City Council to decide if Conway can be yarnbombed

sjones@thesunnews.comSeptember 2, 2012 

— Yarnbombing may not be Councilwoman Jean Timbes’ thing, but she and would-be yarnbomber Rhonda Etherden, also a Conway resident, have something in common.

Both are kind-of knitters.

But Timbes says yarnbombing isn’t her thing, and Etherden says she’s enjoyed giving life to a knitted creation she hopes will hang temporarily on a tree on Laurel Street.

Yarnbombing is a public art phenomenon that began with a single shopkeeper in Houston in 2005 and has spread worldwide. It’s also called guerilla knitting, granny graffiti and urban knitting.

The idea of yarnbombing is to adorn public spaces with knitted creations. While the Conway project is focusing on trees along Laurel Street, the work in other areas has included covering tanks and buses with crocheted squares that are stitched together.

A tree outside Conway Glass was yarnbombed recently, but the city made store owner Barbara Streeter take it down because the tree was on public property and she didn’t have permission to adorn it.

Timbes said she got complaints about the display, but she didn’t want to say where they came from.

That doesn’t mean, though, she’ll vote against a request from CREATE Conway to stage the Laurel Street yarnbomb on Oct. 27.

“I don’t have a right to say what looks good and what doesn’t,” she said.

As long as the proposal follows city regulations, she’s not going to object when it comes before City Council on Tuesday night. If it’s approved, Conway’s yarnbombers will use acrylic yarns that will hold up better in weather.

The Council’s blessing would be good news to Etherden, who said she’s already knitted the hula dancer that’s going to be her contribution to the yarnbombing which in its proposal would stay up until Dec. 1.

“I’m not as much a knitter as I am ... you know ... creativity,” Etherden said of what she likes most about her yarnbombing.

Which is where her and Timbes’ minds meld.

Timbes said she knitted back when, sweaters and things. When it was suggested she may want to contribute to the project, she laughed and said maybe she would.

She envisioned something that enshrined both Clemson and the University of South Carolina, where her children went to college.

Pre-bomb art

Conway’s art offerings are by no means limited to the avant garde.

First United Methodist Church at Fifth Avenue and Laurel Street has been displaying paintings and photographs created by its members in the church commons area and inviting the public to come look.

The next installation will be the original art of Thomas Hickman, a musician and videographer, among other things.

Hickman’s work will go up on Sept. 9, according to Billy Fallaw, the church’s music director, and be available for viewing through the month.

Hickman is a junior at Horry County Schools’ Scholars Academy and has organized the band Anna Prose.

Fallaw calls Hickman a gifted percussionist and videographer.

The exhibit will be open to the public before and after Sunday services and during regular office hours Mondays through Fridays,.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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