Artown 2019 Behind the Scene

For the 9th consecutive year, Stan Can Design has had the pleasure of working with Artown and their featured artists to create the annual Artown poster.

This year’s featured artists, Debbie and Rachael Lambin, are the mother and daughter team behind My Thousand Words: intricate, hand-made sculptures born from the pages of acclaimed books. Seemingly with a life of their own, each sculpture acts as a vignette into the stories they come from, retelling them in new and exciting ways.

For Artown 2019, the Lambins lovingly carved through Walter Clark’s The City of Trembling Leaves, a story that largely takes place in Reno. The figures that spring from the pages play music, paint, and dance to represent the arts in classic forms.

It seems limiting to call My Thousand Words sculptures. These paper figures wear words and sing stories. It’s as if a breeze carrying loose leaves and the sound of far-off instruments flung the book open itself, flipping through the pages before landing on this lively scene.

For the first time in years, this wasn’t a piece of art that naturally lived in a digital form. In order to properly capture the creative energy of this piece, we enlisted the help of one Reno’s own creative minds, Jeff Ross. Two and a half hours and a lot of lighting play later, we had a working image.

After that, it was our job to design a poster that not only showcases, but elevates the piece while giving Artown the credit they deserve (read: we stayed out of the damn way).

Artown, as always, officially kicks off on July 1. Browse through hundreds of events and create your own calendar at For more My Thousand Words, visit the Lambins’ website, or check out KNPB’s ARTEFFECTS special for an in-depth look at their work for this year’s Artown poster.

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