It’s been approximately 9 months since the Granny Square exhibit was at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, in Los Angeles. Now available from Amazon, the CAFAM Granny Squared book that documents the entire process.
The book takes you on a journey from the history of the Granny Square, to how to pull off a public art project. Along the way we hear from many of the participants, get involved in a little international intrigue, and learn of the heartwarming results of the whole project.
The Granny Squared project came about in order to serve a dual purpose. Nestled in the heart Los Angeles’, Museum Row the Craft and Folk Art Museum, dwarfed by the larger nearby institutions, wanted to make a statement about the importance of artists whose work otherwise might never be publicly displayed. By covering the building in the brightly colored squares the museum not only stood out amongst all the larger buildings, but the effect of the squares was to make the building appear almost as if it were a doll house on a street surrounded by institutional architecture. The second purpose was to show how crafting can also have a practical social impact as the project ultimately benefited those who have the least in the community.
Over 500 participants helped to make 14,000 Granny Squares needed to cover the front of the Craft and Folk Art Museum. When the call went out through word of mouth, and via the internet, people from all 50 states, and over 25 countries mailed in squares to assist with this public art project. There was an added air of mystery, when some squares had to be smuggled into the United States. The desire to help was so strong that some crocheters in countries that are currently embargoed actually worked to get their squares smuggled into the United States.
During the 4 months the exhibit was up, the Craft and Folk Art Museum was the shining star on Museum Row. This was an amazing feat for a project cobbled together by the works of hundreds of amateurs, especially considering some of the greatest art museums in the world are across the street.
As cars drove by amidst the morning rush hour on Wilshire Blvd, people actually slowed down and admired the whimsy and the bright colors. It put a smile on their faces, which is what crafting is all about.
Granny Squared ended up being a bigger success than anyone could have hoped for, but the project didn’t end when the granny squares were taken down. It had always been a goal of the project to benefit the underprivileged of Los Angeles. The granny squares which had brought so much delight to Wilshire boulevard commuters were repurposed, turned into blankets for the homeless, and donated to the Downtown Women’s Center on Skid Row.
Created by an international community, Granny Squared stands as a shining example of the power of arts and crafts to bring people together, help those in need, and add a little joy into everyone’s life.
The new book CAFAM Granny Squared chronicles the project from inception to it’s lasting effects today. It is filled with beautiful color photos and is a great window into a one-of-a-kind art project that brought everyone together.