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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment January 22, 2018

12/12/2017 1:04:00 PM
Sisters Library is full of art
Kelley Salber creates miniature worlds using old books.  photo by Sue Stafford
+ click to enlarge
Kelley Salber creates miniature worlds using old books. photo by Sue Stafford

By Sue Stafford

Sisters Library is full of beautiful art for the month of December.

In addition to Caroline Stratton-Crow's watercolors and acrylics in the community room ("Art in the natural world," The Nugget, December 6, page 5), the computer room and entryway display cases are showcasing three artists who work in very diverse media.

Two library employees, Katie Newton and Carly Garzon Vargas, are featured in the computer room. Newton's black-and-white photography captures locations along the Oregon Coast, from Astoria to Gold Beach.

"From the very start of my photographic interests, black-and-white film has been my preferred medium and coastal landscapes a constant inspiration," said Newton. "Through photography it is possible to capture both the visual coastal landscapes and the culture of the towns that reside within them."

Newton's interest in photography began with a high school film class and resulted in her obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from the University of Oregon in 2014.

She has had numerous shows throughout Oregon, as well as in Texas and Finland. In 2015, she was selected to attend the Saari Artist Residency in Mynamaki, Finland, and in 2016 Newton was a resident at the PLAYA artist residency in Summer Lake, Oregon. She does her photography in a range of formats, from the plant-based emulsions of anthrotypes to modern digital color photography.

More of Newton's work can be viewed on her website,

Garzon Vargas' work focuses on children and families around the world. The pieces currently on display in the library are large- and medium-format papercuts, a technique done by cutting from one continuous piece of paper where everything is connected and later paired with a contrasting


The portraits come from the documentary "Girls Rising," which features girls overcoming challenges in order to pursue education in various regions of the globe. The large-format pieces were inspired by war photographer Jesus Abad Colorado and his images of families affected by the internal conflict in Columbia.

She said she loves children's literature, is bilingual, and has written two bilingual children's books. When she is not working at the library, making art, or reading, Garzon Vargas enjoys climbing, mountain biking, and playing with her dog, Luna.

To learn more about Garzon Vargas and her work, visit her website www.carlygarzonvargas.

com or on Instagram:


The entryway display cases hold the magical world of Kelley Salber's imaginative miniatures, crafted from old books and boxes. Salber said that her propensity is toward three-dimensional work, so when she was introduced to the idea of the book as art, she found it fit her contemplative personality and her hands-on, "let's build it" approach.

In addition to her miniature worlds, Salber also creates new blank journals out of old books, crafts her own books, as well as builds with book board and paper.

"I favor books as art for their portability and because books tend to lead toward deeper contemplation. People are represented in my work as miniature books because each one of us has a story and we are all a good read!" Salber said.

A native of Montana, Salber holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Montana State University and is a self-taught artist, with continuing education through classes and workshops as well as bookbinding and book building mentoring from Nebraska artist Rachel Fox.

"With these miniature bookcases, I combined a love of all things miniature and books. Each has a color theme and a message married to the humorous. These bookcases draw the observer to search for the message and contemplate it just like searching for titles on a bookshelf," said Salber. "The bookcases are also available for commission. You provide the idea, a quote, a color scheme and I make your custom bookcase!"

In addition to her work with books as a sculptural form, Salber spent most of her life expressing herself through watercolor, collage, and found-object sculpture. Her work can be found at the Hood Avenue Art Gallery. She teaches the art of bookmaking in Sisters, as well as in Bend where she lives with her husband of over 30 years, Rich.

Recipient of the 2017 Theme Award from My Own Two Hands, Salber's recent exhibits have included the Illahe Gallery in Ashland, the Bend Art Center, The Tiny Art Show at the Tbd Loft in Bend, and the Valley Art Gallery in Forest


For more information and to see more of Salber's work, visit her website at

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