Tree socks colonize Seattle

July 26, 2011

By Anna Marum

Suzanne Tidwell affixes a sheath of yarn in Seattle’s Occidental Park. Photo by Katya Palladina

Artist Suzanne Tidwell, creator of the yarn socks adorning several tree stumps near Eastlake High School in Sammamish, now has another site to add to her résumé. In April, Seattle Parks and Recreation asked artists to contribute to ARTSpark Program 2011.

The program, which organizes performances and art in Occidental Square during the summer, is a partnership between Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and 4Culture’s Site Specific program.

The ARTSpark representatives were excited to give Tidwell the go-ahead to wrap the trees in the square with brightly-colored yarn, said the artist.

“It really transforms the neighborhood,” she said.

Tidwell began installing the tubes of yarn on June 1 and finished on June 30. The bright hues of red, orange, purple and yellow have been likened to styles of Tim Burton and Dr. Seuss.

The artist said the feedback from Seattleites has been incredible.

“The community has been so supportive and enthusiastic,” she said.

The Occidental tree socks may come down in mid-August to make way for other artists’ projects.

Tidwell said projects like the Occidental Square and her current project for the Bellevue Arts Fair have kept her busy.

She said she will likely change the Sammamish tree socks in August. The socks’ colors will represent the transition from summer into fall, and will include bright reds and purples and orange and brown. The Sammamish City Council has allowed the tree socks to continue for a year, and the new display in fall should be the final one.

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3 Responses to “Tree socks colonize Seattle”

  1. Chris Pribbernow on July 27th, 2011 7:07 pm

    These things are hideous. I thought they would look better in Seattle, but I was totally wrong. She has not changed the tree socks and is selfish and inconsiderate. If you agree with me, join my Facebook page (yes, it is still around):

  2. Carla Kepler on November 6th, 2011 7:49 am

    I sympathize with those who believe that knitted or crocheted items should stay in grandma’s lap. Fiber art (and it is art) is not familiar to us. Suzanne is brave to bring us art in knitted yarn. A small group of knitters on Mercer Island knit a sleeve for a street sign pole in patriotic colors. It was lovely to watch children walk around it, touch it, ask mom about it. Parents took pictures. Lone walkers smiled as they passed. Vendors from the Farmers’ Market mentioned they were sad to see it go when we de-installed it. I’ve knitted and crocheted hundreds of hats, socks, and blankets for charity. It was an honor to be involved in a little knitted art on Mercer Island.

  3. Carol D on May 1st, 2012 12:49 pm

    I really like the socks. I look forward to seeing the Fall socks too.

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