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Alliance SBDC News

Susan Burton Sparks Art!

With a vision of becoming an internationally recognized mosaic artist, Susan Burton has high expectations of herself. Luckily, her talent, skills, and muses are lining up to make it happen, one mosaic at a time.

The Mary Uthoff Memorial Walkway was installed in Princeton, IL on September 3rd, transforming the space from a non-descript alley to an inviting public art space. With flagpoles floating colorful sails overhead, string lights, and Burton’s PRAIRIE DREAMS – a mosaic couch, chair, and table - the space now welcomes visitors to sit, touch, and delight in the public artwork.

Throughout the summer, Susan Burton’s collaborative spirit welcomed community members of all ages to experience mosaic. Many invitations were issued to Princeton residents to donate broken china and to come create their own small individual mosaic handiworks. Many of these pieces were included as Susan built the final project.

These experiences connected Princetonians to the artwork for generations to come! One did not have to wait long to see visitors point out focal points in the finished piece that they created or that included pieces of china that came from their own family’s history. and include that experience in connecting the communities to the final installation. “one of the things I really wanted people to feel was that there are thousands of small decisions that are made from concept to completion – but that it begins with ONE SPARK!”

SPARK!

Everything starts with an idea, but it takes careful decision-making to grow an idea into something real. Susan began working with the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Starved Rock Country Alliance to better position herself as an independent artist and grow her vision of “Art Explorations,” a business specializing in public arts installations.

The public art installation is a collaboration between the Princeton Public Arts Commission and North Central Illinois Artworks. Jyl Morse, of Hoffman’s Patterns of the Past, supplied much of the china used for the project.

Mary Uthoff Memorial Walkway is a two phase project. The second phase adds waves of mosaics on surrounding walls. The second phase is in the planning. If you would like to invest in the project, contact NCI Artworks.

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