Spring knitting organizers upset that statues downtown disrobed of their artwork

The knit accents added to this statue, part of the Art of the Corner downtown program, were the result of between 10 to 15 hours of creative effort, according to knit pieces creator Allison Blevins. The knitted addition, like all the other ones adorning Art on the Corner pieces, were ripped or cut off in alleged acts of vandalism. Photo special to the Sentinel/Allison Blevins

Whether it was intended as an artistic statement or if it was merely vandals causing some widespread damage downtown, a number of prominent sculptures in the Art on the Corner program had their temporary knit accents ripped off and trashed over the weekend.

The knitted and crochet accent pieces — added to sculptures downtown as a whimsical complement to the Art and Music Festival, as has been done for the past five years — were found ripped from the art pieces and either dumped nearby or otherwise left strewn about the downtown area.

“There were only three pieces left (on Saturday morning) — and they were near the intersection of Fourth and Main — and that’s where security was all night,” said Allison Blevins, co-owner of Tangle knit shop, 525 Main St.

Blevins and Tangle co-owner Christina Caspari are the primary force behind the annual Knit on the Corner concept.

“Hours and hours, and our hearts and souls, have been poured into these pieces, each one custom-designed for the art, benches and trees of Main Street,” Blevins wrote in an open email letter Tuesday.

She said Tuesday that every single piece added to local sculptures had been ripped off and dumped, while the items placed on trees, light poles and benches stayed put. That has Blevins thinking that the vandalism was intended as a specific message.

“I don’t believe it was kids. I believe it was targeted. I believe it was a specific statement about knitting on artwork,” she said.

She also said she’s heard nothing direct from anyone about concerns the knit program is somehow disrespecting Art on the Corner artists.

“No one talked to us. We would have been happy to talk about it. We really respect Art on the Corner,” Blevins said. “We would have been happy to talk, and work something out.”

It wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday evening whether police reports had been filed or if there’s an active investigation into the alleged vandalism incidents.

Blevins, though, made her thoughts crystal-clear in her open letter.

“If your goal was to protect art, you were not successful. You destroyed art and destroyed hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars of creative work,” she wrote. “If your goal was to cause destruction and devastation to people who are actively working to make our community better, you succeeded.”


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