Ray Dwyer, Instructor at West Art Framing School | About Ray Dwyer, the Instructor
Picture Framing School Education - About Ray Dwyer, Instructor
About Ray Dwyer, CPF
Those who have received their training with Ray Dwyer, the instructor at West Art Framing, have had the benefit of learning from an individual regarded as an innovator and highly skilled craftsman within the picture framing industry.
diverse background and creative energy have made him a distinctive presence since entering the field of picture framing in 1987.
Ray Dwyer, CPF, Instructor at West Art Framing
Ray's love of nature and the out-of-doors have led him to pursue a lifestyle that always finds him at the fringes of wilderness areas in the Northwestern United States
In the 60's, Ray left a comfortable job as Military Shipping and Receiving Supervisor at Colt Firearms in Connecticut and moved his young family to the northwestern section of Montana.
They settled in the sleepy village of Whitefish, not far from Glacier National Park.
Vowing to take any job in this employment-sparse area, and armed with just a two year degree, he
"overwhelmed" the competition and landed a job as a floor sweeper at a nearby aluminum reduction plant.
Ignorant of his own limitations, within 5 years he had risen to the position of Senior Environmental Chemist.
He now headed a laboratory department that was responsible for emission monitoring, hazardous waste management, plant safety, waste water treatment, ambient air monitoring and off-plant vegetation sampling.
It was the latter that made Ray
probably the only environmental chemist in the country who carried a sidearm when collecting samples in some areas.
This part of Montana was home to the largest population of grizzlies in the lower 48.
After 18 years with Atlantic Richfield and the fear of stagnation setting in, Ray left this secure and lucrative position to fulfill a creative and artistic yearning that had lain dormant for decades.
notes that he
"couldn't draw a bath as an artist," so picture framing was the next best thing.
Just three months after entering the framing profession, Ray
first professional picture framing competition.
Three dozen awards and five years later, he'd risen to a level of prominence within the industry attained by a select few. ( See Documented Excellence ) In 1992, Ray
was joined by his
son, Scott (who learned the picture framing craft from his
father and eventually became an award-winning framer as well).
The business continued to thrive and grow.
The once undiscovered village of Whitefish had now become the home of the rich and famous, and multimillion dollar homes.
This was good for business, however, the rustic small town appeal that had originally lured Ray
family was vanishing.
sold the business in 1998, and it has, through two additional owners, retained his
"Dwyers'" is synonymous with quality framing in the state of Montana.
went on to teach and consult within the industry while continuing to explore the Northwest.
After spending three years below the majestic peaks of Olympic National Park
in Port Angeles, Washington, he
returned to the mountainous region of the inland northwest that he
loved so much, settling in northern Idaho.
spent an entire year creating and building an exclusive and fully equipped picture framing training studio.
When not on the road teaching, he
conducts classes and frames for selective clients at his
studio and shop.
has also maintained an active presence in picture framing competitions.
And now, approaching 25 years in the industry, and nearly 50 awards, Ray is a member of The Professional Picture Framers Association Hall of Fame.