pictures by Teresa Moore
The North Carolina Project: The Office of Raleigh Arts is excited to host New York-based artist Olek as she begins the North Carolina leg of her 50-state public art project, Love Across the USA. Olek, who is widely known for “yarn-bombing” sites, will work with participants to create a portrait of an important North Carolina woman. The completed work will be approximately 40’ wide and over 20’ high, and will debut on the eastern facade of the Raleigh Convention Center in October 2017.
This August Olek will lead a series of workshops to create the artwork here in North Carolina. These workshops will teach participants the crochet technique necessary to help create Raleigh’s tribute to a strong woman’s voice. After the workshops, participants will be in charge of completing one square, a 2ft x 2ft piece of the overall artwork, which will then be sewn together to create the final mural.
Friday, August 25th, 6 – 9pm @ Artspace (201 E. Davie Street, Raleigh, NC 27601)
Saturday, August 26th, 11 – 2pm @ Top Greene (401 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27601)
Saturday, August 26th, 6 – 9pm @ VAE (309 W Martin St, Raleigh, NC 27601)
Project Beginnings:In 2016, Olek and her NYC community came together to create a project in support of a future female leader. In the weeks leading up to the election, the team met to crochet, listen to podcasts, and share their thoughts on women’s rights, equality, and freedom of speech. It inspired the artist to create a project that would celebrate the accomplishments of extraordinary women from throughout U.S. history.
Love Across the USA is a community public art project with the goal of bringing the community together through open workshops and public art installations. It is only as a united group that we can promote positive women’s voices and create real change. Just as many loops connect to create a strong crocheted fabric, we are stronger together. To date, portraits of Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman have been created in New York State.
Optic and Emily Alexander, Artspace, VAE Raleigh, CAM Raleigh, Anchorlight, Rebus Works, McConnell Studios, Top Greene Community Center, Chavis Community Center, Raleigh Convention Center, Black Girl in the Arts, Raleigh Murals Project, American Underground, Gridworks, HQ Raleigh, The Carrack, Deco, Arts Now NC, Black on Black, The Forge Initiative and Lump.