The idea to commission this artwork originated with Jennifer Garner, the museum's Manager of School and Family Programs. Her desire was to drive more traffic to The Blanton during Explore UT and to reach out to Austinites, middle school visitors, and hosts of out-of-town guests here for SXSW. She also felt the installation would complement the museum's current exhibition, Recovering Beauty, which explores notions of color and playfulness. Jennifer was assisted by graduate student and Blanton intern, Kristen Bellamy, who worked hard to help execute the event.
Volunteers also assisted with a series of fun activities that The Blanton developed in conjunction with Explore UT. This year, we offered lectures, tours, and a sculpture challenge that was judged by museum director Ned Rifkin, along with Blanton curator Ursula Davila Villa, and docent Ellen Hunt. In preparation for these activities, volunteers from the Liberal Arts Science Academy’s National Honor Society came to set up tables and supplies, and the sculpture challenge was overseen by volunteers from The Blanton's Student Guild, a registered student organization on campus.
Even though we all were exhausted, the day was a great success. A Knitted Wonderland was so well received, we even extended it a week! Congratulations to everyone and a heartfelt thank you to our many volunteers who helped to make it possible.
- Martha Bradshaw, Manager of Visitor and Volunteer Services
Image: Blanton volunteer, Allyson Weber, attaches tree numbers to the 99 trees in A Knitted Wonderland so that knitters could find their tree and sew on the custom sweaters.