Sometimes it’s the small things…
It was about a month ago, at the beginning of April, that a friend and I noticed something unusual as we cycled south on Charnelton Street.
The timing was impeccable, since it was installed just in time to be admired by the wave of pedestrians who hit the streets of downtown Eugene for the First Friday Art Walk. Not only was the bike rack on the corner of Charnelton and Olive wearing an impeccably-tailored sweater, but many of the animal sculptures along the street sported jaunty scarves as well.
“Yarn-bombing” is a whimsical form of graffiti in which objects in an urban landscape are “tagged” with knitted accessories rather than with spray paint. It is mischievous without being destructive. It is the kind of vandalism that is more likely to make a business owner giggle than call the cops. To quote the website www.identityschool.org, “[Artists] explore an environment in their lives that they view as cold, and transform the space into something warm with the help of graffiti knitting.”
What does this have to do with bikes, you ask? (Besides the obvious fact that a knitted cover on a rack will likely protect your bike’s paint job.) Simply put, this installation was much easier to notice and admire as a cyclist or pedestrian than from an automobile. It was a special treat designed for those traveling under their own power, a reward for those who take the time to see (and smell and hear) the city at less than 30 mph.
So thank you, yarn-bombers, for making it that much more fun to travel this fair city on two wheels. Let’s see what discoveries May brings!