It all began last April, when Kristina Libby started the “Floral Heart Project.”
The New Yorker and multimedia artist decided to start leaving different heart displays made entirely of flowers all over NYC, in hopes of “providing support and love to those impacted by COVID-19.”
She left these bits of beauty in locations from Washington Square Park to the New York Public Library on Fifth Ave to the Brooklyn Bridge.
In September she laid one in the iconic Times Square, in order to “honor and memorialize those who have died from COVID-19” and hoping that “these floral tributes will offer hope and love to those struggling in this moment, and will help heal our community going forward.”
“To lay my heart in Times Square was a complete shock and honor and brought me so far from that first idea,” she shared on her Instagram. “I love you all. I worry about you. I hope you find a moment of rest and joy and love if you stumble across it.”
She also said that if any New Yorkers who have been impacted by COVID-19 would like to have a future heart laid in honor of a family member, they can DM her on Instagram.
Most recently (as of this Tuesday, March 2), she helped lay multiple hearts out in front of the Flatiron Building. In an ongoing partnership, 1-800-Flowers provides blooms while other florists like Starbright Floral Design help create the designs.
Without a permanent COVID-19 memorial for victims — 500,000 in the U.S. and almost 30,000 in NYC itself — the displays have allowed New Yorkers a moment to remember and honor those lost.
It’s another beautiful addition to NYC streets, similar to Lewis Miller’s stunning “flower takeovers,” which have taken on a new life during the pandemic.
featured image source: Instagram / @bigntoasty