Yarn Bombs in Omaha

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August 25th, 2011

Omaha, NE – The Yarn Bomb movement will tag its way into the Joslyn Art Museum, this Sunday.

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She sits with deep thought in her eyes, under a tree that’s planted beside a river, with a red scarf tied around her pulled back hair, while she knits. The “Yarn Girl” is now on display at the Joslyn Art Museum. This oil painting by William Adolphe Bourgueredu from 1869, motivated Maranda Allbritten, the Joslyn’s youth and family programs coordinator, to highlight a modern trend, one that blends knitting and graffiti. Allbritten said this spontaneous new form of urban art can be seen all over the country in unlikely places- woven across a traffic sign or even a door handle in a public building.

This tree has been "tagged" as part of the so-called Yarn Bomb movement (Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons).

“Let’s open this one first,” Allbritten said excitedly, as she tore into a box of yarn mailed by a friend in North Carolina. “I’m really excited… I’ve been waiting for this one.”

For the past three weeks Allbritten said the museum has received nearly 200 feet of knitted and crocheted work – yarn of all colors overflowed in her mail box. Some pieces have traveled across the country, created by people as young as age six to as old as 98. Also included in the collection is a royal blue piece from a woman who had knitted an afghan for her sick friend. But, before she could finish it, Allbritten said, her friend passed away.

“She had no desire to finish it or to give it to anyone else,” Allbritten said. “She had made it specifically for this person, and she didn’t know what to do with it. So, when she found out about this project here at Joslyn, she unraveled the whole thing, and used part of that yarn to make a piece to send to us in memory of this friend.”

As part of the Omaha metro’s Yarn Bomb project, Allbritten said some of the yarn will be wrapped around the museum’s stair railings. And, as for the rest of the yarn collected, she said people can expect to see it anywhere at the museum.

“I think it makes you think about your space and the environment that you’re in,” she said. “And how you interact with the world.If everyone just did a little something every day to make life more interesting for someone else, it would be a better place.”

The Joslyn’s Yarn Bomb will be installed Sunday, August 28, Sunday at the Joslyn Art Museum located in downtown Omaha.

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