Take a walk through any part of UWGB’s beautiful arboretum, and you’re bound to see an abundant variety of life. But from September 24-to-October 10, you would have seen some new creatures in the woods: Vibrant jellyfish swaying from tree branches bright, oversized mushrooms popping out of the ground; and a large, purple dragon resting on the split of a tree.
All of these creatures were a part of a “Yarn Bomb;” a movable, graffiti exhibition that was a unique way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Cofrin Arboretum.
Alison Gates, Professor in the UWGB Art Department, spearheaded the project. The idea for the Yarn Bomb came up over the summer, giving Alison lots of time to get the project going. Unfortunately, most of the students who could work on the project were gone, so Alison assembled a team of Green Bay artists and they began constructing their unique, colorful bombs. There was little-to-no planning, yet somehow everything came together in an odd way. Each piece of the Yarn Bomb contains bold colors that you wouldn’t normally find in nature. “We knew that it would be in Fall, we didn’t know if there would be green trees, or if we would be experiencing the changing of the leaves,” she said. “If we choose colors that aren’t natural then it will show up no matter what the environment is like.”
Local artists accomplished just that. Over the summer, they spent hours, weeks, and months crafting their intricate, colorful designs. Some took it upon themselves to show their progress too. Dierdra Stary, UWGB alumna, posted progress of the giant purple dragon she was constructing; and it quickly became clear it would be the biggest piece of the Yarn Bomb!
“This is art for the sake of art,” Alison said. Art isn’t known for being the most accessible to the average person. Not only did this provide artists a way to show their work to a new demographic, but also allowed those involved with the project to let go and create. There was no message to convey and no emotions to show. It gave artists the opportunity to create for fun, creativity, and joy. Allowing the artists to express their love for creating, and passersby the opportunity to appreciate their work.
The great thing about yarn bombs is that they can pop up anywhere – at any time. With the success of the Yarn Bomb in the Arboretum make sure to be on the lookout for more because you never know where, or when, art will pop up.
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