Bark Frameworks is now entirely owned by its employees through an ESOP trust. For the past two years we have been discussing the prospect of creating an ESOP—an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, and now we have taken this big step.
I will continue working at the company on a number of projects and will chair the board of directors. Karl Thorndike, who has served as vice president for operations for the past six years, will become president and CEO of Bark Frameworks.
Bark Frameworks started as a one person operation in my SoHo loft in 1969, a few years after I had come to New York City from California. As a young artist I thought I could sustain myself by framing without disrupting my studio work. In those early years my art activity and the framing business ran in parallel. In 1975 Klaus Kertess exhibited my work at Bykert Gallery’s SoHo space, and later that year I was among the first artists who joined Holly Solomon’s new gallery, which opened right down the block from my first SoHo loft. Along the way, I had moved my studio and living quarters to another SoHo building, above Paula Cooper Gallery. Bark Frameworks occupied the basement. In the year that I joined Holly Solomon Gallery, I sold some of the framing company shares to three other artists who were working for the company, and for the next decade I continued to put most of my energy into my studio and performance work. In the mid-80’s though, with a young family, my attention shifted to Bark Frameworks and I stopped showing at Holly Solomon.