Heart installation in the Heartland: Outdoor art exhibit comes to Kansas City


Photo courtesy of Alice Brandt

Senior Alice Brandt hopes to visit all 154 Parade of Hearts Sculptures

Addy Burris, Staff Writer

154 hearts – that’s senior Alice Brandt’s objective. 

“The Parade of Hearts: A Heartland Celebration,” an outdoor art installation that Kansas Citians can explore, started at the beginning of March. The 5-foot tall hearts are not hard to miss. The many multicolored hearts have been spread out all over the city.

Brandt just graduated this past weekend and will be attending The University of Arkansas in the Fall. These past few months, Brandt and her family have been trying to track down all 154 hearts before she goes off to college.

“My mom and I were sitting there talking about hearts one day, and she said that she really wanted to do it as a family before I went off to school,” Brandt said. “It just sounded really fun to me.”

To create the hearts, 123 artists were commissioned at the start of November. All the artists have some sort of tie back to Kansas City. 

Artist Sara Trucksess, one of the Parade of Hearts artists, said when she heard about the Parade of Hearts she immediately submitted her application.

“A friend of mine saw an advertisement, and I submitted my application for Parade of Hearts and I thought it sounded really interesting,” Trucksess said. “I thought it was an amazing way to bring the community together after the past 2 years, so I knew I had to apply.”

Trucksess and her family have lived in Kansas City for a long time, and her heart not only shows her family history but also her specialty, Needlework. 

“My grandfather flew the first constellation airplanes, and that is why my dad’s family lives here,” Trucksess said. “He also flew the first transatlantic flights from New York to Paris and TWA was stationed here, so there’s an airplane on the heart flying into Kansas City.” 

Trucksess is a needle point artist, so her heart looks like a giant quilt. Trucksess said it took from November to the end of February to complete her heart, and she is proud of the way it came together

“I am a needlepoint artist and I come from a long line of artists, and so it was important to me to sort of make it look like fiber arts when there’s actually no fiber involved in it,” Trucksess said.  “I just think it is such a really fabulous community idea, and I love how there’s been so many amazing people working on this project.”

All the hearts will start to come down starting the first of June and will be auctioned off on June 17. There will be a live phone number for people to call in, and anybody can bid on a heart.

Jen Nussbeck is on the board of directors for Parade of Hearts, and said she is excited for all the hearts to go to their forever homes.

“Most of the hearts will go up online, so anyone could bid on a heart,” Nussbeck said. “We will have about a dozen hearts that will go up for live auction.”

All the money that is raised at the live auction will go to multiple different organizations or foundations throughout the city.

“I would love for people to get out and enjoy their family, friends and their co-workers to visit the hearts and challenge one another while they’re out for the next couple days,” Nussbeck said. “We hope one day to tell all of these stories of how the Kansas City region came together and what inspired them.”