Generation DIY

The first-ever “Unraveled DIY Festival” comes to Rapson Hall this weekend.

Mark Brenden


âÄúUnraveled DIY Festival,âÄù presented by Textile Center

When: 6-9 p.m., Friday

Where: Rapson Hall, 89 Church St. S.E.

Cost: $3

To call us the âÄúDo It Yourself GenerationâÄù is certainly a loaded statement. While this era likely boasts the largest amount of people who donâÄôt know how to change a tire, it also contains an unprecedented number of crafty individuals who have had to make do with what they have in uncertain economic times.

Lauren Koehne, a trumpeter of this bold statement, has found an interesting way to display the craftiness of the Millennials. She founded the first ever âÄúUnraveled DIY Festival,âÄù a festival by the DIY generation for the DIY generation.

The three-hour event is a celebration of all things homespun. Located âÄúin and aroundâÄù Rapson Hall, it will feature everything from dishware to home goods to textiles to black-and-white rural photography âÄî so long as it is handcrafted. Most of the items will be for sale to the public.

âÄúI want the festival to be a way to build bridges between artists of all kinds,âÄù Koehne said.

âÄúUnraveledâÄù is a project that Koehne has had in her head for two years now, since she was working for the Surface Design Association. She worked with a team of 40-plus seasoned artists who were searching for a way to reach out to younger craftsmen.

âÄúThereâÄôs such a return to the craft and the idea of being an artisan among young creative individuals right now,âÄù Koehne said.

âÄúI think itâÄôs more of a revival,âÄù said Shannon Watts, a studio art sophomore at Normandale Community College, festival contributor and intern. âÄú[We are] trying to get our generation to be more interested and aware of whatâÄôs available to them.âÄù

In an effort to avoid a boring, unilateral arts-and-crafts gala, Koehne said she drew inspiration from several âÄúhippie music festivalsâÄù to spice things up. The event will also feature music from Worth the Risk and Steady As She Goes.

âÄúObviously itâÄôs crafty,âÄù she said. âÄúBut we want to appeal to a really broad market with a more tongue-in-cheek, independent attitude.âÄù

One particularly tongue-in-cheek feature will be yarn bombing, also known as yarn graffiti. In the form of street art, knitters essentially take pieces of mitt fabric or yarn and sew them around public structures, making the statement that arts and crafts are still thriving in a cement world. Coincidentally, the first ever International Yarn-Bombing Day is slated for June 11, one day after the festival.

After roughly two years of dotting iâÄôs and crossing tâÄôs, Koehne said that after seeing her vision come to fruition, she âÄúwould anticipateâÄù that the festival will be something they continue to put on down the road. Especially after sheâÄôs seen the effect it has had on those involved.

âÄúAside from opportunity, [DIY art] is a chance for inspiration,âÄù said Sarah Ung, a studio art sophomore at Normandale and festival intern. âÄúAs you get older you realize you kinda have to make some money, but [DIY art] gives everybody a sense of hope.âÄù