Julie Kornblum

Forest, For the Trees

Tom Bradley International Terminal, Arrivals

Old-growth forests exhibit distinctive ecological features and are often home to rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals, making them ecologically significant. Unfortunately, many of our old-growth forest stands are threatened by habitat destruction at the invasive hands of man. This fiber-based installation hopes to address the wonders and perils of the forest by creating an environment that is at once unique and fantastic, dangerous and bizarre, and by acknowledging that one day, the built environment may be all that’s left.

In 2011, the Arroyo Arts Collective, a community-based cultural organization in Northeast Los Angeles, initiated the Forest, For the Trees project, while its co-producer Yarn Bombing Los Angeles (YBLA) invited artists from all over the world to contribute work.

The installation has grown from its debut at the Avenue 50 Studio gallery in Highland Park to an ever-expanding traveling installation, with new fantastical elements added for this display at LAX.

YBLA is a group of guerrilla knitters who have been collaborating since 2010 to stage public installations and performances to help expand the definition of public art by blending and reinterpreting street art, fiber art, social practice, craft, and high art. The eclectic group encompasses all ages, genders and backgrounds. YBLA includes professional artists as well as novice crafters; materials range from yarn to cut up garbage bags; techniques range from knitting, crocheting, needle work, weaving, collage, and spray painting on knit material. The pieces may be whimsical, humorous, conceptual or political. The common thread is the creation of work that pushes the knit/crochet envelope, and our presentation of the work in the public realm.

Artists used standard, recycled, and unusual materials to create trees, groundcover, animals, water, rain, and much more. Participating artists include: Edith Abeyta; Leslie Brown; Yolanda Diaz; Katelyn Dorroh; Beth Elliott; Jacque Lene Engel; Carmela Gomes; Margaret Hatfield; Heather Hoggan; Amy Caterina Hill; Kristen Johannsen; Lisa Jong; Julie Kornblum; Arzu Arda Kosar; Justine Leong; Tyler Mitzner; Lauri Mraz; Diane Olson-Baskin; Racquel “Rocky” Ormsby; David Orozco; Olga O’Shea; Adrianna Rianna; Judy Richards; Connie Rohman; Erin Shea; Ann Storc; Kacy Treadway; Jane Wang; Jessica Wards; Tracy Williams; Darlyn Susan Yee; and Carol Zou. Threadwinners: Alyssa Arney and Liz Flynn, Diane Bush, Laura Henley, Rita Poon, Maria Zapata, Terri Lonski, Connie Griffin, Kazuko Tajima, Irene Cochran, Linda Leonard, Jeanette Johannes, Hui-Mei Ellis, Linda Greco, Theresa Knopf-Morgan, Amy Bauer, Susan McGettigan, Charlotte Marshall, Judy Brill, and Luisa Bottari.

Photo courtesy of Panic Studio LA.

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