I am thrilled to have a piece of crochet art in the California Yarnscape exhibit at The Autry Museum in Los Angeles. This exhibit was curated by Yarnbombing LA. I loved playing a smaller part in some of their previous collaborative crochet exhibits (Granny Squared CAFAM and Yarnopolis) and it’s great to have a larger piece in this one. I thought I’d share a bit about my process for creating this piece and then I’ve got some photos of the exhibit.
Call for Crochet Art Submissions
Yarnbombing LA put out the call for submissions asking all fiber artists to respond to the question: “What is a California landscape to you?” The call for art explained that the work was for an outdoor exhibit on The Rotunda of The Autry Museum of the American West, which “brings together the stories of all peoples of the American West, connecting the past with the present to inspire our shared future.” More than 70 artists participated in the exhibit.
Original Proposed Idea
I noted in my bio, “My area of expertise is in research and raising awareness about the health benefits of crochet and yarn crafting. One of the reasons I love participate in group projects is to inspire more and more people to learn about these benefits.”
Map inspiration from San Francisco: A Map of Perceptions by Andrea Ponsi
Originally there was the option to choose a size (height x width) of 24″ x 30″, 36″ x 48″ or 72″ x 96″. I selected the smallest size with the note that I could work to other sizes as needed. My original proposal was as follows:
“The background is chevron crochet, reminiscent of valleys and mountains, worked in colors inspired by sunrises, sunsets and cherry blossom trees. This is surrounded by a blue and white border for California’s endless clear blue skies. On top of this background is a representational map of San Francisco, inspired by a drawing by Andrea Ponsi, which shows three types of architectural layout in the city. These three different areas will be represented in three different types of crochet: 1) the main neighborhoods in granny squares colored to represent the neighborhoods – rainbow for Castron, neon for Haight, etc. 2) hyperbolic crochet for the curvy peaks section and 3) freeform crochet for the arcs in grey and blue to represent the modern glass and concrete buildings of the SoMa area.”
Finished Crochet Art Piece
Over time, the plans for art projects change. We had some back and forth conversation and the finished piece ended up being a vertical piece that was 72″ x 48″. I added some chevron crochet to create the right width but then I had a lot of room left over so I decided to use an ombre blue to finish the rest of the background rectangle. I liked that this allowed the sunset to really be set in a sky. The representational map of San Francisco was much the same although the details differed:
- I had a bunch of small colored triangles and circles from an old project that my mom never finished, and I wanted to incorporate those, so I used them instead of granny squares to loosely represent the neighborhoods. I used the green ones to represent the trees of The Presidio and Golden Gate Park.
- I used some hyperbolic crochet for the curvy peaks and also used a variety of other motifs and freeform crochet for this part.
- I decided to use surface crochet to create the arcs of the SoMa, working in black and white instead of blue and grey but getting the overall feeling I’d intended.
This was one of those pieces where I wasn’t quite sure when it was done. I added and removed and added and finally settled on a design that I was really happy with. I was thrilled to send it off to join the other 70+ participants in the exhibit.
Crochet Art Piece at The Autry
I haven’t yet had a chance to see the piece in person, although I hope to get down to LA before the exhibit ends on 6/25/17. However, my beaux is working down there so he popped over and took some photos for me:
This exhibit includes the work of so many amazing artists including Threadwinners, an awesome collaborative duo I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing about their work. There will be some community workshops during the exhibit for people who want to add their own work: