about lee heckman

About Lee Heckman
Custom Framing & Gallery

We want to be YOUR custom framer!

Lee Heckman Custom Framing & Gallery has provided the Pittsburgh area with full-service picture framing for over 34 years. We go the extra step to craft frames that will securely preserve & protect your cherished memories.

Back in 1984, Lee Heckman Custom Framing began in a 300 square foot, second floor studio in Mt. Lebanon. It didn’t take long to outgrow that small space but we had to be patient and wait for something to open up on the street level. After 2 years we got a break and when 301 Beverly Rd. became available, we jumped. Now, 34 years later, we are thriving.

We are experts in all aspects of custom framing, specializing in creative design & quality craftsmanship. Our friendly designers engineer custom solutions for your artwork, no matter how difficult or complex, so you can enjoy them for a lifetime. Lee comes from an engineering background, which gives him a unique perspective on how to properly construct complex framing projects. He analyzes the best methods and materials that will ensure structural integrity of your finished piece.

Our showroom is bright, clean and inviting, although, if you catch us at the right time, it could be very busy and apparently bursting at the seams. Stop in to just say hi the next time you’re in the neighborhood, and check out the Lee Heckman difference!

As one customer recently stated, “It’s easy to see why they have been around so long!”

Lee Heckman Custom Framing & Gallery

custom framing and art gallery in pittsburgh

custom picture framers in mt lebanon

Lee Heckman

Owner & Framer

Most people who were raised in Mount Lebanon would say that they grew up there; Lee Heckman likes to say “he grew up WITH Mount Lebanon.” When he was a child on Sylvandell Dr. in the early ‘60s, there was a wire fence at the end of his backyard. On the other side of the fence was the Janoski‘s Farm. He vividly remembers the old farmer, Mr. Janoski, riding his tractor, and the cows, pigs and chickens roaming the property – sometimes coming close enough to the fence to pet or feed them. There was also a rooster to wake him up in the morning.

Much has changed since then, both for Mount Lebanon and for Lee. Lee always had an interest in all things mechanical and creative; he enjoyed many of the industrial and creative arts classes the school district had to offer. These classes included wood shop, metal shop, power mechanics, electrical shop, mechanical drafting and photography, as well as many fine art classes. An education in engineering seemed like the right path.  While working toward an engineering degree, at what was possibly the worst time in the history of the City of Pittsburgh (the decline of heavy industry in the region), Lee realized that finding an engineering job was going to be nearly impossible. Lee switched to computer science. At this time punch cards were considered high tech and the languages of the day were Cobol and Fortran. Computer monitors were still yellow screens, Pong was the first rage in video games and no one had heard of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. In a nutshell, Lee was bored to tears.

Lee worked part time in two frame shops throughout high school and college. This kind of work combined Lee’s mechanical and creative skills. His mother, Lucille, suggested that he open a frame shop. One day while walking on Beverly Road with his friend Mike, Lee spotted a ‘For Rent’ sign in a store front window. He called the number to inquire about the space and signed the lease that day. Now, well into its third decade, Lee Heckman Custom Framing is going strong and is recognized throughout the region as one of the top frame shops in the City of Pittsburgh. Lee is utilizing both those mechanical skills and creative talents he started to hone at an early age to run one of the most successful frame shops in the city.

Stephanie Barbera

Designer & Framer

Stephanie is a native of the South Hills of Pittsburgh and has had a lifelong passion for the arts. She earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in Metalsmithing and a Masters of Fine Arts with a focus in Wood Design from East Carolina University. With a penchant for carving naturalistic flowing forms, her work includes figurative sculptures, jewelry, and furniture. Stephanie is delighted to contribute to a fruitful work environment in which she is able to utilize her technical education, design skills, craftsmanship, and experience. In addition, Stephanie has a great fondness for nature. She is an avid mountain biker and volunteers her spare time to trail maintenance at Hillman State Park.