City Walks – Community Art

Crochet on a lamp post

Group Projects

A couple of times recently I’ve run into community art projects collecting the work of a bunch of individual artists.

The first one shown here is in the windows of local alternative community school that focuses on at-risk students, and provides extra attention to help them get through high school.

Students made these clay heads in all kinds of forms, with a ton of interesting expressions.

Window display of clay figures
Window display of clay figures
Detail of above

Here’s a second window display.

Window display of clay figures

And a few individual pieces.

clay figures
Clay figure

Crochet Installations

Meanwhile, near my local farmers market at Christmastime a group of crochet artists contributed squares to large Christmas “tree” about ten feet tall.

Crochet Christmas Tree
Crochet squares
Detail of the base of the tree

Meanwhile, a lamp post near me was also swathed in squares. I don’t know for sure if it was part of the group, but it seems likely it’s connected.

Crochet squares on lamp post


  1. What I wouldn’t give to have a crochet-covered lamppost near me. I’m not being sarcastic. There should be far more organic public art than there is. The best that New York can manage is graffiti, most of it gang-related vandalism and not artistic expression, and temporary makeshift candle-and-teddy-bear memorials to the dead, usually from gun violence. Imperial Rome we are not.

    I once read, by the way, that those thousands and thousands of statues to Roman Emperors that were found all over the Empire (so that the citizens and subjects might know what their Emperor looked like; it’s also why their likenesses appeared on coins) used to be recycled. When one Emperor would die they would make casts of the successor Emperor’s head and replace them on the extant bodies. I wish we did that in New York. Put a statue called “Mayor” in front of City Hall, depicted in classical Roman form, toga or battle dress maybe, and just replace the head every so often. It would remind us all of the useful Latin phrase of Virgil’s, “tempus fugit.”

    • Right, statues were pretty openly understood as signs of dominance more than art, which is why the English put up statues of King George in the American colonies and then the revolutionaries tore them down as soon as they could.

  2. My eldest daughter got into crocheting & made me a hat out of some of my favorite beer cans.  Those hats were big in the 70’s but you don’t see them anymore.  I can’t wait to wear it to a beer festival.

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