Scenes from the Mill Valley Arts Commission’s “Knitting Us Together” art project in the Downtown Plaza, a collaboration with Kiddo.

As previously reported, art with a purpose is certainly having a moment in Mill Valley.

The creativity has spanned a group project, led by artist Zoe Fry, featuring a trio of free-standing doors in the Depot Plaza as a way to promote racial justice, with each door built around a timeline of racial inequity and systemic racism. It’s also included the beautiful, thought-provoking murals of Wesley Cabral on figures like Breonna Taylor and legendary Rep. John Lewis and actor Chadwick Boseman, both of whom passed away in recent months. The mural of Lewis and Boseman was relocated from just outside the Depot Bookstore & Cafe to the wall at 34 Miller Ave., adjacent to the historic, billboard-size Mt. Tamalpais Hikers Trail map.

In mid-September, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival got in on the artistic burst with “MVFAF: Beyond the Park,” taking the work of 16 artists and putting it into the storefronts of downtown Mill Valley merchants as a counterweight to being unable to hold the 64th edition of the event over the weekend of Sept. 18-20. MVFAF artists also installed hand-made chimes, mobiles and hanging sculptures to adorn the Downtown Plaza. 

In recent weeks, the Arts Commission and Kiddo! unveiled “Knitting Us Together,” a public art project on the plaza that seeks to bring the community together via a unique form of public art. The project had artists of all ages creating knit or crocheted patches of yarn and flowers and temporarily covering some of the trees in the plaza with those urban knitting pieces.​ As evident in the collage above and the slideshow below, the knit or crocheted patches of yarn and flowers provide a yet another spectacular splash of color to the plaza.