GALLIPOLIS — As the city of Gallipolis prepares for the America in Bloom judging later this month, the Appalachian Ohio Fiber Guild is throwing their support behind the community as they plan a “yarn bombing” project this weekend.
“Yarn bombing,” also known as “fiber bombing” is a popular practice in larger cities around the world as artists utilize colorful knitting or crocheted yarn or fiber to decorate statutes or other features in public spaces.
According to AOFG Organizer Marlene Gruetter, the artwork that is placed through fiber bombing — in this case around the town clock located in the Gallipolis City Park — is a non-permanent, non-damaging art form.
“Fiber bombing is a type of expressive public art that employs colorful displays of various fiber arts. For our guild, that includes items such as knitting, crocheting, felting, quilting and weaving,” Gruetter said. “The installations of the various works are not permanent and can be removed without damaging the structure.”
While fiber bombing is, in many cases in larger cities, a form of graffiti, it is most often an illegal practice as artists “bomb” bridges, statutes, trees and other structures; however, in this case, the Appalachian Ohio Fiber Guild has sought and received permission from the Gallipolis City Commission for the installation of their “bomb” this Saturday in Gallipolis City Park.
Gruetter further reported that as her group planned their public art display, they later discovered their project aligned with the visit from the America in Bloom judges this year, and, thus the group decided to use their project to help support the Gallipolis in Bloom Committee.
“When the guild members made plans for this project early in the year, the dates for the judges’ Gallipolis visit had not been set,” she said. “After we discovered that the two events aligned, we chose a flower theme to show our support for our town’s participation in the America in Bloom Project.”
The members of the guild include knitters, crotchetiers, weavers, quilters, felters, spinners and tatters, and, according to Gruetter, each guild member has created a unique piece of fiber art to wrap around the town clock. This event will be held beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the clock in the Gallipolis City Park. The community is invited to attend.
Those individuals in the tri-state region who may have an interest in the fiber arts are welcome to join the Appalachian Ohio Fiber Guild, according to Gruetter.
Formed in 2007, the group has a mission of providing an opportunity to spark creativity by exchanging ideas among members with other fiber interest and often participate in various local events. Most recently, members of the group demonstrated their skills during the Welsh Heritage Days held at Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande in May.
“[Members of the] AOFG constantly learn new skills and techniques from each other that help raise our awareness in the efforts that are required to take raw materials all the way to finished goods and art pieces,” Gruetter said. “The guild enjoys participating in community events to bring fiber awareness to those outside our membership by providing speakers, exhibits and hands-on activities.”
There is no membership fee to join the group. For more information about the guild and its meeting times, individuals may contact guild organizer Marlene Gruetter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (740) 256-1866. To learn more about the activities and meetings, visit their blog at http://apohfibg.wordpress.com.