When does an age-old craft like knitting become hip fiber art, street art and performance art? When it’s practiced by the Cincinnati BombShells yarn bombers, approximately 15 women ages 25-65 with sassy alter egos, Jackie O sunglasses and platinum wigs.
The mostly secretive BombShells, led by Pinky Shears (fiber artist Pam Kravetz), knotted their status when they and about 100 sidekicks decorated Central Parkway in September. Eight city blocks, 105 trees, a Metro bus, a bicycle and a Big Pig Gig sculpture were covered in felt and yarn in a project sponsored by ArtWorks. It became one of the city’s most talked-about public-art projects in years.
The BombShells’ buzz had grown during summer as they stealthily adorned statues in Piatt and Eden parks and Sawyer Point with knitwear. Invitations followed to put red stockings on the bronze ballplayers outside Great American Ball Park, and to decorate the CAC facade for a gala.
But “the eye was on Central Parkway,” Pinky says. Among the goals: Call attention to its unappreciated park space, honor a female art form, inspire others to work with their hands and spread smiles.
The BombShells will decorate the Fountain Square skating rink Saturday. Fans of their yarn bombing can watch the rink transform, write their own messages within the art, and skate with the crew and karaoke. Go here to read Kathy Schwartz's full interview with the BombShells.