New Yarn Art Installations Goin Up on the Trees of the 600 Block for Arts in the Heart's Family Area!

Written by: Heather Dunwaay
September 2023
Works in progress for Emily Shakal's Tree themed around the South American Rainforest.

This year the Family Area is getting a makeover. Family Area Managers Heather Dunaway and Erica Pastecki have been working hard to bring some color and activation to the Family Area to make a more engaging experience for our littlest arts lovers. Part of that initiative is several Yarn Art installations on the trees of the 600 block where the Family Area is located.


Several years ago, the Greater Augusta Arts Council funded a “yarn bombing” of downtown Augusta with group Hooked on Augusta. Yarn artists from all over Augusta’s River Region created colorful and intricate public yarn-art installations for all of Augusta to enjoy. Though not all of Hooked on Augusta could participate this year, several of those yarners are back to create seven global-nature-inspired installations. Some artists who weren’t able to participate this last time find themselves not roped, but knitted in this year for the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival. Artists and groups include Melissa Coffey, Karessa Ferguson (who will aslo be performing as Lavender the Crochet Fairy during the festival), Emily Shakal, Diana Laluz, Savanna Lowe as well as the Girl Scouts.

So far, artists are working away at all the knitted critters and plants that go along with their individual projects, each getting their own tree. Artist Emily Shakal is working on her Rainforest themed installation. Emily is a crafter/artist who has lived in the CSRA for the past 10 years. She taught herself to crochet at 11 years old and has most enjoyed creating amigurumi creations. She remembered seeing the “yarn bomb” downtown several years ago and has always wanted to be a part of one. Her installation can be found just outside the 6th Street gate.

Sometimes knitting can become a family affair, at least that is the case with Diana LaLuz. Diana plays the lead to a three-generation crochet group. She, her mother-in-law, Maria LaLuz, and her daughter, Lucy, are working together on their yarn installation that will be featured on the tree at the southern corner of 7th and Broad Street. This is their first time participating in a large-scale installation project. They will be doing a floral vine motif with butterflies scattered all around.

Melissa Coffey is in a smilar boat. She and her daughter Cassidy own Supernova Stitches. You can usually find them at area festivals and markets with cutesy creations and gifts.


For this project, Melissa decided to make a design that stood out and was as sparkly as possible. She grabbed her glitter yarn and got to work, letting the colors tell her what they wanted to be. She is utilizing vibrant yellows, rich teals, intense blues and happy greens. One thing comes to mind when envisioning these colors together, birds. She cant wait for her beautiful, sparkly birds to chirp “hello” to all the awesome people who visit the Family Area at Arts in the Heart.

Three generations of yarn artists. Grandmother, Daughter and Granddaughter all stand together. The grandmother, who is standing at the center, has short graying hair and is wearing a white shirt, the Daughter on the Left has dark brown hair and is wearing a pink shirt, the Granddaughter has brown hair and is wearing a blue dress.
Diana LaLuz, Maria LaLux and Lucy LaLuz

Heather and Erica cant wait so show everyone what fun things they have kicked started for this year’s festival. These amazingly creative yarn art installations will go up just before the festival and be on display to September 24, 2023. Catch a glimpse of what these local artists have up their expertly knitted sleaves.

Yarn art
The LaLuz Family's yarn installation thus far
yarn art
Melissa Coffey's yarn installation thus far