Pauline McLean Dutkowski and other fibre artists are gearing up for Outside the Box

Local artists ready to take it outside

Celebration of fibre and textiles kicks off this month

Residents of White Rock and South Surrey should brace themselves for  “yarn bombing.”

For the uninitiated, that’s the fibre art equivalent of graffiti, the unexpected adornment of objects and surfaces with colourful wool or other fibres by anonymous, and frequently mischievous, ‘yarn bombers’.

It’s just one of the activities promised by Outside The Box organizer Pauline McLean Dutkowski for the ongoing Semiahmoo Peninsula celebration of the often overlooked idiom of fibre and textile art.

For those who wish to learn more about the phenomenon, the book Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery by yarn bombing author Leanne Prain will be launched Sept. 19, 7-9 p.m. at White Rock Library (pre-registration required).

But there will be plenty of other ways to get involved in the seven week-long celebration bringing together local artists and businesses with the cooperation of the City of White Rock, White Rock Museum and Archives and the White Rock BIA, along with Semiahmoo Arts, Surrey Public Library, and Semiahmoo Shopping Centre.

The interwoven series of events and displays throughout the Peninsula (until Oct. 21) highlight the many possibilities of fibre and textile art and illustrate how practitioners are pushing the boundaries “outside the box” – including everything from knitting and felting demonstrations to performance art.

A main Outside The Box display – An Exploration of Fibre – will debut at White Rock Community Centre, 2-3:30 p.m., Sept 10, during the White Rock BIA’s Uptown Summersault Festival.

Other components include FiberFusion, a 6 by 9-foot collaborative mural by some 30 artists on display at White Rock Museum and Archives; demonstrations and ‘fun with fibre’ displays – including spinning and knitting demonstrations outside Knitopia –  during Summersault; informative wall texts to accompany the displays by the Women, Art and Society class at Langara College; and an exhibition of large art quilts by the Crescent Quilters and the ‘Piece Arch’ Quilters at the White Rock Library, which will also feature a presentation by Anne Kristiansen, Interwoven Stories: A History of Textiles in Fashion and Art (Sept. 26).

Also on offer will be a day of displays and demonstrations by weavers, spinners and quilters at the Zeller’s court area of Semiahmoo Shopping Centre (Sept. 24) with musical entertainment by the Soul of the World Multicultural Choir; plus exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations at Laura’s Fashion Fabrics through September; two evenings of fashion art and flowers presented by Boutique Vasanji and Flowers Chic (Sept. 10, Oct. 2); displays by the Peace Arch Weavers and Spinners at the Semiahmoo and Ocean Park Libraries and displays by the South Surrey and White Rock Art Society at Coast Capital Playhouse.


For more information and schedules, visit



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