ROCHETSER, N.Y. — A Rochester park received a makeover Sunday morning, with some yarn art.
All because local yarn artist Hinda Mandell says she loves color.
“It lifts our spirits," Mandell said. "There must be some evolutionary, biological explanation why color makes us so happy.”
She's a college professor by day, who spends her nights crocheting.
“My day job involves a lot of theoretical work, and reading, and books and writing," Mandell said. "So there’s something really powerful about creating something with color.”
Then there’s Mike Gilbert, the COO of local marketing company 5Linx, who loves the community.
“The health of our community is contingent on a healthy downtown and a place where people want to work, spend time and recreate,” Gilbert said.
That’s why when he and his company moved right across the street from Schiller Park three months ago, they immediately got to work on cleaning it up.
“Everything from pulling out 50-year-old hedges, to litter cleanup and getting new benches, working with the city on some cleanup efforts, and just collaborating with the city, and putting some sweat equity into it,” Gilbert said.
But they weren’t sure what to do with the chain link fence separating the park from an unsightly construction project. That’s when he crossed paths with Mandell, who had a colorful solution.
More than a dozen yarn panels were crafted by Mandell and several volunteers from a crochet Facebook group to be put up along the fence.
“When we were talking about this, planning for it, I kept saying, ‘it was going to be amazing, it was going to be amazing,’" Mandell said. "And I didn’t mean to be hyperbolic, but it’s so colorful. Don’t you smile when you look at this?”
Mandell estimates the crafting took nearly 1,000 hours of work collectively.
“I think this project really embodies the best of Rochester," Mandell said. "You’ve got community, you’ve got handicraft, you’ve got people coming together, you’ve got beautiful color.”
But it was all for the shared goal of making their community a little less gray.
“Rochester isn’t sunny every day of the week, but when you come into the park now and you see this art, this beautiful and colorful work, it’s going to add a little bit of light, a little bit of color, a little bit of happiness and joy, just from the experience of being in the park,” Gilbert said.