'Hope hearts' spread through Denver metro, bringing positivity during pandemic

Posted at 6:25 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 20:27:09-04

DENVER -- Everywhere in the metro area, we see art. Some of it is simple, but other forms of it might be more complex. Then, there are those installations that pop up out of nowhere and spread quickly.

“it just seems like overnight things will crop up here, so one day we just woke up and they were there,” RiNo resident John McGowan said.

The newest art installation to pop up across Denver is nothing more than just a simple message of hope.

“I just want to do something that was like, straight forward. It wasn’t a moment when people needed mystery, you know?” artist Koko Bayer said.

Bayer is spreading hope with the use of wheat paste.

“It’s been amazing how many people have got back to me and supported the project end,” she said.

Hope is positive. But much like the art, it can crack - perhaps fade - and even sometimes others might try to damage it. But it always tends to live on.

“I’ve been pretty happy to see that one. Like the overall vibe of the community is hopeful and people are taking the opportunity to put that out there. Especially given how much stuff is usually just like, negative,” McGowan said.

“When this all cropped up I wanted to... — I just really wanted to do something to make people feel a little bit better,” Bayern said.

Bayer's work has grown by request from businesses, from the shadow of the Capitol to RiNo to the Denver Botanic Gardens.

“It just makes me happy. It’s just such a warm, uplifting piece. Obviously the message of hope it’s warm and uplifting but the aesthetic of it just makes you feel so good,” Jen Tobias, Botanic Gardens Associate Director of Exhibitions & Art Collections, said.

With about 60 hearts out there, Bayern said there are many more to come.

“I just did a 12 foot one up on the Arvada Center. That was just over the weekend. I’m headed up to Summit County right now to do a bunch of them,” Bayer said.

And just Monday, Bayern got a request from New York for prints.

“I know a print isn't gonna save the world or anything but if they could help a little bit, then that’s the power of heart, you know? To uplift people,” Bayern said.

Spreading positivity that hope springs eternal, even in the hard times.