Merriam Gets Two Parade of Hearts Sculptures

Published on April 16, 2024

Two 5-foot heart sculptures - one with large strawberries painted on it. The other is painted to look like it's hand-stitched. The letters KC are in the middle of each heart.

Grab your camera and be a part of the ultimate public art experience in Merriam!

Our City received two Parade of Hearts sculptures. Stop by Merriam Marketplace to see My Heart Resides in Strawberry Hill by artist Kate E. Burke, and then head to Merriam Historic Plaza to check out Stitched Together by Leah Dwyer.

In its third (and final year), the Parade of Hearts celebrates our diversity, unites communities, and supports nonprofits by placing 100 5-foot hearts designed by local artists throughout the Kansas City region.

The hearts will be on display through August. 

About the Hearts

My Heart Resides in Strawberry Hill by Kate E. Burke

Located at Merriam Marketplace

With both sides covered in strawberries, it’s only fitting that this heart resides at the Merriam Farmers’ Market!

Artist Kate E. Burke said this piece honors the Strawberry Hill neighborhood with the image of ripe strawberries packed inside the heart.

“There is a thriving and engaging art scene growing in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood,” Burke said. “Along the edge and bottom is a nod to the Croatian immigrants who began settling this neighborhood back in the early 1900s.”

Burke said the embroidery pattern is inspired by the Croatian style of embroidery found on period folk clothing.

Stitched Together by Leah Dwyer

 Located at Merriam Historic Plaza

Artist Leah Dwyer recently picked up crochet as a hobby and said she loves the way it connects to people in the present and is a way to honor and remember those who used it in the past as a tool.

One side of the heart depicts the KC laid on top a pattern of granny squares. 

“With crochet, I’ve always found it so interesting that such intricate, detailed, and large pieces can all be made out of a singular thread,” Dwyer said. “I find that that relates heavily to a city like Kansas City, although we all may feel separate from each other we all have that common thread of this city that ties us all together.”

The other side is a traditional cross stitch pattern of Home Sweet Home showing Union Station and Kansas City's founding year.

“I hope people walk away from this piece feeling a newfound sense of being at home, as well as a new appreciation for crochet and other yarn arts seeing all the different and fun ways they can be applied,” Dwyer said.




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