher-O’Rourke and Jaffe are currently finishing a job for a local woman whose ancestral portrait has become cracked and water-damaged. Asher-O’Rourke both restored and reproduced the piece well enough to inspire an awestruck and grateful response from the customer, while Jaffe now works on the antique frame.

“Cecily is going to repair it, so it looks nice again. It has a curve in it because convex glass is the antique style of framing,” said Asher-O’Rourke.

“It’s helpful for people that don’t have a negative, so we’ll be offering that, as well as selling gifts and other unique things.” For more information about Jamesport Art & Framing, visit www.jamesportartandframing.com.

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