A feel-good public art project was viciously attacked this weekend, confounding local crafts people and capturing the attention of Houston Crime Stoppers.
Just one week ago, two dozen volunteers took to a metal decorative trellis along Heights Boulevard to create a yarn-bombing installation — a street art trend in which guerilla artists literally knit their way around pieces of public property.
But in plain daylight at 6 p.m. on Saturday, witnesses saw an older woman ride up on a bicycle and rip apart the 40-odd crocheted squares brightening up the public parkway between 16th and 17th Streets.
"The biggest question we have is why," Mary Goldsby, the Houston landscape architect who organized the effort, tells CultureMap.
"She wouldn't comment. She wouldn't talk to me," says a witness.
"This was really just a fun, whimsical project mean for the enjoyment of the community."
Heights resident David Milner was on the scene as the suspect proceeded to tear into the yarn.
"I said to the woman, 'What happened? I thought it was going to be up for another month,' " Milner tells KTRK Ch. 13. "She wouldn't comment. She wouldn't talk to me."
Officials currently estimate the damage at $10,000 — which clearly must have to do with labor costs and art value, unless the price of yarn has really spiked.
Goldsby notes the outpouring of support she and the volunteers have received in the wake of the vandalism. With three weeks left on the city permit, she is already working on the next phase of the project.
"Instead of recreating the damaged pieces, we've decided to collect photos from those who've had their picture taken in front of the art. While the details haven't been worked out, we're planning to hang the photos around the trellis in some way."
Contact Goldsby's Urban Yarnage group to submit your photos today.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to felony charges or an arrest. Call 713-222-TIPS to leave an anonymous tip.