Community responds positively to yarn bombing


Ebony Calloway/The Daily Northwestern

A piece of art installation outside the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave., is part of a public art series called HeARTh. The first event involved yarn bombing, an activity aimed at engaging the community and making use of art that might have otherwise been abandoned.

Cassie Wassink, Reporter

A few trees outside the Evanston Public Library are wrapped in fabric after the first event in HeARTh, a series of artistic events aimed at engaging the community. 

Evanston’s Public Art Committee hosted a yarn bombing on Feb. 8 outside the library, 1703 Orrington Ave. 

“There was a pleasant relief at finding a home for those abandoned projects because it could become something,” Ald. Jane Grover (7th) said. “They didn’t have to feel guilty about hanging onto something.”

Committee co-chairs, Jason Brown and David Geary, organized the yarn bombing with help from Grover, who assembled the knitting crew.

Grover met with a group of knitters before the event to compile materials, collecting leftover yarn and unfinished projects. At the event, knitters met to combine what had been donated with new material and created swathes of fabric wide enough to wrap around trees. Children participated, helping with tasks like making God’s Eye crafts or shredding felted pieces for other use. After producing all of the tree sweaters, Brown and Geary helped to assemble them on the trees.

Grover said the event was especially meaningful for the knitters who contributed unfinished work and got to see their projects displayed.  The women were happy to see their work go to use and that they had an ample supply of material, Grover said.

“It was like pulling rabbits out of magic hats, pulling abandoned projects out of bags,” she said.

Brown, who thought of the HeARTh series, said he wanted to do something environmentally friendly. Working with used or unfinished projects instead of consuming new material was rewarding, he said. Brown said there has been a positive response, saying community members thanked him repeatedly as he finished placing the sweaters on trees and cleaning up.

“We love to see things that are creative and innovative but not overly demanding of the environment,” he said.

Jennifer Lasik, the city’s cultural arts coordinator discussed how the event draws people outdoors during the winter time.

“This winter can be long and hard and seemingly never-ending,” she said. “We wanted to have some fun activities.”

There are two more events in the series, Brown said. The next HeARTh event will be in early March when they will work with ice sculptures, adding color to the ice formations on the lake shore.

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Twitter: @clwassink