Exhibit Displays Staff’s Creative Side

Jewelry by Amy Mather

For more than 10 years, Omaha Public Library has hosted an exhibit for its staff to showcase their artwork, jewelry and crafts.

This year’s exhibit, held at the Michael Phipps Gallery of the W. Dale Clark Main Library through the month of January contains more than 60 pieces of work submitted
by current and retired OPL staff.

The works include photographs, watercolor paintings, cross stitch bookmarks, a quilt, a mobile, necklaces and earrings and more.

“We have a lot of staff that are very talented,” said Linda Trout, OPL’s community services manager.

Alex Barelos, a clerk at the Millard Branch, who can also be found working at the Charles B. Washington and W. Clarke Swanson branches as well as the Council Bluffs Public Library, submitted photographs for the exhibit including a series of photos of lily pads.

Lily Pads (#1) – Alex Barelos

Barelos says she has always had a camera on her. “When I was younger I went through disposable cameras like crazy. Not until college did I get the encouragement from others to actually do something about it,” she said.

Since 2005, she has been shooting freelance photography, an occasional wedding and countless portraits of children. But her real passion is for more abstract works. “I love the abstract and anything outdoors or architectural. I never get bored and am constantly looking for new and strange things,” she said.

Barelos lives in the Harvester Artspace Lofts in Council Bluffs. In 2010 Artspace, a non-profit real estate developer for the arts, took over the building and it became a living space specifically for artists. Barelos said she is extremely lucky to be living there. She even found out after moving in that her grandfather once had a business in the building.

Trout said she feels fortunate to showcase the creativity of OPL’s staff.

“I feel that librarians are very creative, not only in their daily work of searching and finding information for others, but in the fact that they produce such beautiful work outside of their job.”

The staff exhibit is on display through the end of the month. In February and March, OPL will host the “We the People: The Nebraska Viewpoint” exhibit

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