ArtsArts

Stealth knitting on public sculpture deemed illegal

The result of a yarn bombing: a knitted cozy on sculpture's "T".

A stealth knitting project which involved creating a cozy cover for a piece of public sculpture on the Berkeley-Oakland border has come to the attention of the authorities who have asked that it be taken down.

We reported last week on the covert night-time “yarn bombing” operation which led to the “Here and There” sculpture on Adeline Street becoming, effectively, “Here and Here” after the letter “T” was given a knitted covering.

Berkeley City’s Civic Arts Coordinator Mary Ann Merker visited a nearby knitting and crafts studio yesterday to let them know that altering or defacing a piece of public art constitutes a violation of Federal law.

“Ms Merker said that if we happened to know who had given the T its cozy, could we ask them to take it down,” says Sile Convery, owner of Knit-One-One. “She was very nice about it,” she adds. Ms Merker had not returned calls from Berkeleyside at the time of writing. We also put in a call to the sculpture’s artist, Steve Gillman, but have not heard back.


The group behind the stealth knitting action has not decided what to do. The original intent, according to a source close to the group, was to let nature take its course. Given the current wet weather, one would have thought the cozy would be the worse for wear, but, according to Convery whose store is close to the sculpture, it’s bearing up well.