LANCASTER – Lancaster City Hall was alive with color Wednesday. Colorful knitted spider webs covered hedges, flamboyant scarves and sweaters wrapped around tree trunks, crocheted lollipops and God’s eyes hung from branches, and vibrant pom poms sprouted out of potted plants.
The decorative flair was added by 18 art students from R. Rex Parris High School and several volunteers as part of a “Yarn Bomb” event that took place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“I want people to pass by and see this and be like ‘that’s pretty cool, it’s something new,’” said Miguel Monasterio, a junior at R. Rex Parris High.
“We’re really big on arts and any kind of creativity is really a big deal,” said volunteer Jenny Mauss, who was supporting the students on behalf of Project Linus. “I’d never heard of Yarn Bombing before this, but just a few days ago I looked it up online, and it was so bright and colorful that I really wanted to get involved.”
Yarn bombing or “yarnstorming” is a new fad where those who knit and crochet create random acts of public art, knitting scarves around tree trunks, cozies on bare metal bike racks, and decorative covers onto benches, lampposts and even sculptures.
“The kids have been preparing for this for three months, those scarves you see wrapped around the trees are the first scarves they’ve ever made” said Kris Holladay, coordinator and art department chairperson at R. Rex Parris High School. “The staff got into it too; some of the staff didn’t know how to knit so the kids actually taught the staff how to knit.”
Holladay said she got the Yarn Bomb idea from her sister, Kathleen Carpenter, who teaches a class on fiber for art students at R. Rex Parris High School. The sisters came up with the idea to make use of a large donation of yarn, crochet hooks, and knitting needles the school received from Michaels Arts and Crafts Stores.
Holladay was originally going to have her students Yarn Bomb the schoolyard, but decided to expand the idea to Lancaster City Hall to commemorate the opening of the annual student art exhibit that kicks off Thursday.
Holladay is the faculty liaison for the 27th Annual Antelope Valley Union High School District Art Exhibition, which will display at City Hall from April 5 – May 20, 2012.
She said her students will be wearing knitted scarves to the opening so attendees can recognize them for their Yarn Bomb creations. The opening, a free public reception, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday at Lancaster City Hall.
Weather permitting, the Yarn Bomb creations will be displayed outside City Hall for the entire duration of the student art exhibit, said Holladay.