Through Art, a Final Message to Mom

Posted by Hope Touchette

Through Art, a Final Message to Mom
"Canada" by Pelayia Limbos

Pelayia Limbos was an extraordinary artist. She was also my best friend, as well as my mother. Her paintings and photography reflect the many facets of her "core being." She was brilliant, pioneering, solid, modest, gentle, soft spoken, subtle, complex, honest and to put it simply – exceptional. 

Her style was definitely her own. She was an individual, and she was completely authentic. I found it hard to imagine, however it’s true, that my mom did not believe the masses liked or appreciated her artwork! When I reminded her that someone had commented on the absence of a newsletter issue, or that a friend had just requested to be on her newsletter list (or when the deadline was missed, due to illness or life ... or that people were inquiring/still awaiting its arrival) … or when I tried to remind her that people purchased her paintings from her original art show many years ago ... or when I reminded her, “that it is always an honor... whenever people choose to hang an artist’s work in their home”... she consistently, modestly replied, “Oh, they are just being kind.”

I tried to convince her of her greatness in talent, yet she humbly refused to accept my opinion, telling me I was “biased because I love her!” Perhaps I was biased! Perhaps I still am. Or perhaps … NOT! Maybe it’s because I recognize “great talent” when I see it! (And I genuinely loved her work, long before I really knew who she was.)

That is why I chose to honor her after we lost her with an exhibit at JourneyCare’s Robert H. and Terri L. Cohn Campus in Glenview, a showing of more than 40 pieces of her work that span over 50 years of her art career. It is an honor and privilege to introduce her to the public through this display, because I believe the rest of the world deserves to see her beautiful creations and witness her deeply talented mind through each unique piece.

It’s bittersweet, that even though my mom’s illness brought her to JourneyCare this past spring, she found some comfort and peace during her short stay. (This actually says a lot, especially because it was so rare for her to be comfortable anywhere away from home.)

Sadly, she died at the end of June, so in presenting her work, my hope is that her exhibit will finally, somehow, prove to her that she impacts everyone who sees her. I trust that visitors will enjoy contemplating the inner workings of her beautiful mind, the physical painstaking labor of love it took, for her to hand create her art ... in the spirit of creating the labors of love.  

Sharing her work, is like sharing her vision ... she did so in her efforts to approach the world through her art. Her mediums of painting, digital photography and her expression in writing her essays were some of the few venues in which she felt comfortable enough to allow herself to be vulnerable to the outside world.

Maybe now, at long last, she will finally accept that people do appreciate how each piece offers a view into her complex concepts and her bold, exquisite perception of the world. Maybe now she will accept that, even though I am biased and love her more than words can express, she can at long last see that others did appreciate what she was trying to share. And hopefully she will know that she inspired a few of us. Maybe she’ll find that some admire her work. Or perhaps even “get her.” At the very least, it would be nice for her to see that there are a few of us who recognize she matters as an artist! That she most assuredly had something unique and beautiful to share! And, even if someone doesn’t like or appreciate what she was trying to share in her work, that her creative statements of expression, weather bold or subtle, made a valuable contribution to the world. She made you contemplate.

Pelayia Limbos work is on display to the public November through December 30 at JourneyCare, 2050 Claire Court, Glenview.

A semi-private reception* will be held Dec. 3 to “celebrate the life and works of Pelayia Limbos.” It will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at JourneyCare, 2050 Claire Court, Glenview.

"This is a ceremony for family and friends to come together to recall, honor and celebrate her life, and also to pay tribute to both Pelayia and all of the JourneyCare employees who made her transition to freedom smooth and possible! Dec. 3 is by invitation only. If you personally knew Pelayia, worked with her, or Greg and I invited you... then by all means, please join in this  beautiful dedication to an amazing woman, who was a renaissance woman, and on many levels, an enlightened pioneer. Please come see her work during this two-month exhibit and enjoy an introspective journey and celebrate the artist Pelayia, a unique, gentle, beautiful, enlightened soul."

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