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Artist to Wrap East Village Building in Fabric

EAST VILLAGE — Wrapping an East Village building in used and donated fabric is the next ambitious project for this local artist.

Artist Amanda Browder is appealing for donations of cloth to wrap the to-be-confirmed East Fourth Street building in a temporary fabric sculpture, similar to projects Browder has already completed in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Chicago.

Fourth Arts Block, a local nonprofit, commissioned the work to be implemented in September on one of its member buildings along the strip.

"It is almost like someone will be pouring something over the top of the building," said the 36-year-old artist, of how the cascading fabric will look upon completion. "There will be translucence fabric, bits will be cut out. The building will be very much apart of the sculpture."

So far, Browder has collected 60 pounds of fabric in an eclectic mix of patterns and colors, and is predicting another 40 pounds will be needed.

"It's an open call for as much as possible," Browder said.

She will begin sewing the fabric on her Husqvarna Viking sewing machine and a Mitsubishi industrial machine starting in June in workshops with volunteers.

"We will even teach you to sew," said Browder, who is looking for helping hands.  

The work is due to be installed for FAB's art festival on Sept. 28.

While all donations are welcome, the artist said she prefers to work with cotton, polyester or even certain types of vinyl because fabrics with stretch "can warp the image."

FAB, a membership group for local art organizations, is eyeing eight possible locations for the installation along East Fourth Street, including the buildings housing the La Mama theater and Downtown Art, according to executive director Tamara Greenfield.

"We have been doing public art on scaffolding, shipping containers, unusual places, particularly around construction, and thinking about how to transfer these spaces," she said.

Greenfield predicted the artwork would only be up for one day during the FAB Festival because of permitting issues.

When the Montana-born Browder moved to New York in 2007, she used donations for her projects as a way to meet people in her new neighborhood.

"What I like about the donation part is I get to meet a lot of the people who are donating to the project. It is an access point to be able to connect with a huge sculpture," the artist explained.

"My ideal scenario is that people will be able to visit and point out their donations on the piece."

To donate fabric or volunteer for a workshop contact Amanda Browder: amandabrowder@gmail.com