Colorful ‘bombing’ brightens Greensburg |
More A&E

Colorful ‘bombing’ brightens Greensburg

Dawn Law | for the tribune-review
Susan O'Neill (left) with Stanwood Elementary teacher Wendy Milne getting ready for the installation of Yarn Bomb Greensburg at the Art Yard at Seton Hill's Art Center on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016.
Dawn Law | for the tribune-review
Installation of Yarn Bomb Greensburg begins at Seton Hill University's Art Yard early Saturday morning, Oct. 15, 2016.
Dawn Law | for the tribune-review
Danielle Hartman of Greensburg (left) watches as her daughter, Emily Hartman, 3, attaches twine to a piece of crochet they're installing on the North Maple Avenue bridge during Yarn Bomb Greensburg, on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016.
Dawn Law | for the tribune-review
Ed Kuhn, professor of music at Seton HIll University (left), cuts twine while Andrew Kutrufis, a Seton Hill graduate, attaches it to fiber art being installed during Yarn Bomb Greensburg at the Art Yard at Seton Hill's Art Center on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016.

Susan O’Neill has been plotting to bomb Greensburg — with yarn — since January.

All year, donations of yarn and rectangles of knitting, crochet and fiber art have been filling collection boxes around the city.

The city approved putting up art on fences, gates, bridges and benches on Main and Otterman streets and Maple and Pennsylvania avenues for Yarn Bomb Greensburg.

There are installations at stores, restaurants and at Seton Hill University, where O’Neill is costume director in the theater and dance program. Volunteers started yarn bombing the city two weeks before the Yarn Crawl, which will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28.

O’Neill describes yarn bombing as “a form of street art that brings a thrill of unexpected color and coziness to an urban setting. … A temporary project that can be easily removed with no environmental impact.”

Yarn Bomb Greensburg will benefit the Blackburn Center Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. When taken down at the end of October, the fabric will be laundered and sewn into 100 twin-size blankets for women and children at the shelter. O’Neill was planning an art lesson with an aspect of social justice for her students, when she realized the positive impact of collaborating with the community on a project to benefit the Blackburn Center.

“It’s about bringing awareness,” O’Neill said. “It’s about bringing people together that under any other circumstance would not have come together on a project.”

The Yarn Crawl is being coordinated by Seton Hill alum Katy Simovski and Christine Chadwick, owners of Events by Poppy in Pittsburgh.

The Connections Cafe, Second Nature Gallery, DV8 Espresso Bar and Gallery and The Cupcake Shoppe participated in the exhibit and will be open for business during the crawl. The Cupcake Shoppe will donate a portion of sales to the Blackburn Center. The crawl begins at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art with guided tours that will wind downtown and end with desserts and live music at the Art Yard at Seton Hill’s Arts Center on West Otterman Street.

The Westmoreland has yarn installations at both entrances and had a box for donations that was emptied and refilled several times. In August, the museum hosted a crochet circle and taught crochet to promote the Yarn Bomb.

O’Neill has partnered with the Westmoreland before.

“So when she called and asked, we said, ‘Of course,’ ” says Catena Bergevin, the museum’s development director. “It was a really fun project to work with them on.”

The Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Westmoreland Cultural Trust, YWCA of Westmoreland County, Pittsburgh Center for Creative ReUse, Pat Catan’s and Coats & Clark donated materials. Wendy Milne’s third-grade art class at Stanwood Elementary in Hempfield Area School District wanted to include its insect and symmetry lesson in the exhibit. Milne wrote each student’s name on their plastic, yarn-stitched “bug” and used twine to tie them to the bridges on Maple Avenue.

“They’re hoping to get their bugs back,” Milne says. “It was one of their favorite projects.”

The entire event was done with volunteers and in-kind donations — no cash.

O’Neill shrugs off being the mastermind of what she says is her first and last Yarn Bomb Greensburg.

“No one was safe, anyone standing in front of me learned how to knit or contribute in some way,” she says. “People look at me and say, ‘I better go help her, or she’ll do this alone.’ ”

Dawn Law is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.