Local artist is painting the town

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  • The UPS Store in Sparta

  • Brick & Brew in Franklin

  • Sparta Lanes

By Laurie Gordon

— Kim Lonsky doesn't mind the cold. The artist has been illuminating the facades of area businesses all over the county with her seasonal window art for the past four years.

The Stockholm resident, whose main job is in Sparta, has always loved art. In fact, not only did she study as an Art Major at Sussex County Community College, she went on to take classes at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Her love of art led her to the beauty business where she became a highly sought-after nail expert and became well-known for her nail art. She also freelanced doing water color and mixed media over the years. This led her to starting a side business called Potterflies, creating colorful custom indoor/outdoor hand painted pots.

When she was asked if she could paint a window, four years ago, she gave it a whirl and soon became quite sought after for her whimsical, magical, always cheerful window creations.

This year, so far, Lonsky has painted Brick & Brew in Franklin, Sparta Lanes in Sparta, Performance Pediatrics in Lafayette and Totowa, UPS in Sparta and Cranford, Villa Capri in Sparta, Eric's Deli in Sparta, White Deer Liquors in Sparta, Dance Dimensions by Michelle in Sparta, Bathing Beauties in Ogdensburg and several other area businesses.

“What keeps me going each year is the joy it brings to the community," she said. "I've been pretty lucky that the weather hasn't been too cold each year. It gives me a lot of joy to put a smile on the customers' faces of these businesses. Brightening up the outside windows for business owners' storefronts for the holiday season helps keep things festive and helps their business.”

Lonsky said she loves the reactions of passers by as she's painting windows and gets a lot of appreciation and sometimes a friendly cup of coffee.

What sets Lonsky's work apart is that no two windows are – or ever have been — the same.

“It's completely up to the customer,” she said.

Once she gets a call, she visits the business and assesses the size and layout of the window. She then asks the business owner what he or she wants and comes up with a sketch. Once the sketch is approved, she goes to work on the window.

Lonsky said that since some businesses opt for seasonal murals while others choose logos or advertising options, “the paints I use are acrylic latex paints so this means they can be removed whenever the business wants yet are super reliable to last a long time too.”

Lonsky said she is thankful for her supportive husband, Jonathan, and grateful for their two-and-a-half year old daughter Paige. She works at a local salon as a nail artist as well.

“It all boils down to loving what you do, and making the holidays a little brighter with my art,” she said.

Lonsky already has jobs lined up for Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day and paints all sorts of designs throughout the year. In addition to window art, Lonsky does custom hand-painted wood signs, house portraits, wine glasses and any other artistic objects.

For information about her window painting, you can find Lonsky on Facebook at Window art by Kim and she can be reached at 973-270-1985 or by e-mail at kimlutkins@yahoo.com.

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