“Unraveled DIY Festival,” presented by Textile Center
When: 6-9 p.m., Friday
Where: Rapson Hall, 89 Church St. S.E.
To call us the “Do It Yourself Generation” is certainly a loaded statement. While this era likely boasts the largest amount of people who don’t know how to change a tire, it also contains an unprecedented number of crafty individuals who have had to make do with what they have in uncertain economic times.
Lauren Koehne, a trumpeter of this bold statement, has found an interesting way to display the craftiness of the Millennials. She founded the first ever “Unraveled DIY Festival,” a festival by the DIY generation for the DIY generation.
The three-hour event is a celebration of all things homespun. Located “in and around” Rapson Hall, it will feature everything from dishware to home goods to textiles to black-and-white rural photography — so long as it is handcrafted. Most of the items will be for sale to the public.
“I want the festival to be a way to build bridges between artists of all kinds,” Koehne said.
“Unraveled” is a project that Koehne has had in her head for two years now, since she was working for the Surface Design Association. She worked with a team of 40-plus seasoned artists who were searching for a way to reach out to younger craftsmen.
“There’s such a return to the craft and the idea of being an artisan among young creative individuals right now,” Koehne said.
“I think it’s more of a revival,” said Shannon Watts, a studio art sophomore at Normandale Community College, festival contributor and intern. “[We are] trying to get our generation to be more interested and aware of what’s available to them.”
In an effort to avoid a boring, unilateral arts-and-crafts gala, Koehne said she drew inspiration from several “hippie music festivals” to spice things up. The event will also feature music from Worth the Risk and Steady As She Goes.
“Obviously it’s crafty,” she said. “But we want to appeal to a really broad market with a more tongue-in-cheek, independent attitude.”
One particularly tongue-in-cheek feature will be yarn bombing, also known as yarn graffiti. In the form of street art, knitters essentially take pieces of mitt fabric or yarn and sew them around public structures, making the statement that arts and crafts are still thriving in a cement world. Coincidentally, the first ever International Yarn-Bombing Day is slated for June 11, one day after the festival.
After roughly two years of dotting i’s and crossing t’s, Koehne said that after seeing her vision come to fruition, she “would anticipate” that the festival will be something they continue to put on down the road. Especially after she’s seen the effect it has had on those involved.
“Aside from opportunity, [DIY art] is a chance for inspiration,” said Sarah Ung, a studio art sophomore at Normandale and festival intern. “As you get older you realize you kinda have to make some money, but [DIY art] gives everybody a sense of hope.”
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