First Look: The Yarn-Covered Museum

The Craft & Folk Art Museum's eye-popping transformation begins.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Wednesday, May 22, 2013  |  Updated 11:51 AM PDT
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First Look: The Yarn-Covered Museum

Martha Benedict

The CAFAM Granny Square installation, set to officially debut on Saturday, May 25, is up now, if you want a sneak peek. But be warned: Drivers are pausing along that section of Wilshire Boulevard.

When it was announced that the Craft & Folk Art Museum would receive a temporary covering of 12,000 "Granny Squares" -- those gorgeous yarn pieces usually found in a blanket or sweater -- the news was both very surprising and yet sort of, well, expected.

Surprising because a huge building covered with yarn squares is rather unusual, yes. But consider the Wilshire Boulevard institution's immediate neighbors: The ancient mammoths of the tar pits. Levitated Mass, the most famous walk-under boulder on earth. The 202 lamps that make up Urban Light. And now Dorothy's ruby slippers, which grace, in poster form, the window of the May Company Building, where the Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences' new museum will open in a few years.

It's an offbeat area, in short, and the perfect place for a slightly outlandish yet deeply important art installation to take place. "CAFAM: Granny Squared" is set to officially open on Saturday, May 25, but we've gotten word that you can drive by now for a peek.

Well, perhaps "walk by" is the better suggestion. Word on the street is that the colorful building is causing traffic back-ups. So we suppose that is literally word on the street, that the street is backing-up.

It's set to be up through July 1, so you have time to marvel, to point, to find out more about why thousands of people participated, and to take photos. Lots of photos. Count on seeing pictures of CAFAM, near and far, all dressed up in its yarny, whimsical best for some time to come.

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