Public artwork brings a message of hope during coronavirus pandemic

Published on July 15, 2020

Koko Bayer Hope Heart at Lakewood Cultural Center.jpg

As the COVID-19 health crisis unfolded, local artist Koko Bayer began pasting heart-shaped prints around the Denver metro area to help people feel uplifted. The largescale image, emblazoned with the word “hope” and brightly colored radiating circles, has now become an iconic symbol. Bayer recently installed one of these inspiring prints on the west wall of the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway.

The artist’s Project Spread Hope is an example of public art generating a message of positivity for our communities. The temporary and biodegradable paper prints are adhered with wheat paste on buildings, street corners and in unexpected places. The act of stumbling upon the joyful image adds to its impact. Bayer says, “The heart, symbolizing the self or spirit, also shows up often in my work. In this print, it represents love, optimism and empathy.”

The artwork at the Cultural Center is bound to bring smiles to the faces of Lakewood residents throughout the coming months. The print is visible from the parking lot, and a closer view is available via an accessible ramp.

Arts Programming Curator Laine Godsey and the public art committee were excited to bring a hope heart to Lakewood. Godsey says, “It is not only that the work is simple, direct and incredibly fun to look at but more so that Koko, as an artist, is so eagerly giving a gift to her community during a time that can feel dark and isolated. The gift of art that impacts people’s outlook on the world is special, and we want Lakewood to experience the joy of Koko’s work.”

The Lakewood Cultural Center is generously supported by the SCFD, a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations.