Grand Central Market | Blog | YARN-O-POLIS at Grand Central Market | Take a stroll through Grand Central Market, and you'll notice some changes, but none as unexpected or as lively as the bright yarn-covered columns on the Market's Hill Street side.
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YARN-O-POLIS at Grand Central Market
November 18, 2014

Take a stroll through Grand Central Market, and you'll notice some changes, but none as unexpected or as lively as the bright yarn-covered columns on the Market's Hill Street side.

These cozy column covers make up YARN-O-POLIS, a massive classical architecture-inspired art installation. Created and curated by Yarn Bombing LA, the local fiber arts community whose guerilla knitworks include giant rings and the facade of the Craft and Folk Art Museum, YARN-O-POLIS strives to represent "Who/What/Where is Downtown LA?" in all of its many and myriad facets.

The result: patchwork stripes of brilliant blue and hot pink stacked under neon green capitals, icons for familiar Los Angeles institutions like a Metro train, a Chinatown gate, and a Toy District rocking horse serve as reminders of the incredible diversity of the Downtown area. 

"We started thinking about a way to extend our Put A Ring On It project to this opportunity with Grand Central Market. Our Put A Ring On It project was about calling out beloved landmarks and institutions through putting a yarn ring on it - 'if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it!' Naturally the ring iconography led us to think about the adjacent Jewelry District, which in turn made us think about all the different districts in DTLA and what it might mean for people from different neighborhoods to come together in a historic, pedestrian space," said YBLA organizer Carol Zou. "Someone in our group suggested looking at the architectural columns of the market, and the connection between Grecian columns, the idea of democracy/polis, and the multiple districts of DTLA was born."

Local groups like Gather DTLA, Angelus Plaza Senior Center, Downtown Women's Center, Braille Institute, Pasadena Crochet Meetup, and the Central Public Library Knitting Group all banded (or rather, knitted and pearled) together to create yarn panels. Many of the pieces come from distant contributors such as Las Vegas's brilliantly-named West Flamingo Yarnstormers, as well as individuals from across the US and as far away as Puerto Rico and Germany. Each panel is infused with the knitter or crocheter's artistic whimsy -- and in the case of the Braille Institute's stripe, readable braille.

YARN-O-POLIS received its official opening during November's monthly Downtown LA Art Walk, and the DTLA community came out to celebrate with plenty of crafty fun and delicious food. 

YARN-O-POLIS will be open until January 2015. For more information about the installation, visit its YBLA page here.

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