Yarn bomb is a different kind of benchwarmer

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Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College.

Julia Foxworth ’13 of New York City, at right, spent much of April 5 “bombing” a bench on Alumni Walk — yarn bombing, that is.

Aka “guerrilla knitting” and “grandma graffiti,” yarn bombing is a genre of street art designed to raise awareness of the community environment, and inspire conversation and collaboration. Seeking to bring color and warmth to a concrete bench during a time of year that’s drab, chilly and stressful (finals are next week), Foxworth crocheted the piece with the help of 15 collaborators.

Later in the afternoon, other students were expected to celebrate the piece with ukulele playing, cupcakes, poetry, guerrilla knitting and other creative expressions. “The more color, the more collaborators, the better,” said Foxworth, shown above with classmate and fellow crocheter John Sowles. “The piece reflects the diversity of Bates.”

The piece was welcomed with simultaneous cries of “That’s so cool!” from passers-by. With the guidance of associate professor Pamela Johnson, art and visual culture major Foxworth undertook this project as an independent study complementary to her art history thesis. After Bates, Foxworth is off to a master’s program in arts administration at Columbia.

2 Responses to “Yarn bomb is a different kind of benchwarmer”

  1. Michael Sargent says:

    Bravo, Julia. I look forward to more guerrilla art on campus, including that which we don’t understand. If it makes passersby laugh, smile, or (perhaps most importantly) think, that seems like a good thing.

  2. Daphne Comeau says:

    I’ll admit; sometimes I have a hard time deciphering graffiti when it’s painted on trains and buildings– I just don’t understand what the artists are trying to say, or how to read the letters. But this, I understand. Thank you for this story, Doug and Phyllis. And thank you to the students for the living art and color.

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