Public art to happen at Historic Joy Kogawa House
Blossoms will arrive early to the beloved cherry tree at Historic Joy Kogawa House in south Vancouver. For the past few weeks, blossoms have burst forth from the needles and crochet hooks of crafters participating in two community knit-ins. They took place in the living room of this literary landmark—the childhood home of Vancouver-born poet and novelist, Joy Kogawa.
Blossoms have also been mailed in by knitters responding to online craft forums such as ravelry.com. “We’ve had blossoms mailed from Bend, Oregon, and as far away as Los Angeles and Montreal,” says Leanne Prain, co-author with Mandy Moore of Yarn Bombing: The Art of Knit Graffiti
(Arsenal Pulp Press).
Blossom patterns are available at www.yarnbombing.com, and those who love to knit or crochet are invited to download patterns, find pink yarn, and get going on this new, fun project. Finished blossoms can be mailed to Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6P 2N4. Knitting novices are invited to knit six-inch squares in brown yarn.
Some supporters have hosted knitting dinner parties to create piles of buds and flowers for the tree. Dinner guests have had fun imagining the blossoms repurposed to top hatpins, strung together as necklaces, or sewn into bikini tops.
Others are participating in more community knit-ins proposed for the rotunda at Vancouver City Hall. Councillor Andrea Reimer is working to host this craft event and fun-raiser in the generous space there.
On Valentine’s Day, parents and children will knit blossoms at Christianne’s Lyceum, a literary and art centre on Vancouver’s West Side. The day will include an introduction to the life and work of Vancouver author Joy Kogawa and a sharing of her picture book Naomi’s Tree, which tells the story of friendship, forgiveness, remembering, and love. Christianne’s knit-in will also include an introduction to the art of knit graffiti, and knitting lessons for those who don’t already know how.
All blossoms will be stitched in place on the cherry tree at Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver, on Sunday, March 6, from 2:00 to 3:30pm. Join Yarn Bombing authors Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore, along with writers Nancy Lee, Zsuzsi Gartner, Mary Novik, and June Hutton, among others, as they decorate the Joy Kogawa cherry tree. Drop by to help out or just to watch the magic happen!
The event is organized to raise awareness for the writer-in-residence program that takes place in the house each year, when the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society hosts a celebrated Canadian writer for three-months at a time. This year the Society will host two writers, each for three months. “We’re looking to increase awareness, but more importantly, to increase our membership,” said Ann-Marie Metten, executive director.
Patterns to knit cherry blossoms are available here
, and membership forms and a mailing address are available here
Media are invited to interview the authors before the event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org