Floral Heart Project
The Floral Heart Project I created in response to the failure in American society to visually depict and memorialize our COVID-19 deaths. I was concerned that if we did not find a way to visualize and mourn our losses during the period, we would feel an even deeper collective trauma. This was based on research about post-traumatic stress following Hurricane Katrina and my MA work on collective trauma after mass catastrophe. All of which showed that trauma is deeper when experienced in isolation or ignored.
I designed and laid nearly seventy hearts since the beginning of the effort. But, this work grew from mine alone to that of the community as more people impacted by COVID-19 losses asked to participate.
The public art effort culminated on March 3rd when hundreds of hearts were placed around the country with over 200 volunteers and thousands of people attending the layings. This tied with an effort to create a COVID 19 Memorial Day by multiple COVID loss community organizations and has been credited with providing the visual show of support necessary for the Council of Mayors and the US Congress to support the creation of the memorial day.
The Project has been featured in hundreds of media placements and at the Arizona Historical Society Museum.The project was able to reach millions of people who saw, were part of, donated to, and supported the effort.