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GR woman weaves community together through giant loom

Posted at 5:43 AM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 05:44:26-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A woman carrying a massive loom has been spotted out and about across Grand Rapids this summer.

If you're curious, her name is Leara Glinzak, an art therapist and the owner of I Light LLC. She laughs as she tells us carrying the loom is "my normal routine by myself."

The massive loom is part of a community wide project that everyone is invited to be a part of.

"I’ve been going all over Grand Rapids with the loom, and people either choose to write a piece of their own story to add to it or a message that they want to leave to the world, since it is traveling all over," Leara explains.

This idea has taken off!

Every piece of the loom has a message from someone of a different background in Grand Rapids.

Here's a sample:

"Prayers and peace for Ben my son who is struggling to stay alive."
"You are worth more than the opinions of others."
"I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring."

There are so many of these messages that Leara is now making this a two-sided tapestry she hopes to display at ArtPrize 2020.

"I have some ideas of having some sort of a mirror piece in the back and having it hung so that you can actually see the side reflected, so you can read both sides of the actual piece while having a video loop next to it," she says.

It’s a display for all of us to look forward to.

And for Leara? She says this is just the beginning; "As far as what it could potentially do, I think that it can make connections all over, not just here in Grand Rapids. Well, this is Grand Rapids, why not have another one that says, 'This is Chicago'? And 'This is New Mexico'! I think it can really bridge our world more wholly together."

If you’d like to be a part of Leara’s loom project, you can stop by her Grand Rapids studio, "I Light."

Leara will also be at Books and Mortar on Cherry Street on September 7.