Yarn Bombing OMCA

In August 2011, a prolific yarn bomber and fiber artist, Streetcolor, approached the Oakland Standard with a proposal to yarn bomb OMCA. Visitors often perceive the Museum's concrete edifice as unwelcoming or uninviting, so we were happy to support a handmade intervention. Streetcolor is unique among yarn bombers in that she uses exceptionally high-quality wool, which, amazingly, she spins by hand.

Streetcolor installed her knitwork throughout the Museum grounds. This laborious process was helped along by a special team of volunteers: Nancy Rodriguiz Bell, Betsy Graham, Brenda Loreman, and Natasha Matteson.

On November 4, 2011, OMCA hosted a knitting circle to inaugurate Streetcolor's yarn bomb. Many knitters and crocheters joined the circle and contributed flowers to the installation.

I'd been working as a professional textile artist for about ten years—knitting, weaving, crocheting, dyeing, beading, and felting. I have an art school education (I graduated from California College of the Arts), and have shown my work in galleries all over the US and Korea. But I was tired of thinking of my art as a commercial commodity.

The first time I saw yarn bombing, I felt it was my calling. I was elated to see knitting outside. It was beautiful, funny, domestic, and surprising. I liked the street art tradition of making work anonymously. Anonymous artwork subverts the cult of celebrity. I began yarn bombing around my neighborhood and decided to use the name Streetcolor.

I've used yarn bombing to map my favorite places. I've also used it to connect with and mark a new place. I know the work will be destroyed eventually by time or vandalism, so I photograph it as a record.