The Mountain Times

°F Sat, April 19, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Our story…from the heart

From two artists and community members painting on a sunny afternoon, came an idea from the heart. Mary Crowley and Karen Seward thought it was time to again bring attention to the people, places and businesses in Rutland and our region, and came up with the idea of having oversized hearts as the next street art project.  It would showcase how our community comes together year after year, showing heart in so many ways: The Gift of Life Blood Drive, Halloween Parade, Pack the Paramount Food Drive, and so much more.

Then along came Irene who could have destroyed our region. But, the strength and heart of our people, businesses and community proved that now was the time to showcase all we have to offer. This was when a project from the heart was born. Many have seen photos and heard stories of the Tropical Storm Irene devastation in Rutland and our region. Lives were lost, homes were destroyed, and towns were cut off. And through this difficult time, what stood out was the strength, courage and resourcefulness of Vermonters. It was the amazing heartfelt community support of people helping friends, family, neighbors, and those they didn't even know. From this disaster, an amazing thing happened, Vermont became one community helping others in need. Vermont became a project of the heart.

After Hurricane Irene, the feeling that it was the right time to do a community street art project became even stronger, and so The heARTs of Rutland! began to evolve.

The heARTs of Rutland! is about celebrating our people and pride in everything the region has to offer, and how our people, businesses and community come together showing heart in so many ways. 

Talented area artists have painted and embellished the 30 oversized hearts that are on display in Rutland and the Region for all to see and enjoy. These 4-foot fiberglass hearts celebrate the creativity of our local arts community, and create a sense of excitement and vibrancy within our region, welcoming people to visit and explore what we have to offer.

There will be a live auction of the hearts on November 2 at the Paramount Theatre in Downtown Rutland. There will also be a silent auction, "Art from the heART," that will be made up of wonderful Vermont handmade items and artwork. This project benefits Rutland and the region with profits distributed to victims of disaster in the Rutland Region through the Long Term Recovery Committee of Rutland County and children's art education.

Tagged: hurricane irene, community, heART's of Rutland