Los Angeles News
Yarn Bombing LA
By Alice Perez
Aug 11, 2013 - 9:00:02 PM

On Museum Row an explosion of color ricochets with 15,000 crocheted granny squares on the façade of the Craft and Folk Art Museum.
LOS ANGELES-On Museum Row an explosion of color ricochets with 15,000 crocheted granny squares on the façade of the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) by a crew of a guerilla knitter’s who bombarded  the streets of LA, called Yarn Bombing Los Angeles.

Canyon News Reporter Alice Perez visited the CAFAM Granny Squared Project and talked with Carol Zou from Yarn Bombing LA, about the yarn bombing crew and painting La-La Land with a rainbow of color, since 2010.

“The first Yarn Bombing event in LA was organized by Heather Hoggan and Amy Inouye in Fig Knit On, and soon inspired another yarn bombing event, Yarnbombing 18th Street organized by Arzu Arda Kosar. Yarn Bombing Los Angeles grew out of the collaborations that were inspired by Yarnbombing 18th Street,” said Zou.

So what is yarn bombing? “Yarn Bombing is the transformation of urban space through attaching knit material to public structures, such as a bench, parking meter, or light post.Magda Sayeg from Austin, Texas is credited with the first contemporary yarnbomb, and it has quickly spread to other cities such as Knit the City in London, Knit the Bridge most recently in Pittsburgh, etc.,” said Zou.

In likety-split a yarn bombing can occur with everything from walls to buildings, fences to trees and more, invaded with a rainbow of yarn with messages and artwork putting smiles on people’s faces. “A yarn bombing is actually a rather quick event. We prepare the pieces ahead of time according to measurements that we've taken, and then show up on site with zip ties, yarn, and needles to sew the piece onto its site. Our pieces are site specific and we take many factors into consideration when choosing a site, such as foot traffic, visibility, use of the space, and aesthetic of the surrounding environment, said Zou.

Yarn Bombing Los Angeles (YBLA) presents the “CAFAM Granny Squared” (May 26-September 9) an installation weaving together art and craft circles across 50 states and 25 countries. The ribbon was cut on May 25 for the first phase of the granny square project where passersby’s can witness a one-of-a-kind public art installation that brings a cozy feeling like a grandmother’s quilt.

The CAFAM Granny Squared project is partnering with the Downtown Women's Center teaching women how to make things by hand and resell them.
“On a conceptual level the project aims to question the boundaries between art and craft, use scale and color to play with artistic, architectural and institutional identities. YBLA suggests a parallel between how the Craft and Folk Art Museum is dwarfed by the grandiose structures and other museums across the street on Museum Row, and how craft is dwarfed by traditional notions of “high art”. To deconstruct this dynamic, YBLA will be covering CAFAM in brightly colored, oversized granny squares and other colossal graphic patterns to visually turn CAFAM into a dollhouse and thus "shrinking" it even more and making a commentary on artistic and institutional identities associated with craft, a lesser art form by manipulating architecture, often regarded the highest art form,” said Zou.

In recent years, more and more folks are dusting off their sewing machines and getting out the glue guns. “The recent years have definitely seen a resurgence of hand-crafting, but at the same time we are seeing people interpret these traditional methods of knitting, crocheting, etc. in radically contemporary ways,” said Zou.

La-La Land is the city of dreamers, where many artists and creative folks take to their acting rehearsals, music studios, and knitting circles creating original works. “According to this most recent survey by the NEA, Los Angeles is the city with the highest percentage of artists in the workforce! http://www.nea.gov/research/ArtistsInWorkforce.pdf I think the existence of independent filmmakers, artisans, gallery owners, designers, performers, visual artists, etc. all in one city makes it easy to find people that you connect with and to start something independently of an institutional support system,” said Zou.

So get out those crochet needles and join the YBLA’s free-to-attend monthly meeting every third Saturday at CAFAM 5814 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles. Come chat with this local guerilla knitter, learn about YBLA, and give a helping hand with the CAFAM Granny Squared project.

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