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Words and photos by Streets Dept Contributor Eric Dale.
Four new yarnbombs were just installed in the South Street Headhouse District—and they’re part of an interactive event! Participants are invited to respond to the installations by doing a scavenger hunt (for kids), solving a themed puzzle (for adults), or writing on the sidewalk with chalk (for anyone). If you do participate, you can even win your own crocheted heart to take home!
The “South Street Happy HeArt Hunt” is a collaboration between Barcelona-based (but Philly-born) fiber artist Greta Shanley, who goes by WEFOMB, and Philly creator Eric The Puzzler. (Yes, this is the same Eric who’s writing this post and contributes regularly to Streets Dept.) WEFOMB, by the way, stands for “With Every Fiber Of My Being.”
Their project is based on a pandemic-era yarnbomb series that WEFOMB created in Barcelona in 2020. Here’s what the artist says on her website about that project:
“After a strange and emotionally draining year for people of all ages but especially children, I felt called to make something colorful, bright, hopeful and fun for them. My heart broke for the children of Barcelona when I saw the caution tape on the playgrounds during the worst months of COVID-19. And my heart burst with joy when the kids were finally in the streets playing again. The Happy Heart Hunt is a COVID safe and engaging way for kids to have fun and continue discovering what makes them happy in life. The Happy Heart design was inspired by a young girl that I nannied for in Philly who encouraged me to always ask the simple yet powerful question: What makes my heart happy?”
Wanting to create something similar in her hometown, but for a slightly wider audience, WEFOMB reached out to Eric after seeing the puzzle event series that he also created during the pandemic: Philly Street Art Hunt, which his website describes as “a street art-themed escape room built into the real world.”
“Greta needed some on-the-ground assistance in order to create a Happy Heart Hunt in Philadelphia,” Eric says. “I helped add a little structure to ‘eventify’ the experience, and of course created the puzzles that accompany her fiber installations. She’s a sky’s-the-limit sort of person, and I’m more down-to-earth. So it’s been a perfect partnership!”
Eric also found a sponsor for the project: South Street Headhouse District, which coordinated with local businesses that could host the street art installations.
To participate in the Happy HeArt Hunt and win a crocheted heart from WEFOMB, look for her four yarnbombs in the South Street area. Each installation has an accompanying scavenger hunt and puzzle handout. Those can be found in attached boxes at three of the locations; the fourth is inside a participating business. (Not listing locations because finding them is part of the fun, but eagle-eyed readers will probably be able to figure out where they are from the photos!)
Finally, you can exchange one or more completed handouts at The Philly Game Shop for a crocheted heart prize. The yarnbombs will be up indefinitely, but the prize hearts may run out—so pay a visit to South Street soon!
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Streets Dept Excursions tour Philly’s art world! Together, we check out some of the city’s most exciting creative spaces, galleries, and public art & talk w/ local artists and curators! Become a Streets Dept Patreon (Events level or higher) or purchase tickets via our Ticketleap page to join in!
Founder/Editor: Conrad Benner
Contributor: Eric Dale
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