Art Between the Stacks

IMG_1742The next time you’re hunting for just the right read amid the stacks of books at the central library, take a look around. You might be surprised to notice quite a few works of art and sculpture hidden on the walls and hanging from the ceilings. Volunteers and employees of the library have long been committed to enriching the library experience through the use of art. In 1992, $50,000 was raised to integrate art into the design and construction of the library’s most recent expansion. The massive building remodel included seven architectural projects, and plenty of new art has been added since.

Freda Vars served as chairman of the Library Expansion Committee back in 1989, and serves as a member of the current Library Foundation. The Foundation helps find and oversee much of the non-allocated funding for library services, including art. This role entrusts them with the responsibility of continuing to improve the user experience of Corvallis’ most public building. Vars feels the presence of art in the library is a great asset for the people of Corvallis.

“For some of these people, it’s their only exposure to art,” she said.

In April, Vars began sharing her expertise and experience with the public. She now leads monthly tours of the library itself, highlighting the art displayed, and hosts lively question and answer sessions. Her unique perspective with the library allows Vars to provide insight on both the art and the history of the building.

 To attend the next free tour and question and answer session, meet in the first-floor lobby on Tuesday, May 5 at 10 a.m. For more information, go to

By Dave DeLuca