Bombshells on the Parkway

Knitting, the stuff of grandma's everywhere.
When you think of knitting you think of quiet evenings by the fire, maybe a cat near by.
That's what you might think of knitting unless you were downtown Wednesday night on Central Parkway when the Bombshells blew your mind clear out of your head, knitted it up and plopped it back in your skull.
Art? Not Art? WFT?
You're not alone, it may be your weft to my warp but at the end of the day it's streetart.
And streetart is as much about, or even more about the process than the final product, people who don't get it probably don't get that.

Bombshells Yarn

A few words with Pinky Shears, since I knew they started planning this in March. Yes, MARCH!
What possessed you to go out and bomb Central Ave?
We loved the idea of Central Parkway being in the "center" of downtown.
Did you know it is a city park? There is so much going on in the arts in that area. We wanted to create a magical oasis that is seen often,but under celebrated.
It also allowed so many artists, crafters, DIYers in our posse to have their own piece of art with in the entire installation.

Did you acquire blue prints for central Parkway or did one of you go out and survey the entire place?
The Internet is a wonderful thing. Big Foot and I used Google Earth, and the Park web site. as well as numerous images on the web.
Then Babzy, Rasta Man and I went out on a recon mission to measure every tree, planter, light post and doogy do-do pole. Then the measurements we sent out. Many BombShells went out after and measure later, due to the trees growing a bit.

Do you know how many hours were invested knitting everything?
WOW, great question. The BombShells meet and we gave each other lessons on different types of fiber arts techniques. We had numerous meeting with the Park Board, Artworks and Metro. Before we got to the making. Then each BombShells invited old friends, new friends and family to be on their team as Sidekicks.This is even before the art making began.
There are hundreds and hundreds of hour in the making and creating. Hundreds per teams, per Sidekicks, per BombShells. I think we should come up with a number of yards of yarns and hours of making. Boo Radley and I use Law and Order episodes to gage our time. There is always a station that seem to have reruns on. And the beauty of knitting, crochet is that you can do it at home, with your family and friends and relax as you create.

How many people were involved?
There are 18 Bombshells, our amazing blogger May Hem, our video/photo documentation guys, Orson Wells and Hitchcock. Over 100 INCREDIBLE Sidekicks. We did workshops at the CAC and CAM and numerous participants helped my pom poms for the bus.
Wow, is like a million sound good?

Did you have sponsorship?
The BombShells are completely artist driven. This is the first time an artist has approached ArtWorks with an idea and Tamara Harkvay of Artworks faciliated the process of finding amazing funders. Artworks has been incredible in helping us make this a reality. So much of the supplies were donated, which was great too. The Bombshells and our Sidekicks did this art installtion for the love of creating art and creating community. None of us were paid to create this fete de arte! Additionally, the Cincinnati Parks and Metro partnered with us, the Cincinnati Reds too! The Art Academy of Cincinnati photography students are creating a photo documentary of our process as a class assignment. Lead by the iconic photographer Emily Hanako Momahra, each student was paired with a BombShell, and followed us around to document the goings on. There will be a show next Friday night in the ArtWorks Project Space.
There is a full list on the Artworks website too.
This sound so sugar coated sweetie pie, but I don't know of anywhere that an artist can have a idea and a city can come together to make it happen.
Along with over 100 pretty darn committed artist and craftspersons.

Bombshells Yarn

I get an email late last week, don't tell anyone, the Bombshell yarn bombers are going to be out Wednesday.
Except when I get there, there are as many people with cameras as there are yarn bombers. With that many people involved there's no way that secret was going to be kept.
The interview with Pinky explains all the photographers.
Twitpics were flying fast and furious on twitter, it was almost Hudson River proportions in the twitterverse.
Bombshells Yarn

Remeber those 3D postcards you'd buy out west on vacation? Yeah, its kinda like that.
Bombshells Yarn
Bombshells Yarn
Bombshells Yarn

How cool is it that the Metro has a sense of humor and loaned the Bombshells a bus?
Bombshells Yarn

Alice dropping down the rabbit hole to Wonderland.
Bombshells Yarn
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8 purl stitches


  1. Great photos, and I love you got to interview Pam! Man, I saw all this going down Wednesday night and really wanted to capture the artists at work and the paparazzi stalking them, but we were on our way back from the vet, and I just couldn't. The installation is amazing!

    You're not supposed to use their real names.

  3. Sweet blog post Bob, you need a BombShell name. hmmm...
    I'm thinking...
    Love the photos, you really captured the magic!

    And thanks VisualLingual. We think you are the Bee's Knees too, Maya!!!!

  4. that is so cool! Especially the bus!

  5. Oh my.....could someone please explain?

  6. Wow, cool, non destructive graffiti, where did this idea come from, did this start in Cincinnati? I first saw it at the Northside 4th parade I think. Short on time right now, got to get to market but a quick search of "bombshell knitting covering graffiti -Cincinnati" does not find much.

    Is this some kind of local, roots, pro art, midwest movement thingy? If so it would be appropriate to Bombshell Cincinnatus.

    I love it, brings to mind one of my favorite quotes...

    "The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"

    Jack Kerouac

  7. Actually Cincinnatus was one of the first things they bombed i think. Here is a post with a picture.

  8. Vudutu, yarn-bombing didn't start in Cincinnati. Some people attribute it to a group offensively called Knitta Please, which has been doing this for at least 5 years, I think.

    I have to disagree with calling this graffiti -- it's public art!