NYC Artist’s Project Helps Communities Cope with Pandemic Loss

Floral Heart Project began as a small gesture and has spread to communities across the country

By Kate Christobek and Joseph Clark

As communities across the world struggled with the growing toll from COVID-19 after more than a year since the pandemic struck, New York City artist, Kristina Libby, sought to create a fitting memorial to help those in her community cope with the tragedy, and remember those whose lives were lost. She got to work in her Williamsburg studio on crafting a befitting memorial – a woven chain of flowers in the shape of a heart.

She laid the first just by the water at Brooklyn Bridge Park and was stunned when a jogger stopped and kneeled in remembrance as he approached the heart-shaped floral wreath. Libby said the gesture was exactly the confirmation she needed – she knew this simple floral heart could be an important symbol to help mourners cope with their loss.

Soon Libby began laying more wreaths across the city, and eventually photos of the wreaths began dotting social media. She named her effort the Floral Heart Project, and soon the hearts began showing up in communities across the U.S. One year into the pandemic, Libby spoke with NY City Lens about the project and how she hopes to bring closure  to all those that struggle with loss from the pandemic. 

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