La Paloma Gardens added to Rockford Landmark Ornament collection

Pictured are the bridges of La Paloma Gardens (top ornament), Nicholas Conservatory (middle right ornament) and Moon Bridge (Winter) at Anderson Gardens (bottom ornament). (Image provided)

Staff Report

An image of the bridges of La Paloma Gardens has been selected as this year’s addition to the Rockford Landmark hand-painted ornaments collection from J.R. Kortman Center For Design. Also featured this year is a second-edition version of the Nicholas Conservatory, which recently opened in Sinnissippi Park.

La Paloma Gardens, in northeast Rockford, is owned and meticulously cared for by Rockford artist and philanthropist Karen Harding. La Paloma, Klehm Arboretum, Nicholas Conservatory, Sinnissippi Gardens and Anderson Japanese Gardens are good reasons for Rockford to take on the moniker “City of Gardens.”

Doc Slafkosky, co-owner of J.R. Kortman Center for Design, said, “Even though La Paloma is a privately-owned garden, it has been the site of many cultural and special community events, including Rockford Art Museum’s Art in the Garden, annual garden walks, as well as many prominent wedding celebrations.

We had another edition of the Nicholas Conservatory created because of popular demand,” Slafkosky added. “There is much excitement now that the spectacular superstructure of the conservatory is now a part of our riverfront landscape.”

The downtown Rockford design store/gallery has been creating new ornaments every year for more than a decade.

Also in the collection is a special edition of Memorial Hall, the Woodward Governor building, and the North Main Street Armory. Other ornaments available in the Landmark Collection include “Guardians of the Rock” Sculpture by Theresa Agnew, the Beattie Park Gazebo and Sinnissippi Lagoon, the Rockford News Tower, the Faust Landmark Building, Coronado and Midway Theater buildings, and the Coronado stage, Sinnissippi Bur Oak tree, Old City Hall, and “Symbol” sculpture, the best-selling ornament in the collection.

Other top sellers include four ornaments depicting different scenes of the beautiful Anderson Japanese Gardens,” Slafkosky said.

In addition to the Swedish Historical Society’s “Erlander Home,” other historic houses in the collection include the “Limestone Mansion,” home to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, and the “Cobblestone House,” at 2127 Broadway, one of Rockford’s oldest houses.

All the Landmark ornament images are individually hand-painted on the inside of a glass sphere, utilizing an ancient Chinese technique originally applied to “snuff” bottles. Each collectible ornament is a miniature work of art. All ornaments are priced at $22 each and are available at J.R. Kortman Center For Design.

J.R. Kortman Center For Design is at 107 N. Main St., Rockford, and can be reached at (815) 968-0123.

From the Dec. 21-27, 2011, issue

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