One of the things that I really love about crochet is that it’s not just art and it’s not just fashion and it’s not just craft. It is some combination of all of these things although of course it can lean more in one of these directions than the other depending on the crochet artist. That crochet is artistic is highlighted by the fact that there are two East Coast museums / art galleries featuring crochet projects right now.
Boston.com‘s Kate McQuaid reported recently on the yarn art installation of Sheila Pepe at Carroll and Sons (shown above). She hung black cord and black shoelaces in a space in the gallery. She then added blue yarn to the cords and shoelaces. This isn’t just crochet work (because there is some knitting and general yarn draping as well) but crochet is involved. The installation is designed to be interactive and collaborative. People are encouraged to bring their crochet hooks to the gallery and to alter the installation. They are even encouraged to remove some of the yarn and take it with them to crochet something at home. The goal is to have all of the yarn totally removed by the end of the art showing so that this is also something of a performance piece, changing each day until it returns to exactly the way that it was.
In contrast, the way that crochet art is featured in the Queens of Museum of Art right now is much less abstract. Gina Salamone of NY Daily News recently reported that the gift shop of this museum is doing a “Made in Queens” project selling the handmade goods of people who live in the borough. Artists with work for sale include Sharon Boucher-Turner who makes crocheted accessories including hairpins and brooches and Monica Johnson who crochets cold weather accessories like wrist cuffs and cowls. Although the items are in the gift shop and not the museum proper, it certainly gives crochet some legitimacy in this local area.