Local artist creates eclectic work for Tallman Arts Festival

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Shelly Birkelo
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

JANESVILLE—Thousands of tiny, colorful glass beads strung together or placed carefully with tweezers flow in artful patterns on a big wooden design.

Glue gel-coated, pinched fabric creates the illusion of tree bark on an acrylic painting, accented by fabric with a vintage print.

Black-and-white photographs of a man's eyes and a woman's lips, along with secret ingredients that resemble copper, form a human face of shattered emotions.

Lori Salamone-Limbachs of Janesville never thought of herself as an artist, but she is.

And those are only a few examples of the work created by this self-taught artist, whose hobby has become a business that she calls PazleeButterfly.

Salamone-Limbachs is one of more than 100 Midwestern artists featured during this year's Tallman Arts Festival. The annual event will be held Sunday, Aug. 4, on the Rock County Historical Society campus.

"It's a celebration of the diverse mediums of art we have throughout the Midwest that we get to celebrate all in one community of Rock County," said Meghan Walker, communications manager for the historical society.

Salamone-Limbachs, 50, enrolled in a stained-glass class more than a decade ago while working full time as a program manager of a girls group home. When the home closed three years ago, she began focusing more on her multimedia artwork.

Since then, she has made sun catchers, wall hangings, vases, coasters and refrigerator magnets in her small in-home studio, using glass, acrylic paints and household products. The pieces sell for $4 to $295.

“I mix and experiment with cheesecloth, beads and wood,” she said.

Salamone-Limbachs describes her style as abstract and eclectic.

“It's very random, kind of all over the place, not one specific thing. It's ever-growing. I want to reach the masses and make this that somebody likes and make that that somebody else likes,” she said.

Ideas for her projects come from past projects, magazines, clothing and dreams.

In the beginning, Salamone-Limbachs gave away some of the stained-glass projects she made as gifts. Although her family supported her work, it was a good friend who encouraged her to participate in art shows. She eventually began selling pieces at local and area art galleries, which motivated her to make other art projects.

Salamone-Limbachs participated in the Tallman Arts Festival for the first time last year, with much success.

“I got bit by the art bug,” she said.

That's why she decided to return this year, bringing 15 more wall hangings than the 12 she came with last year.

Salamone-Limbachs also does stained-glass pieces and beadwork on commission, and she can personalize her glass-on-wood wall hangings and face wall hangings.

She's now working on her largest project, a 30-by-40-inch canvas that features trees in cheesecloth and leaves made of secret household products. When finished, it will look like somebody could walk right into a forest.

“It's going to be a blast to make,” Salamone-Limbachs said, and “I want it to captivate people.”

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