Arkansas Arts Center 'Yarn-Bombed'

Sep 13, 2013

The entrance to the Arkansas Arts Center, as well as the Carrie Remmel Dickinson Fountain, and numerous trees and lampposts outside the museum has been 'yarn-bombed.' Arts Center staff and volunteers began the process Sep. 9 with strings of colorful yarn and hundreds of blankets.

The yarn bombing was completed in the early hours of Thursday, Sep. 14. Yarn-bombing is considered a form of graffiti, but instead of paint, the artists use yarn and fiber. The process has been popular in Europe, Canada and the East and West Coasts of the United States. The installation has been longtime dream of Arts Center Education Director Louise Palermo. At 1,200 square feet of yarn, Palermo says the installation at the Arkansas Arts Center is likely the second largest ever recorded.

Chelsye Garret, a UALR student and fiber artist, supervised the project. Garret says she hopes the adornments bring an awareness to the role that knitting and so-called “woman’s craft” has always brought to communities across the globe, and to 'materialize' the idea of a social fabric. Garrett used donations of pieces created specifically for this occasion, as well as used or unwanted yarn creations from across North America to as far away as Chile to plan a color scheme from which numerous volunteers would dress the façade.

The installation is part of the exhibit “Interwoven: Craft,” which is complemented by the exhibit “Interwoven: Paper.” The plan is to take the yarn construction down just before the beginning of the Arts Center’s next major exhibition, “Mark Rothko in the 1940s,” and weave the material into blankets and clothing for the homeless.

The whole process was filmed by a time-lapse camera and will be available for viewing on the Arts Center’s website, according to Center officials. The installation will be on display until mid-October.