Yarn bombers have descended on the Santa Clarita Valley and are bringing not only an art statement to Old Town Newhall, but a sense of community.
Forge Ahead Arts fronted the project that will occupy the trees and benches along Main Street in Old Town Newhall for the next few weeks if the weather permits.
The group consisting of 25 to 30 men, women, teenagers, retirees and children worked as a group to put together the art statement that will be one of the key features at the first ArtSLAM of the season in Newhall on Thursday night.
“One of the most important aspects for us was to do a community project, which really is to work with the community in which it was going to be placed,” said Moire Lendering, art director for Forge Ahead Arts. “So the people who are here will have a sense of ownership that is not suddenly plunked on them, you know like this is what we think you should enjoy.”
The group started meeting at El Trocadero, The Newhall Refinery and OutWest in Newhall in early November 2014 to crochet and gained more members as time went on.
“We met so many different people, we have middle school students working on this project and we have great-grandmas working on this project,” said Stephanie O’Connor, co-director at Forge Ahead Arts. “People would just walk by and say, ‘I crochet; oh can I do that?'”
After three weeks the yarn creations will be taken down and possibly used for two more installations, one at the Westfield Valencia Town Center and one next fall, and then donated to the homeless or underprivileged youth.
Crochet became popular in 19th century Europe. It has blossomed into what some consider a political statement, art statement and favorite pastime.
“Back in the 60s and 70s there were women who were trying to make themselves seen in the art world,” said Lendering. “Even though there were many women artists, they were generally overlooked. With humor they played with guerrilla warfare and putting up posters of themselves wearing gorilla masks with the statement, ‘Do we have to be naked to get into a museum?’ because most paintings are of naked women.”
Today yarn bombing is seen as a type of yarn graffiti and is an emerging form of art in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“One of the main things is how much fun it has been,”said Lendering. “I was thinking in the beginning it was going to be very stressful but it’s actually been so fun.”
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