Beginning this Saturday, Oct. 3, in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the completion of Buffalo Bayou Park, Buffalo Bayou Partnership is hosting Artful Anniversary, a series of five unique virtual performances and experiences throughout October.
All five Artful Anniversary programs will appear in video and photographs on BBP’s website, posted at the times listed on the website, https://buffalobayou.org/buffalo-bayou-park-5-year-anniversary/.
In addition to tuning in to the website, you can of course visit the park in person and enjoy the music, dance and art along with Houston’s 160-acre award-winning green space. Both online and in-person are free to visit.
The first exhibit, to be installed on the Rosemont Bridge, may be best visited in person and early in the month. Time and elements may detract from viewing this first exhibit and the color and complexity will be difficult to grasp “virtually.”
The art piece titled “Knitscape” is nature-themed to commemorate Buffalo Bayou’s ecological diversity. Knitscape is also made out of … yarn.
Enter Heights yarn bombers, Urban Yarnage, an ad hoc group of Houston knitters and crocheters that design and develop fiber street art projects. The group installs an annual project in early June as part of International Yarnbombing Day.
Urban Yarnage assembled and will install Knitscape early Saturday morning.
According to the website of Urban Yarnage founder Mary Goldsby, yarn bombing originally started as a subversive underground form of street art. Similar to graffiti art, yarn bomb installations have evolved with time to encompass all types of fiber art projects. Yarn bombing is now a national and international art movement that encompasses projects that range in scale from very small to extremely large.
Goldsby got her group started in 2012 when they covered 44 bollards with yarn cozies along the Heights Hike and Bike Trail that runs along 7th Street between Yale Street and Heights Boulevard.
The point is to have fun and bring some color into the world. The group has installed work on (or around) a trolley, dinosaur bones (a sculpture of one), 135 bamboo canes, pumpkins, light poles and, in 2015, a bridge over Buffalo Bayou, celebrating the first year’s completion of Buffalo Bayou Park by Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
Goldsby was thrilled that Urban Yarnage was invited to participate in the fifth anniversary. She told me they’ve worked on this for about six weeks. Despite my misconceptions, a lot of planning and organizing goes into this. The result, though, will make everyone smile.
“The new installation is a magical nature-themed Knitscape that celebrities Buffalo Bayou’s ecological diversity with a fun and colorful installation complete with a giant vine crawling along the Rosemont Pedestrian Bridge railing,” Goldsby said. “The vine undulates along the railing with giant flowers, snakes, snails and caterpillars in a truly Alice in Wonderland-themed adventure. The project also includes a colorful bayou-themed display at the bridge entry from Allen Parkway and a meadow-themed display at the bridge entry from the Memorial side.”
Some of the work that goes on behind the scenes includes designing, assignments to the knitters, organizing who is creating what, installer help, keeping those long pieces organized, daily maintenance and repairs.
Because of COVID-19, this year Goldsby couldn’t host the other knitters at her home for the assembly. She got to do that one alone. Still, the result, after it’s installed this Saturday, will be worth it. Goldsby showed me a small portion of the vine with the giant flowers, snakes, snails and caterpillars and it really is amazing.
The Rosemont Bridge spans Memorial Drive and Buffalo Bayou and connects the two sides of Buffalo Bayou Park, west of Eleanor Tinsley Park and east of the Studemont-Montrose Boulevard Bridge.
Visit Urban Yarnage at urbanyarnage.com.
Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com for additional highlights and artist’s stories.