Saturday, June 23 , 2018, 8:57 pm | Overcast 64º


Yarn Blasters Knit Color into Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

This bird nest crafted from yarn is one of the many fiber surprises on view at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden over the course of the next two months. Click to view larger
This bird nest crafted from yarn is one of the many fiber surprises on view at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden over the course of the next two months. (SBBG photo)

The Yarn Blasting Babes and the Santa Barbara Fiber Arts Guild have worked their magic at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden with creative fiber art pieces offering surprising splashes of color in the Garden. 

A four-foot-wide orange knitted poppy, the shades-of-blue rain funnel and giant spider webs are just a few of the fun surprises included in the 10 works created by Karen Luckett’s team of renegade fiber artists and local school children.

All this color makes us think of what the resting native plants might be dreaming of as they wait for the rains to come, giving the exhibit the title Dormant Dreams. 

Yarn blasting is a temporary public art form that takes something you see every day and creates a new view or perspective; it makes you look again. 

“The Botanic Garden is one of my favorite places in Santa Barbara, and I wanted to do something there to celebrate how beautiful it is, any time of year,” says Luckett, the organizer of the Yarn Blasting Babes and project designer. “Our team visited the Garden and talked with staff to get our inspiration for art pieces that are beautiful and inspire people to learn more about the plants.” 

The exhibits are marked and labeled on a Garden map available at the entrance kiosk. 

“The Garden is pleased to provide a venue for artists and community members to come together and create,” says Nina Dunbar, director of development and communications at the garden. 

Dunbar has a background in public art and serves on the Santa Barbara Arts Commission’s Arts Advisory Committee. 

“The Garden’s mission is to inspire people to love and conserve native plants, and art reaches people and inspires them on many levels.” 

A good example of community collaboration is the over 360-foot-long yarn chain leading down to the redwood section, giving a different perspective on the height of redwood trees.  

Susan Owens taught first graders from Santa Barbara Charter School to finger knit the yarn chain with their teachers Tanya Hansen and Ali Alvarado, with support from the Fiber Arts Guild.

“We hope the [Wishing Wall] display inspires people to be a part of this community project and to show their love of plants and art and the garden,” explains Dunbar.  “The Wishing Wall is woven of native wood and grasses from Mission Canyon. Guests can make a donation and receive a beautiful yarn flower with a tag to make a wish and then attach their wish flower to the wall. When the display comes down, they may take their flower home if they like.”  

The Dormant Dreams yarn blasting will be on display for a limited run of approximately eight weeks. 

Be sure to check it out before the rains come and make those dormant dreams come to life.

— Rebecca Mordini represents the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.


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