Around Town | Art Project Blankets Comforting Domestic Violence Victims
Nonprofit arts group Forge Ahead Arts donated handmade, crocheted blankets that were made by the community during an art project to the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita.
While the blankets were formerly used to decorate lampposts and trees in Old Town Newhall, as well as based off of children’s books from a separate community art project, they are now going to be used to comfort victims of domestic violence who come into the DVC.
Residents of Santa Clarita may remember the colorful “tree sweaters” that appeared on Main Street in March 2015. Forge Ahead Arts, working with dozens of community members, had yarnbombed the street, covering trees, lampposts, hitching posts and benches with hand-crocheted, whimsical yarn creations. The installation, directed by artist and co-founder of Forge Ahead Arts, Moire Lendering, remained in place for 2 weeks before disappearing as quickly as it had arrived. Eight months later, the Newhall Library found itself adorned with yarn in a similar fashion – a giant spider web proclaiming “SOME PIG” stretched across the portico, and a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” climbed up a post, while the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat & White Rabbit peaked out from the greenery wrapping another. Covering the pillars, lampposts and other features of the portico, each piece of “Once Upon A Yarn” represented a different classic children’s story. Local artist, Ann Mukherjee conceived and directed the installation, which delighted children and adults from November 2015 to January 2016.
This week, those same creations, now reshaped and repurposed into blankets, throws and scarves, were donated to the Domestic Violence Center where they will be given as gifts to victims. “It’s important to us as an organization to be good members of our community,” states artist and board member, Martha Wilcox. “We try not to create waste, so we didn’t want the pieces sitting in storage someplace or ending up in a landfill.”
Staff at the Domestic Violence Center will place the blankets on beds at the shelter, as a welcoming token, but residents will be able to take them with them when they leave. “The Domestic Violence Center seemed like a natural place for these pieces to end up,” adds Executive Director, Stephanie O’Connor. “We hope that the bright, playful colors and patterns will bring joy and comfort to the population the center serves, and that knowing that they were made in such a communal fashion will show them that they are not alone – that they have the support and and strength of the entire community behind them.”
Forge Ahead Arts creates art installations and events that stimulate creativity and dialogue in Santa Clarita. For information about up coming projects or inquiries about collaborating contact Stephanie O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.(c) 2017 SCVTV