JC Wayne, Designer & Gallery Assistant
JC is a working artist and writer who has been making art, writing poetry and adventuring in nature for as long as she can remember. Many favorite childhood memories involve museums, galleries and watching her father silkscreen original handmade holiday cards each year. Her parents knew they had an arts and culture bug on their hands when she asked for a live outdoor performance of an oboe concerto - in February - for her fifth birthday.
JC graduated from Brown University and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Harvard and Tufts Universities with advanced degrees in Art History, International Relations and International Environmental Policy. And yet it is her travels and residencies in 49 states (and counting) and 23 countries to connect the dots of our shared humanity that she considers the source of wisdom explored and shared through her sustainable art and existential poetry as a "cartographer of the unseen". With a focus in all she does on revealing the beauty of our seen and unseen worlds to illuminate life’s deeper magic, mystery and meaning, JC lives Amelia Earhart's credo that "adventure is worthwhile in itself".
Kate Montross, Certified Picture Framer
She is an avid hiker who has climbed all of the high peaks of the Adirondacks, White Mountains and the Greens. When she’s not hiking, she’ll be curled up with a good book and a cup of tea. And maybe she’ll whip up a knitted scarf or two in between. Kate has a deep history with making. She can make anything. Seriously. Kate owned and operated both her own jewelry company and the family business specializing in handcrafted flute headjoints.
She is our diplomat. Patient. Detailed. Thorough. Making her an amazing steward of your cherished possessions. Kate is a local, through and through. She was born here, went to UVM and is now helping to prop up a tiny art gallery and frame shop in your neighborhood.
Leigh-Ann Ravelin, Framer
Leigh-Ann swears that in her next life, she’ll be an artist. While she didn’t study Art History or Studio Arts in college, she certainly appreciates being around the art within Axel’s. Leigh-Ann builds your custom frames and lovingly fits your precious piece within it. Her resourceful thinking and strong compassion has made her a hard working and valuable member of our team since 2018.
When not at Axel's, you might catch Leigh-Ann at one of her kid's sports games or gliding down Main Street in one of her sweet tri-axle rigs hauling a load of stone to your neighbor. She owns and operates HB Hauling when the road are dry and builds your custom frames when the snow starts to fly. Botta-boom.
Kristen Santucci, Framer
Kristen is a self taught artist who was born in Maryland in 1970. At the age of eighteen, she moved to Clearwater, Florida where she resided for over thirty years. In May of 2022, Kristen relocated to Montpelier, Vermont. The beauty of her new surroundings has inspired Kristen to focus on painting Vermont's unique landscape.
Kristen joined the Axel's crew in September 2023 as the only member that had formal picture framing experience! She brings experience with a quiet composure to our shop.
Steve Simoes, Frame Builder
Building picture frames and problem solving material issues in this part-time position satisfies Steve's passion for working with wood and his penchant for details.
When Steve is not in our shop, he's in his - refinishing furniture, building an addition to his home or tinkering away on odd projects. He enjoys good music, baseball, swimming and breaking bread with friends. Before Axel's ,Steve worked for the State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources for over 30 years.
Whitney Aldrich, Owner
Whitney is a graduate of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati's Design, Art, Architecture, & Planning (DAAP) program. Her personal work is a mix of ceramics and assemblage. In 2013, she purchased Axel's Frame Shop & Gallery as a way to bring an art gallery to Waterbury while still supporting the custom framing service. Before this, Whitney spent the previous 10 years as a graphic designer (freelance and in-house) with an interest in marketing. This solid foundation of fine art, color, composition, and more, creates a uniquely qualified partner in your quest to custom picture framing!
Looking for advice or a second eye when purchasing a piece of art? This is right up Whitney's alley. She has helped both small businesses and families find the perfect piece for a particular place.
Axel Stohlberg, Namesake
Axel Stohlberg started Axel's Frame Shop & Gallery in 1983. While he may have retired in 2013 to focus on his own artwork and to live life to it's fullest, you will occasionally see him at events and helping out in a pinch. Axel is one of our biggest supporters and we couldn't do all this without him. His legacy and spirit will long live and we are proud to carry his name for years to come. Check out his recent work and stay in touch through Instagram.