Outdoor installations have usurped the Center Stage as the primary attraction at the Center for the Arts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The center has delayed most normal operations save for outdoor artistic installations. In an effort to uphold social-distancing guidelines, the center is displaying artwork outdoors: a light sculpture on the lawn, a ceramic totem pole on Cache Street and, now, a yarn-bombing display at the center’s Glenwood entrance.

“Due to COVID-19 we have far less people on campus, but currently every corner of campus has some kind of art happening outside,” Jackson Hole Center for the Arts’ Creative Initiatives Director Oona Doherty said. “I was inspired to do yarn-bombing at the center as a way to work on a collaborative community project that adheres to our current social distancing restrictions.”

In order to piece the display together, Doherty and the center had to get creative — sourcing knitters from all corners of the valley and country. A preschool in town is working on the bike rack; another family is knitting from their home; other artists are mailing in work from out of state.

A group of people from the center has been collecting people’s work and sewing it together in a cohesive outdoor display and will continue the installation work during this month.

“We have lots of participation from all ages and abilities — really creating a community quilt of sorts,” Doherty said. “These pieces combined visibly show that we are an art center to anyone walking by: We are more than offices — we are a creative space.”

Doherty and center staff members deemed it important to showcase artwork viewable even when the community can’t safely gather indoors.

The Center for the Arts’ yarn-bomb will be installed throughout January and will remain viewable until this spring.

“Yarn-bombing can make us stop and look at a building in a new way and perhaps spark a sense of renewed appreciation,” Doherty said. “These colorful and cozy yarn bombs show some love for a building that has made so much possible in our community.” 

Contact Julia Hornstein via 732-7071 or jlove@jhnewsandguide.com.

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