The Andy Warhol Bridge stretches across the Allegheny River in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is one of a kind, in that it’s the only bridge in the United States with an artist for a namesake. A self-anchored suspension bridge, the structure is also a visual delight for architects and passersby, who can admire its strength and the way it punctuates the city.
Recently, the bridge has caught the attention of an organization called Knit The Bridge, who would like it a lot more if it were wearing one giant, vibrantly hued sweater. This group wants to dress Andy Warhol – the bridge anyway – in sweaters knitted by thousands of volunteers from Pittsburgh and across the country. Knit The Bridge’s mission is to unite the many diverse communities of Pittsburgh with this ambitious project.
“Yarn Bombing” is a form of art that stemmed from the contemporary craft and street art movements. It’s when people cover trees, benches, statues or anything else in public space with colorful blankets of yarn, and Knit The Bridge insists that it’s an alternative to graffiti because “it can be done without any damage to historic structures and is easily removable.” The group’s plan to cover the Andy Warhol Bridge with vibrant, knitted blankets is still being approved by the local government in Pittsburgh, but if the project gets the go-ahead, the bridge will receive its transformation starting in early August.
Knit The Bridge, with the help of the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh and over one thousand volunteers, is one of the most impressive yarn bombing endeavors to date, and one that seeks to do more than just create one giant piece of art. This community-led group seeks to celebrate both Pittsburgh’s history as “a city of bridges and steel, as well as celebrate the region’s thriving, contemporary arts scene” according to Knit The Bridge.
And what will the organization do with all of the donated blankets after the installation is removed? Knit The Bridge plans to wash them and give them to homeless shelters and people of need in Pittsburgh.
Keep a lookout for this project to get underway starting this summer!