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  • Will Juntunen

With Wallflower Murals, Rachel Brisbois and Marlee Theisinger "To Bloom" More Public Art

In October 2017, Ray Paseka executed the Streator Heritage Park Vintage Wall, a mural project three stories high in downtown Streator, Illinois. Sponsored by NCI ARTworks, the painter insisted on working with local apprentices. Rachel Brisbois and Marlee Theisinger worked under his direction in Streator. Amazed by their work, Paseka kept the team together for the Cherry Illinois Vintage Billboard and the Mendota Gold Silo project.

Looking to set out on their own, Brisbois and Theisinger sought advice on how to start a company painting murals. While attending a weekly gathering at the Starved Rock Community Foundation, Brisbois and Theisinger met Amy Lambert, Executive Director of the local Small Business Development Center. Lambert coached the two on the fine points of bidding on projects, including proving sufficient liability insurance. Through these coaching sessions, Wallflower Murals in Winona, IL was born. In April 2020, the team announced their first major commission, a series of murals for a public building near Peru, Illinois. As the mural has yet to be unveiled, the team could not give more details. Brisbois also seeks commissions through her own art company. She says, “I immortalize people’s memories and histories. It is truly a satisfying career.” Thanks to coaching on how to maintain a sales funnel from Lambert, Brisbois only has time to take on a few extra commissions this fall.

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