Growing the Arts Scene: 20 Local Artists Create Tree of Life Banner for Menomonie
tiled mosaic blossoms inside of Rassbach Museum
Artists piece together beautiful creations that can be found in museums, galleries, on the street, and even on the refrigerator door. If one artist can create a masterpiece, what could a group create?
Artists Peggy McAloon and Susan Quilling gathered 20 local artists to create a mosaic, “The Tree of Life Banner,” to be displayed at the Rassbach Heritage Museum (1820 John Russell Road, Menomonie). The only stipulation given to the artists was to use watercolor, giving them complete creative liberty to dream up the design.
According to Quilling, the artists got to pick which tile they wanted based on a rough sketch of a section of the banner. The artists started working on their respective tiles in late October, finishing their pieces near the end of 2023.
“We think it turned out very nice. We’re really happy and we hope it’s a lasting legacy to our community,” Quilling said.
WE hope that people realize how many gifted artists there really are in this area.
I just feel that not enough recognition for their endeavors and we hope to just collaborate, to bring artists together to show that we can work together.
Menomonie Artist, She Shed owner
The mosaic was made up of 5.5-inch square vinyl tiles, creating a 24-by-34-inch banner to display. The piece was presented to the Rassbach Museum on Jan. 19 and is currently displayed in the lobby, where it will remain until it finds a permanent home in March.
McAloon and Quilling each brought in nine artists to claim a tile. Multiple artists painted their tile right on site at the Rassbach, a few painted at She Shed in Menomonie – a store owned by Quilling – while some painted elsewhere on their own.
Sally Rogers, a retired art teacher in Menomonie, was one of the artists who took part in the project. Sadly, she passed away this past November, and her tile is the last piece of art she created.
“We hope that people realize how many gifted artists there really are in this area,” Quilling said. “I just feel that not enough recognition for their endeavors and we hope to just collaborate, to bring artists together to show that we can work together.”
“The Tree of Life Banner” is currently hanging in the Rassbach Heritage Museum, which is open to the public from 11am to 5pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The museum is also open 2-8pm on Thursdays. A limited supply of prints of the banner can be purchased at the She Shed in Menomonie.