Perfect Reflections Art & Mirror Gallery

July 1, 1993

Perfect Reflections Art & Mirror Gallery

By Brandon Reid, Assistant Editor

The ghosts of Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet come alive at Perfect Reflections Art & Mirror Gallery, 101 N. Alpine Rd., Rockford.

The gallery, which celebrated its grand opening May 21, offers artwork from “spunky-contemporary” pieces to fine museum quality pieces, and has a large selection of hand-crafted frames and mirrors.

Located in a one-room storefront next to Bare Wood Furniture, Perfect Reflections has more than 250 mirrors and more than 200 paintings in stock. Fresh flowers accentuate the artwork and mirrors, and the sound of running water from a decorative fountain drowns the sound of the traffic on East State Street and Alpine Road. The gallery smells of fresh paint and glass cleaner and it’s easy to get lost in reflections of mirrors and paintings.

Art Director Julie Caruso and two local partners opened the gallery in early May. Caruso said the gallery has already attracted custom home builders, interior designers and architects from the Rockford and Chicago areas. She said a major attraction has been the customized frames and mirrors the gallery offers.

“That’s why interior designers and architects love us,” Caruso said. “They can customize any size frame or mirror.”

Perfect Reflections paid about $40,000 to secure the rights of an exclusive brand of frames imported from Italy, and the gallery carries more than five lines of mirrors, Caruso said. Featured artists include Thomas Stiltz, a “photographic oil” painter from New York; Martiné, a New York City artist who paints still images of golfers and golf courses; and Darryl Trott, an internationally-known artist specializing in botanical prints.

“He just has phenomenal beautiful color,” Caruso said of Trott’s work.

Caruso said the gallery also offers giclées (reproductions of masterpieces) that can be done to match the exact brushstroke of original paintings. “If you want your own Monet, Renoir, you come here,” Caruso said.

Caruso moved to Rockford from Lincoln, Neb., about a year ago when her mother died unexpectedly of cancer. “I really missed her, but I also knew since she died so young … I wanted to follow my own dreams,” Caruso said. “I also knew I wanted to be with my family.”

Caruso, who has a 7-year-old daughter, stayed in Rockford to be close to her father, sister and brother-in-law, and found two local partners to help her pursue her dream of owning an art and mirror gallery. She is a member the Downtown Rotary, the Rockford Women’s Network, and the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The Chamber of Commerce is just incredible, wonderful and supportive when you’re starting a business,” Caruso said of the Chamber.

Perfect Reflections is quickly outgrowing its current location. Caruso said the gallery may move to the downtown River District or near I-90. She said if the gallery moves to a larger space, it will offer more gifts in addition to artwork and mirrors. The gallery already offers arch baskets and has a couple of tables in stock, one of which has a circular glass top with a wooden base of carved horses.

Artwork includes a contemporary “Martini” painting of yellow, green and blue ($450); Stiltz’s “Gold in the Afternoon” ($1,250); “Egret,” an oil painting of a swan tucking its beak into a waterfall of white feathers ($1,125); Van Gogh’s “Boats at Santes-Maries”; Monet’s “White and Purple Lilies”; and other contemporary and classic pieces. For collectors, the gallery has some low numbers of Stiltz’s work, including 4/82 and 48/80.

Although she’s technically not an interior designer, Caruso said she enjoys decorating and will offer advice to help people decorate their homes. As she said, “If you don’t want to deal with it, just come in and I’ll find something that goes with your sofa.”

Perfect Reflections is at 101 N. Alpine Rd., Rockford, IL 61107. Information: Call 815-395-9051, fax 815-395-8281, or e-mail julie@perfectreflectionsinc.com. Web site is under construction.

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