work gives artist a chance to branch out
State Journal, Monday, April 21, 2003
By Richard W. Jaeger , regional reporter
HOREBPeggy Flora Zalucha has heard all the puns she cares
to about her commercial art businessthings like, "business
is looking up; high overhead, low prices; and the sky's the limit."
Business is looking up for Peggy Flora Zalucha, the Mount Horeb
artist who has been turning walls and ceilings into pieces of
art since 1998. She is seen here with her most recent work in
the X-ray room at UW Hospital.
business is producing custom ceiling graphics for such places
as hospital exam rooms, dental offices, and office waiting roomsartwork
on the ceiling meant to dress up or cover up probIem areas or
provide a relaxing mood to a room.
Dont worry, the renown Madison area artist hasn't given
up her fine art creations. She still paints and displays and sells
through the Grace Chosy Gallery on Monroe Street and around the
has produced the Concerts on the Square poster for the past 20
years and will continue to do so, she assures. Her art also can
be found in many public buildings around Dane County and Southern
Wisconsin and even on some Madison buses.
new, commercial ceiling art venture, Millennium Murals and Milling
Around, is operated through her Mount Horeb studio, Zalucha Studio,
at 119 S. Second St.
sort of got started in 1998 when Pleasant rowland, of Pleasant
Co., came to me about art for behind her doll displays in their
new Chicago store," Zalucha said. After reviewing the project,
Zalucha said she realized she couldn't do it by herself and sought
the help of two artist friends, Tamlyn Akins and Douglas Haynes.
had fun working together. That was the start of it all,"
Zalucha said. She also uses some student artists.
the walls behind dolls in Chicago, Zalucha and her artists have
risen to the challenge, so to speak, and have since produced artwork
on ceilings and walls around the country. Their biggest customer,
however, is the UW Hospital in Madison, where their artwork adorns
the ceilings of several rooms including patient rooms, exam rooms
and over the nurses' station in the Burn Center. And, if you visit
the cafeteria at the hospital you will see their art staring back
at you where there were once windows before the hospital built
painted scenes, which change with the seasons, were Zalucha's
first project at the hospital. This past week she put the finishing
touches on a project in one of the hospital's X-ray rooms where
patients will be able to view an outdoor scene with deer, rabbits,
a squirrel and even a frog as they lie on the X-ray table. The
artwork starts on one wall of the room and spreads to the ceiling
tiles where clouds and birds soar overhead.
admits that most of the company's work is sky scenes and not all
that challenging artistically, but it is a challenge in some cases
to be able to solve a problem for a client.
has moved Zalucha and her colleagues into new forms of art, mainly
computer generated. "Most of our projects are created and
done on the computer and not the palette," she said.
said with new printers installed earlier this year, her artists
can produce work 60 inches wide by 110 feet long on canvas, vinyl
or paper. Most of it is on vinyl, she noted, because it is more
durable, washable and can be made fire retardant, which is often
needed in public buildings.
the areas to be covered are often room-size, the work is reproduced
some cases it's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle," Zalucha
said, pointing out that most of the ceiling creations are on 24-inch-by-24-inch
ceiling tile panels. That means taking the large overall picture
and cutting it to fit the tiles and, still create a continuous
piece of art.
husband, Tony Zalucha, a longtime archeological consultant, will
be retiring and joining the business, Peggy Zalucha said. "He
will be handling the office and helping out on the installations,"
she said. "He enjoys the installation work. I think it goes
back to the days in the '60s and '70s when we were UW hippies
putting up crazy wallpaper in our apartment," she quipped.