By Archana Menon
Community Outreach Coordinator, NCCD
NATICK – The team at LOVE 01760 is excited to announce that the incredible collection of community art will be formally unveiled during Natick ArtWalk on Thursday – July 16 at 6:30 p.m on the pedestrian bridge in Natick Center, thus bringing to fruition the hard work, commitment and community support that made this project a beacon of hope and happiness as Natick and the world came to grips with COVID-19 and its impact on our community.
LOVE 01760 is a community wide public art project conceived by members of the Natick Center Cultural District (NCCD), SPARK Kindness, local artists, businesses, and organizations to help connect us while we all continue to practice responsible social distancing.
The town-wide collaborative art project, launched during SPARK Kindness Week, asked participants of all ages and abilities to print out (or pick up from various locations in Natick center) a template of a half heart, decorate it and write their names on it before dropping off at The Studios @ 3 Adams. The heart halves will then be connected with others making them whole and symbolizing the community’s solidarity in these times of social distancing.
The connected hearts will be laminated and sewn together with yarn to create panels. The panels will be formed into a Wall o’ Hearts that will be installed at the pedestrian bridge for the community to view and enjoy.
When the group heard that the MaryAnn Morse Healthcare Center was experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, both in patients and staff, the group decided to create hearts with words of thanks and encouragement as well as love and endurance.
Within 48 hours, 102 hearts were delivered to the Center along with heart-shaped cookies for the staff. The hearts were hung up in the windows of the Center’s hallways and spread cheer, love and hope among the staff and residents.
The group then extended an invitation to the families of NHS class 2020 to be a part of the creative process. A portion of the heart installation will be dedicated to Seniors who will not be able to walk for their graduation by having a “walking yearbook.”
As the project began to grow, it fostered more collaborations. A Natick High School student has volunteered to start a website where all the art for this project will be catalogued and available for virtual viewing for many years to come. You can even buy T-shirts displaying the LOVE 01760 logo! All proceeds from the sales support the Natick Service Council.
When the installation is complete, a small collection of heart halves will be archived through the Natick Shares: A COVID-19 Community Archive Project. Many years from now, future Natick residents will have a to learn about how our community responded to COVID-19 with LOVE