The Incredible Artwork of Fran Maguire

Posted on October 9th, 2020 in Commercial, Portraits, Products & Services by Gabe Fredericks

Last year we were contacted by the Maguire family to create a book of Mrs. Fran Maguire’s artwork. We have been working with the Maguire family for years photographing everything from professional portraits, family portraits to events and even weddings. So, when we were asked to create this book of Fran’s artwork, we were honored. In our first meeting with Mr. Maguire, we realized just how extensive Fran’s collection was. Over the years she had created hundreds of paintings, sculptures and other pieces of art, all of which needed to be photographed. Her artwork was shared with family, members of the community and at art competitions, so it took some time to find all of her pieces and travel to the different locations to photograph them. Most of the pieces were brought to the Maguire’s home, but our team traveled to their foundation offices, family homes, shore homes, St. Joseph’s University and some of the paintings even traveled to us from Bermuda and California. All of this took place over several months, and in that time we got to learn so much about Fran, her artwork and how it has impacted the people in her life.

At the beginning of this wonderful project, the idea for the book was to simply display Fran’s artwork. However, in the first couple weeks of photographing her work, and talking with family, we realized this book should be so much more. It should tell more or her story, include photographs of her children, for whom much of the artwork was made, and preserve her talent for years to come. We worked closely with Mr. Maguire to refine the idea for the book, and were excited to start moving the project in this new direction. We coordinated with the Maguire children, who live locally and out of state, to set up portraits with the artwork and interviews. Frans children had so many amazing memories with their mother and the art she created, and it was beautiful to include their words in the book.

After several months, we finished photographing Fran’s artwork and had scanned many photos and awards she had earned over the years. Now it was time to move forward with designing the book and sending it to print. Our team collaborated with Mr. Maguire throughout the design process to ensure his vision for the book was being brought to life. Fran’s art collection was curated based on common elements such as technique, artistic movement, color, subject matter, and more. This process took several days but really allowed us to tell the story of Fran’s life through her beautifully crafted artwork. As mentioned before, family has always been an inspiration for Fran’s work, and we wanted each of her children and grandchildren to have a connection to the book. Each one of her children received their own dedicated 3-page fold-out spread, featuring a quote from each as well as any and all artwork their mother created of or for them. The grandchildren that Frannie sculpted were combined on their own dedicated 3-page fold-out spread, and the background featured a colorful painting that some of the grandchildren made together with their grandmother.

The cover design was created long before the book was even close to complete. While reviewing the stacks of artwork, scanned awards, and newspaper clippings, one particular phrase stuck out. It was the first sentence of the judge’s comments for Fran’s entry in the 1994 Philadelphia International Flower Show, and it simply said, “powerful and uniquely interesting.” We felt those words summed up Frannie’s story perfectly, and the proof for the cover was created in time for the first progress review meeting.

After many meetings and a few revisions, the book was ready to go to print! The family wanted both soft and hard cover options both which required slightly different materials. At each stage of the printing process, our team met personally with the printing staff to ensure colors were accurately represented, effects were properly added, and that nothing was missed prior to that point. We made any necessary adjustments together and sent proofs to Mr. Maguire for final approval. The first edition of the book was delivered by their deadline of Christmas so the books could be given as gifts to Fran’s children and grandchildren.

We were so honored to have been chosen to work closely with Fran and the whole Maguire family to create this amazing book of artwork. Sadly, Fran passed in February of this year. She is deeply missed by her family, friends and all who knew her. Her legacy will live on in her children and in her artwork, and it was a privilege to know her.