Area artist's work to be featured at Ripley's museum

EMPORIUM – Emporium resident Casey Saline is no ordinary fan of classic music and movies - using her vivid imagination and creative skills, she transforms old cassette tapes and movie reels into unique art that has caught the interest of the Ripley's Believe It or Not! franchise. A junior at Cameron County Junior/Senior High School, Saline recently sold two of her pieces to Ripley Entertainment Inc. for display in one of their museums. Ripley Entertainment Inc. operates 31 museums, or "odditoriums," which feature weird, unusual or rare items from around the world. Saline's two works feature John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in their roles as Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson from the 1978 movie "Grease," and a portrait of the recently deceased pop star Whitney Houston. Saline said she thought about submitting something for the company's review after seeing a similar work on a trip to New York City. "We actually went to Ripley's Believe It or Not! there and there was actually a cassette tape piece in one of their pamphlets they gave us," Saline said. She said she came up with the idea of using ribbons and reels in her work prior to visiting the museum. "It kind of started in art class. I'm in an independent study class, so that means I can come up with my own projects. So I like to look around for my own projects that I don't think anybody would do - very out-of-the-ordinary," Saline said. "I kind of look around on the internet and see different things to twist my own way."The "Grease" portrait was actually the first piece of this type of art she had created as one of her school projects. "That took me an entire week, including the weekend, of an art class and every class I had that gave me time to work on it, and at home after school," Saline said. She said the process, while very time-consuming, actually consists of a simple technique. "You know how the cassette strings across the top of it (plastic case)? The little opening at the top? I just pull that out and cut it," Saline said. "I keep pulling out the cassette tape, and gluing and gluing and gluing."I'm still investigating different mediums, different glues and stuff like that. I don't really mess with colored tapes, but I do colored backgrounds, whatever background color people want."Saline said she enjoys "green" projects, or making art of recyclable materials, as well as creating pop art using the tiny circles produced by a hole punch. "I also make dresses out of paper that are wearable. I've experimented with duct tape, but it's not as fun as making paper dresses," Saline said. Saline said she has always enjoyed using her imagination to make a project come to life.