“The Immigrant Yarn Project,” which identifies itself as “the largest work of crowdsourced art in the country,” is on the second level of Fort Point until May 19, free and welcoming visitors every weekend, Friday to Sunday. The project displays works of art knitted and crocheted by more than 600 people across the country, in celebration of immigrants and immigration.
By Leah Garchik
The display of these completed works is the end result, but the point of it all is in the doing: hundreds of people pitching in to create patches to be joined together to create a whole, as millions of immigrants have joined together to create a country. The project, envisioned by San Francisco artist Cindy Weil as the first public project of her nonprofit called Enactivist, was created in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
What the visitor to Fort Point sees, arrayed around the second floor balcony and visible from the floor of the place, is 75 pole-shaped forms, each 4, 5 or 6 feet high with a radius of a foot. Each “totem” is covered by a kind of fitted quilt of sewn-together contributions of knitted or crocheted pieces, “any size from a flower to a blanket.” Non-knitters are invited to donate pom-poms to be added to the sculptures. Each contribution, while evoking one person’s immigration story, evokes the whole, a metaphor for the making of America, an entity created from cultures around the world.