The family story behind the 2019 Artown Poster

Published: Jun. 21, 2019 at 4:16 PM PDT
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Rachael Lambin, her mother Debbie and brother, John Henry, have taken an art form, not utilized or often seen, and created a one-of-a-kind piece.

Their work has paid off and is now featured center stage in this year’s


Look closely at the

, and you'll see it is made of books. The art sits inside, or on top of the book. It is also made of the written word manipulated into shapes of trees, people, and even picnic baskets.

They family developed the skill on a whim. Debbie Lambin explains she home-schooled her kids and after reading a children's book, they wanted to remember it.

“It was very near and dear to us, and we wanted to bring it to life and remember it better,” says Debbie. “So we started creating a book, by just folding it and having fun,” she says.

That was years ago. The concept blossomed from there.

We first met Rachel Lambin three years ago, when she showed us her creations from ballerinas to golfers to horses.

She said her mom would go over designs and concepts, and come up with a strategy whereby both would begin the work of creating a moment in time from a favorite book or event.

“It can probably take anywhere from, best case scenario, like a whole day, to several months, even half a year,” says Rachael of the time it takes to complete a piece of work.

Their work has been sold in galleries and on commission.

Then earlier this year, Artown organizers called the Lambins and asked them if they would design something for this year's poster. Debbie points out the three figures featured on the poster.

“Music with the bass player, the ballerina to show performing arts or dance, and of course the artist to show various mediums of art,” she says.


An honor of course, but the family is always looking for new horizons. They will soon be involved in a statewide initiative where they will visit libraries across Nevada, teach their technique and hopefully instill the love and power of books.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019