Yarn Bombing Gone Wild

I started seeing them last summer.

At first, it was just your typical small scale yarn bombing. I noticed the serpentine lines of a bike rack by the Fargo Public Library were accented by colorful yarn. Then a lamp post by the Fargo Theatre got its own rainbow sweater, just in time for FM Pride Week.

But Mara Morken, a talented local artist — you might have seen her ethereal bead and paper disc installation “Circles” fluttering in the atrium of the 300 Broadway Building — who doesn’t actually knit herself has taken it to the next level with the Fiber Art Installation in downtown Fargo.

Morken gathered a motley crew of crafters to quilt, knit, crochet and bead colorful sleeves to grace the light posts up and down Broadway.

All pieces of the pieces except for the rainbow one shown above are from this project…I think! There could be a rogue artist in there somewhere.

The plan hit a tiny snag when vandals (probably cleverly masquerading as drunk people after bar close) dismantled the early sleeves.

The new plan was to move the sleeves further up the posts and out of harm’s way. That’s why I discovered Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams up on a ladder one sunny Saturday afternoon, hanging yet another round of sleeves.

I feel like we should pause here and think about that for a second. For public servants to interact with public art in any capacity is a good thing.

So for Commissioner Williams to not only support this project on paper, but to actually help with its installation, is a great thing. If you agree, you can contact him here. Tell him Prairie Style File sent you!

The installation will remain up until mid-January. I’ve loved watching the sleeves — and the seasons — change over the past few months and it really has made me see a familiar environment in a new way.

What do you think? Have you seen this installation or similar ones? What purpose do you think they serve? Do random acts of yarn bombing have a different effect on you than a more planned installation? And does the fact that the city is working with the artists make you feel anything new or different about the intallation?

Click here to see a short video about the early days of the project and to hear from Mara herself.


Alicia Underlee Nelson

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