Ladies Fancywork Society members open Lowbrow on Broadway
Even if you haven't read about the Ladies Fancywork Society, you've likely seen their fancywork -- known as "yarn bombs" -- around town. LFS often works in the dead of night, wrapping random, urban objects in a comforting knit sweater, giving the pedestrian telephone pole or bike rack an intimate, anthropomorphic feel. "Street art is often very masculine in nature, more aggressive," says Lauren Seip, an LFS artist. "And there's nothing wrong with that, but there's a place for the other side, and crochet street art brings something domestic and feminine to the street."
Jesse Dawson Ladies of Lowbrow: Tymla Welch and Lauren Seip.
Over the last year, LFS stepped up its game, tagging large objects like the Colorado Convention Center's Big Blue Bear with a witty ball and chain. And now the group is taking its grandma-tag aesthetic into the mainstream with Lowbrow, an art-gallery/art-supply-store/workshop space.
Other than a knitted deer-head that LFS created as a gift for Fancy Tiger (see pic below), this will be the group's first foray into art-as-capitalism. "It's the first time we've made something that people can buy and take home," says Seip. "It won't be taken down, or rained on, or set on fire, or peed on by a bum. We kind of took crochet from inside to outside -- and now we're bringing it back inside."
But just as LFS took street art in a completely different direction (leaning toward witty inspiration rather than territorial urinating), the new Lowbrow gallery also stands apart from its contemporaries. In addition to exhibition space, Lowbrow features a quaint (yet comprehensive) art-supply section, and will regularly host workshops on topics like wheatpasting, moss graffiti and screen printing -- all made with materials that can be purchased at a local grocery store. The workshops "are more in the style of LFS," says Tymla Welch, co-owner of Lowbrow and fellow LFS y-bomber. "I'll be putting on a screenprinting workshop using glue and dish soap. It's accessible, it's easy for anybody; it's not like fine-art classes."
"We want art to be for everybody," continues Welch. "You don't have to have had to go to art school to do it. You don't have to have a lot of money to afford it." And by providing both the materials and space to create art -- as well as exhibitions of other inspiring, DIY works -- Lowbrow will offer a comprehensive space where potential artists can feel comfortable and self-assured. "I feel like a lot of people are intimidated by art. They think: I could never do that. But really anybody can, you just need some confidence," muses Seip.
The beginning of LFS "indoor art."