RW INSPIRES: Tricia Kuntz
Owner, Purple Painted Lady
BY ASHLEY COOPER | PHOTOS BY JENNIFFER MERIDA
English Sculptor Henry Moore is known to have remarked, “To be an artist is to believe in life.”
Rochester Woman Magazine was recently granted the opportunity to chat with one ‘Rochester Woman’ who seems to radiate this statement indefinitely.
Said woman is the Purple Painted Lady herself: Tricia Kuntz (née Migliore). Fittingly located on East Main Street in Palmyra, The Purple Painted Lady is a shop suited for local treasure seekers; it is adorned with a plethora of aesthetically pleasing items for the household, all pieces reminiscent of times gone by. Kuntz is the shop’s proprietress.
Among the vast array of goodies Kuntz has to offer, her specialty is her furniture detailing. She has quite a knack for transforming dated furniture pieces into highly coveted works of art. Her current talents stem from a lifelong encounter with the arts.
Kuntz tells readers, “I have always loved art-drawing, painting, and obsessing over my Crayola crayons ever since I was a little girl.”
In high school, Kuntz was granted numerous awards which seemed to prove that she had found her life’s calling early. She earned first place in Sibley’s Scholastic Awards, and also in the Rochester Sesquicentennial Poster Contest where she had the opportunity to brush elbows with local ‘Painter’s Painter’ Ramón Santiago.
It was somewhat surprising to hear that with all the success that an artistic muse brought her in high school, Kuntz opted not to major in art upon entering college. Instead she studied mechanical engineering at Alfred State College.
“I truly believe you cannot teach a person to be creative,” says Kuntz. “It is either within or it is not.”At the request of family and friends, Kuntz began to paint murals. Her work did not go unnoticed; she began receiving inquiries to lend her artistic abilities to the community. With the support of her husband Steve, whom she wed in 2003, Kuntz pursued her utmost passion in full-force. The couple’s 1885 Victorian home, their ‘Painted Lady,’ served as the inspiration behind the namesake of the shop, which opened in 2007.
Kuntz is quickly becoming a household name. You may have spotted her handiwork around town; her work is featured at various sites and venues, including the shops at Greece Ridge, the Rochester Ronald McDonald House, Strong Memorial Hospital’s Behavioral Health Center, Lollypop Farm-the Humane Society, Pittsford’s Bounce it Out and Perinton’s The Little Gym, among many other commercial and residential opportunities.
The Purple Painted Lady offers a multitude of services from in-home consultations (Kuntz will even project the artwork onto your wall in order for you to better envision the final product), to workshops and tutorials, to custom orders: “We take those inherited or VOA / Salvation Army hand-me-downs, refinish and refurbish them so you can re-love them,” says Kuntz.
Where does Kuntz glean her inspiration from?
“I get inspiration from everywhere, honestly,” laughs Kuntz. “It could be the quirkiest thing. I could get a wedding invitation and be inspired. When I get an idea, it’s like a craving. Until I finish it, it’s constantly in my head.”
Kuntz’s greatest accomplishment is her daughter, Danni, age 7. Danni was born 13 weeks premature. “It was the scariest experience Steve and I have ever had in our lives,” says Kuntz. After spending 54 days in the Strong Memorial Hospital NICU, Kuntz was finally permitted to bring her baby girl home. Danni, a miraculous work of art, continues to serve as Kuntz’s most significant source of inspiration today.
Kuntz is also a big supporter of the community and has created her Barn Sale and Junk Jubilee to benefit local charities. This year’s event will be held on September 22nd and brings together local arts and crafts people to raise money for a great cause. This year’s event will benefit The Green Angels, an organization that collects gently used toys and books to distribute to local families in need.
As Tricia Kuntz continues to craft and create beautiful showcases of artwork for others to relish in, she leaves us with a singular quote that seems to flawlessly articulate her lifelong mantra:
“A woman who works with her hands is a laborer. A woman who works with her hands and her head is a craftsperson. A woman who works with her hands, her head and her heart is an artist.” –St. Francis of Assisi
The Purple Painted Lady is hosting a Barn Sale and Junk Jubilee on September 22nd at her 22-acre Palmyra home. Enjoy 50 different artists and vendors, a live classic rock band, a psychic village, and more! Proceeds go to “The Green Angels.”
Visit http://www.thepurplepaintedlady.com/barn-sale/ for further details.