The Arts + Literature Laboratory is more than a physical space on the city’s east side. It exposes emerging artists to different ideas and helps those artists to share their work with the community.

You see a lot of interesting things on Bascom Hill.

A badger dressed in a graduation cap and gown.

A flock of flamingoes.

A massive snowball fight.

The latest? Light poles wearing colorful afghans.

It’s part of “Women Take the Polls,” an art project designed to encourage people to vote. Unlike robocalls, postcards, and commercials filled with accusations – the “yarn bomb cozies” aren’t telling you who to vote for. The color scheme is definitely liberal, although the project is non-partisan.

This act of “craftivism” is the idea of artists Kelly Parks Snider and Chele Isaac, an alum who got her masters of fine art in 2008.

They got a little help from the Dig & Save at St. Vinny’s where they found donated afghans. At $1.25 per pound, the price was right.

A diverse group of women ranging in age from 9 to 86 gathered at the Arts + Literature Laboratory in Madison to cut them apart and re-fashion them as a salute to the original love and labor that went into them.

“It has been super collaborative which is the way grassroots things work best,” Isaac says.

Isaac added a personal touch by donating part of a cream-colored blanket that was given to her as a wedding gift. It had seen better days before her dog tore a hole in it.

“Moon Pie is such a sweet boy,” Isaac says.

Well, usually.

The project’s sponsors include UW–Madison’s Department of Art, Arts + Literature Laboratory, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Arts in Action, and BLINK! Madison Arts Commission.


Read more at the School of Education News