Love Your Library II: Kristin Kuhns

First, let me remind you of the upcoming fund-raiser for the Salem Public Library Children’s Room renovation, which is on Thursday, November 7th…

Ursula Leguin Poster

The Children’s Room renovation will include (according to library staff):

“The existing Children’s area activity room and adjacent under-utilized space (where the teen collection was previously housed) will be transformed into a modern, multifunctional room with capacity to meet the growing demand.  Plans connect the two rooms with a movable wall, which will support two simultaneous storytimes, or allow staff to move the wall back to make the room into one larger space to accommodate bigger groups.”

PLUS, artist Kristin Kuhns was chosen to create enticing entrances to the new children’s facility on both the main and mezzanine levels.  Here are her early conceptual designs…

preliminary drawing 1 main floor

preliminary drawing 2 mezzanine

Kristin has begun work.  All the wood in these pieces will come from Salem from the Zena Forest, a sustainable forest run by the Deumling family, in West Salem.  Mother Sarah manages the forest, and her son Ben manages the Zena Forest Products mill.  I thought you might enjoy a peek at the beginnings of the library piece…

Sarah took Kristin out and she chose the tree she wanted, marking it with pink and green markers (not the usual Zena forest marking system!)

Ben and the chosen tree

and here are Ben and Martin looking at Kristin’s drawing to see what part of the tree she really might want…

Ben Deumling and Martin

then the tree is cut, loaded and milled…

the tree is loadedtrees on the way to the milltree goes into the mill

and here’s the whole Deumling family at the Mill…

Duemling family mill

Kristin begins by stripping the bark…

Kristin Kuhns peels the bark

and then the creatures begin to come to life…(first photo courtesy of ML Zeek)

K creature

Kristin Kuhns creatures #1

Kristin Kuhns creatures #2

Please consider purchasing tickets to hear Ursula Le Guin, and support this wonderful project at the Salem Public Library!


  1. We made a wonderful choice in Kristin as the artist to create the entryways for the upcoming remodel and rennovation of the Library’s Children’s area! Thank you Bonnie for sharing the info on our Ursula K. Le Guin event, AND for the update on Kristin’s progress!

  2. I’m so excited to see this project documented. All our kids who come into the Library Children’s Room through the years will find answers to their questions about how the entryway art was made and by whom. Thanks for posting this, Bonnie, and thanks for making this wonderful art, Kristin,

  3. So glad to see this great project with it’s ‘deep background’ documented! Kristin photographed in stages of her process is exciting, giving everyone a little glimpse into what work her “work of art” is! Wonderful!

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