What a fun time we had this weekend at YarnCon! Even though my new (!*&#^@**) little point-n-shoot camera flubbed royal, here’s what the little Chic Knits station looked like, right before the doors opened. The building where this is held, the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, is a few blocks from our house and is like many of the buildings in our neighborhood, built from bricks. But what makes this place so special are the murals! I was so excited to be “under the arch” a depression-era piece from the early 20th century.
“Completed in 1914, Pulaski Park was designed by architect William Carbys Zimmerman and renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen. In 1919, Jensen met with officials at the Art Institute of Chicago to discuss the idea of a competition for art students to paint a mural on the semi-circular proscenium above the stage in the field house auditorium. The West Park Commissioners provided the prizes of $100, $50, and $25 and instructors at the School of the Art Institute selected the winners. The first prize went to James G. Gilbert, who received $200 for materials as well as the $100 prize. In 1920, Gilbert painted his mural composed of a dramatic series of allegorical figures.”
Although the meaning of Mr. Gilbert’s allegory continues to be a mystery, it is speculated that the mural represents survival and success in a new place as the figures seem to be reaching for the sky and striving for a higher place. The neighborhood was predominantly Polish, and like many, very crowded with people living in wicky old tenements, with no space, air or room to move. Park houses like this gave people places to gather socially and recreate, a place that transcended their regular habitat.
And transcend we did! You can see in Natalia’s great pictures above that not only was this room filled with lots of yarn and yarn folk, but the show continued to another large room as well. I was lucky enough to be right next door to the fabulous Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark, from Kitchen Sink Dyeworks and across from Yarn Hollow (~~wave~~ Rita – who was wearing the most incredible Basic Chic Hoodie made from her hand-dyed Blue Face Leicester). And WOW! We had the best time meeting and greeting all the wonderful people who visited the show. Big hugz and thanks to all who stopped by to say hello or meet us for the very first time! :)