To celebrate the rich art culture of Nyack, local businesses exhibit monthly art shows, with artists’ receptions the First Friday of each month. Participating venues open each First Friday from 5-8 PM for visitors to stroll the village. This past Friday, for the first time, several trees were transformed into art.
“Yarn Bombing” is believed to have originated in the U.S. with Texas knitters trying to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects, but it has since spread worldwide.
The movement has been attributed to Magda Sayeg, 37, from Houston, who says she first got the idea in 2005 when she covered the door handle of her boutique with a custom-made cozy. Houston artist Bill Davenport was creating and exhibiting crochet-covered objects in Houston in the 1990s, and the Houston Press stated that “Bill Davenport could be called the grand old man of Houston crocheted sculpture.”Artist Shanon Schollian was knitting stump cozies in 2002 for clear cuts in Oregon.The Knit Knot Tree by the Jafagirls in Yellow Springs, Ohio gained international attention in 2008.
The movement moved on from simple ‘cozies’ with the innovation of the ‘stitched story’. The concept has been attributed to Lauren O’Farrell (who creates her street art under the graffiti knitting name Deadly Knitshade), from London, UK, who founded the city’s first graffiti knitting collective Knit the City. The ‘stitched story concept’ uses handmade amigurumi creatures, characters and items to tell a narrative or show a theme. This was first recorded with the Knit the City collective’s “Web of Woe” installation in August 2009.
Yarn bombing’s popularity has spread throughout the world. In Oklahoma City the Collected Thread store yarn bombed the Plaza District of the city on 9 September 2011 to celebrate their three-year anniversary as a functioning shop and in Australia a group called the Twilight Taggers refer to themselves as ‘fibre artists’.
The Nyack Art Collective (NAC) is a member owned and managed organization of visual artists. First Friday was created by NAC to spark the art world in Nyack by benefiting both local artists and businesses and meeting the goal of reinvigorating Nyack’s artistic reputation.