Greater Allegheny instructor takes part in large-scale community arts project

Adjunct Instructor in French Amy Guthrie recently participated in Knit the Bridge, a community-made, community-installed and community-supported public art project. According to their website, Knit the Bridge is “a grassroots, community-led arts project that brings the many diverse communities of Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania together to create a large-scale, aesthetically stunning, fiberarts installation on the Andy Warhol/Seventh Street Bridge.”

The installation was on view from Aug. 12 until Sept. 6.

Amy guthrie knitting

Penn State Greater Allegheny Adjunct Instructor in French Amy Guthrie knits as part of the Knit the Bridge project.

Image: Penn State

“In July, I heard about the project from a relative, and then saw an interview on TV with the lead artist. I happened to have that day off, so I went to the studio in East Liberty and started knitting,” said Guthrie.

According to the website, “In conjunction with Fiberart International 2013, Knit the Bridge celebrates the history of Pittsburgh as a city of bridges and steel as well as the region’s thriving, contemporary arts scene. As accessible craft forms, these community-engaged fiberart traditions knit together strong, healthy, creative communities.”

The Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh led the project. Knit the Bridge stated that more than 1,500 volunteers participated from across the region, with representation from about 90 percent of Pittsburgh city neighborhoods and Allegheny County municipalities as well as from surrounding counties and even a few out of state. 

“In addition to the monumental task of knitting and crocheting enough pieces to cover the walkways, railings and parts of the towers, the organizers did an amazing job managing the project: figuring out how to cover a bridge, how to organize the volunteers, how to manage the logistics,” said Guthrie.

“By the time I got involved, the colorful panels were complete, so I knitted several black, 9-foot strips to cover the railings. I also participated in the installation and de-installation, which was hard work. Each piece was hand sewed to the bridge. The project remained in place for a month, and then was removed last week in order to donate all of the work to shelters and nursing homes,” said Guthrie, adding, “It was really fun to be part of something big, a true community effort, and an art project that highlights Pittsburgh and our bridges.”


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Last Updated September 17, 2013