Prior to the Mardi Gras break, several crape myrtle trees near Nesom Natatorium were seen covered with crochet, an example of an international trend in which guerilla knitters install their handicraft in public spaces.
“The yarn bombing is an installation by the Intro to Fibers class,” said Leslie Gruesbeck, assistant professor of art and instructor of the class. Class members include Hannah Koslosky, Rachel Pair, Alicia Anderson, Jessica Ford, Holly Deloney, Claire Harrington and grad student Jordan Wade.
“We hope it makes people feel happy and surprised. It should add some color to an otherwise gray, wintery Louisiana landscape,” Gruesbeck said.
Yarn bombing represents an attempt to add warmth to and improve urban landscapes while raising interest in knitting and crochet. Stitchers are regarded as artists rather than vandals because the knit graffiti does not deface objects or property.
“The initial reaction we received was enthusiastic,” Gruesbeck said. “Some students thought it was nice for the trees to have a scarf. Others commented that strips of crochet added much-needed color.”
Encouraged by positive response, the Art 2280 class may drop another yarn bomb soon.
“This is just the beginning,” Gruesbeck said. “Keep watching for more.”