heart of it all excelsior springs heart

Excelsior Springs Has HeART!

Excelsior Springs has more heart than ever! On Monday, March 14 a five-foot-tall by five-foot-wide heart was delivered to downtown Excelsior Springs and installed near the intersection of Regent and Kansas City Ave. The heart is part of the Parade of Hearts a public art installation throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area with a total of 154 hearts dispersed in both Missouri and Kansas. According to the Parade of Hearts website, the heart theme was chosen for multiple reasons, “For more than 100 years, Kansas City has laid claim to the title of being America’s Heartland.” The documentation goes on to state that the heart logo has also been displayed in the form of railroad pins, t-shirts, and most notably was the emblem emblazoned on the Kansas City Monarchs baseball team uniforms. Parade of Hearts officials stated “(these hearts) will show the world why we are known as America’s Heartland and why we have the biggest hearts.

blake bryant and mayor powell pose with the heart chosen for Excelsior Springs
Artist, Blake Bryant poses with Mayor Sharon Powell at the unveiling of heart designs in downtown Kansas City. (submitted photo).

Mayor Sharon Powell had the honor of attending the unveiling ceremony for the hearts and was able to meet artist, Blake Bryant, who designed the heart placed in Excelsior Springs. Bryant who says he’s “always had a bit of a creative bug” currently works as a nurse for the University of Kansas Hospital system but has a background in corporate marketing, advertising, and mixed media. In an interview with the Excelsior Citizen, Bryant said the inspiration for his design, “The Heart of it All,” was inspired by the fact that when looking at a map of the United States, Kansas City is literally at the center of the country and the shape of the metro area is similar to the shape of a heart. “I think if you see the front by itself, it is pretty simple but it’s also kind of elegant and then when you see the back it kind of has more pizzazz and links to the symbolism of the front design, I hope people pick up on that,” said Bryant.

The Parade of Hearts organization will use funds raised to provide grants to organizations that have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Major beneficiaries include the University of Kansas Health System, The Mid-America Regional Council, AltCap, Local Artists, and Visit KC. The hearts will be on display throughout the region from Mar 1, 2022, until May 22, 2022, and will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

For more information about the Parade of Hearts visit the Parade of Hearts website or read this article from our friends at KCUR.org.

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