You’ve probably practiced the art of photo-bombing, but you might not know the unexpected pleasures of the growing movement known as yarn bombing. This sister act to graffiti is the practice of creating fiber-based objects to adorn or disrupt existing structures. Think of street art or tagging with a DIY, craftsy vibe.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), in collaboration with Fantastic Fibers Miami, elevates this cultural phenomenon, often considered street art, in the upcoming "Fresh Threads," a special exhibition curated by Gregory Pierre-Louis.
Celebrating the talents of students involved in the MOCA Teen Program and funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Children’s Trust, the show offers a yarn bombing of the museum's entrance columns and breezeway and a range of colorful, intricate hand-crafted pieces designed to amuse, enlighten, and provoke.
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“Fiber arts have traditionally been known as women’s work,” says Morgan Lorenzo, yarn bomb project manager and exhibitor in "Fresh Threads." “During the feminist movement, artists used these art forms to show that these traditional works could be used to comment on the cultural changes in society.”
Yarn bombing blends installation, needlework, and unconventional art to create humor, recycle materials, and call attention to urban environmental elements. At its simplest, it's the act of attaching a handmade yarn item to a fixture or depositing it in a public place. Yarn bombing can be as complex as a sweater or hat custom-made to cover a statue or as simple as a crocheted rectangle wrapped around a lamppost, handrail, or column. Similar to traditional graffiti, yarn bombs can be either quick, spontaneous acts or meticulously planned, time-consuming projects.
“The installation is a tactile, friendly experience,” says Lorenzo, who adds he hopes spectators will connect with these young artists' ideas about modern culture. “The 'Fresh Threads' exhibit shows fabric used artistically [and is] familiar to all of humanity.”
"Fresh Threads." Through Friday, February 2, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-893-6211; mocanomi.org. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and free for MOCA members, children under 12, North Miami residents and employees, and veterans.