Paintings and Needle Felted Art at City Hall

Inge Krebs stands with a sampling of her felted creations. Photos by Sarah Brown

City Hall is now decked out with artwork from two different area artists thanks to the ongoing efforts of Sweet Home Oregon Coalition for Artistic and Scholastic Enrichment (SHOCASE).

Ingeborg “Inge” Krebs’ contribution shows a unique display from her personal collection of needle-felted work, including miniature animals, a pink weeping cherry tree, framed felted work that looks like wool-textured paintings, and a miniature diorama of a fiber artist’s studio.

Dianne Hills poses with some of her beach scene paintings. Her paintings will be on display at City Hall until early July.

On the walls at City Hall hang the painted artwork of Dianne Hills, featuring landscapes.

Hills said she has been painting for “years and years.” As a kid, she liked to draw a lot and then took an oil class when she was settled into adulthood.

“Then I really got to where I liked watercolor,” she said. “It took awhile to find some good teachers, but I found them at Linn-Benton (Community College).”

So for about 30 years, Hills worked with watercolor until acrylics became popular. Most of her art at City Hall is a sampling of her work with acrylics. Though she’s been using acrylics for about 10 or 15 years now, she said – apparently joking – that in about another 30 years she’ll finally have it “down pat” and will then move on to something different.

But she is beginning to try something new: painting people.

“It’s very hard to capture a face or even a whole figure,” Hills said. “That’s what I’m trying to work on next, getting people into the paintings, because I’ve only put them in three or four (paintings) and it took a lot of repair and fixing.”

Hills was born and raised in Georgia, and landed in Oregon after her husband got a job in Lebanon. Eventually, she headed back east, but once again returned to Sweet Home in 2012 to be near her kids.

Krebs points to a diorama she made featuring her wool-craft hobbies.

Inge, along with her husband Wolf Krebs, operate a small farm in Holley, raising sheep and alpaca that provide all the wool they could desire. The octogenarians noted, though, that they are phasing out their herd for retirement from the hobby.

“We do everything on the farm,” he said. “We make hay, feed the sheep, shear the sheep. She processes the wool, I make the frames for her pictures. So everything is made by us.”

Wolf tried knitting and crocheting once, and succeeded in making a potholder, but really “it’s not my thing,” he said.

Until recently, the pair would spin, wash and dye the wool to sell at local markets, but now Inge only sells some of her yarn and crafted work on Etsy at

Inge has done many different forms of craftwork (such as knitting, weaving and wood turning) all her life, but said she started felting because she now had her own sheep.

“When we came to Oregon, we wanted to have a small farm and, because of my love for craft, we thought sheep are good because they are good for wool,” she said.

The Krebs’ moved to Oregon in 2006 from the Caribbean. Looking into their past, it becomes apparent the two have an assorted background of experience. They had moved to an island in the Caribbean to teach anatomy at a medical school, but changed careers after a volcanic eruption destroyed the school.

The volcanic damage forced about half of the island’s inhabitants to leave, Wolf said.

“We were in a safe part of the island, so we didn’t have to leave,” he said. “We had a house and we had (meat) sheep, so we didn’t want to go away.”

Inge Krebs adds some of her felted creations to the display case at City Hall.

The two then opened a scuba diving shop and worked in veterinary medicine before moving to Oregon to start a wool sheep farm. Inge said it takes her between one hour and a few days, depending on what she’s making, but that doesn’t include the cleaning and dyeing of the wool itself.

Krebs’ and Hills’ art is expected to be on display until early July.