Crocheting Connections with Bridging Communities
Imagine strolling across Belleville’s Front Street bridge, completely cloaked in vibrant crochet. Now, picture yourself playing a pivotal role in this historic community project. The opportunity awaits – join us in creating a masterpiece of woven unity! Tuesday nights at the Quinte Arts Council (QAC) cultural hub, artist Emebet Belete is holding FREE crochet sessions that are open to the public. No experience is necessary; just a desire to create, a crochet hook, and a willingness to learn. Belete is providing the yarn. Running from February 6th – March 26th 5pm-6:30pm you can attend one or all of the sessions to crochet. Community members of all ages are welcome to participate.
Bridging Communities is a large-scale art installation where community members will create crochet, and cover the downtown Front Street Bridge in stripes, blocks and patterns.
Belete graduated from Addis Ababa Fine Arts School in Ethiopia. Her desire to be an artist developed in grade school and she has been creating ever since. She has shown her work globally including Zimbabwe, France, Bulgaria, China and Canada. With a history as an art teacher and a focus on large scale art, Belete is passionate about getting the entire community involved.
“I love teaching art, and making art part of our community. Since I was an elementary art teacher in an international school in Tianjin,China, I’ve been engaging students by organizing student-led art installations. Children need to create, and see their work appreciated. You can also see art installations I’ve led in schools throughout the Bay of Quinte, through Ontario Arts Council grants. My own artwork is heavily moving towards art installation work. I wanted to get the community involved in a truly inspiring installation, and the image of the Bridge covered in crochet came to me.”
Art on this scale requires the entire community to join forces and unite in creation. It’s a great way to connect with new people.
“Bridging Communities is about creating community, about getting people meeting together and creating together,” says Belete. “We all need connections in our own lives, and I feel that’s an incredibly important part of this project.”
Belete has been hosting workshops over the past year. At Bayside Public School, over 50 students regularly crochet several times a week for the project. The project is open to the entire community. Belete says she’s very excited that the project is getting off the ground and new people are getting involved. She’d like to thank everyone who is supporting this project: the students, administrators, teachers, parents and grandparents who have been in schools helping our children to learn, and to the City of Belleville, the Quinte Regional marketing board, the Ontario Arts Council and the Quinte Arts Council for their support.
If you’d like to get involved or would like to get your workplace or community group involved please contact Belete, whether you’re a single person, a group of friends, or a work group there is plenty to get done.
“To get involved, please contact me through my website, emebet.ca. This is a long term project that will need dozens of people to help crochet, whether you’ll do one square or many, we need you all. We’re providing all the yarn, so this is totally accessible.”