Where Past Meets Present

Heart Art

Community Members Fill RCHS Lawn with Messages of Gratitude

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Project honors essential workers through outdoor art

Janesville, WI — From creatively decorated hearts to colorful signs, community members are embracing a Rock County Historical Society (RCHS) and Janesville Art League project honoring essential workers through outdoor art.

The hearts and signs, many with messages of gratitude, are displayed across the street from Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center on the RCHS campus on Mineral Point Road in Janesville.

“We have had such a positive response to this project,” said RCHS Executive Director Tim Maahs. “People are looking for ways to safely express their gratitude to our local essential workers. Some folks are picking up a heart or sign to decorate either with their children or individually, and others are donating plywood or funds specifically for this project.”

Socially distancing measures are in place for every step of the campaign.

Maahs said he’s seen staff from Mercyhealth walk over to take selfies. Many people are also driving past to see the display, while others are stopping to take photos.

RCHS and the Janesville Art League plan to continue the project as long as community interest remains and funds are available to purchase the plywood.

There are many ways to participate:

  • Pick up wooden signs or hearts in the parking lot at RCHS, decorate and return for display.
  • Make a monetary donation earmarked for this project.
  • Donate exterior-grade plywood to help fill the lawn.

For details, contact RCHS by calling at 608-756-4509 or emailing tmaahs@rchs.us.

Home to six uniquely different historic sites on a 3.5-acre campus in the historic Look West Neighborhood, the Rock County Historical Society’s mission is to bridge past and present through capturing and sharing stories about Rock County, Wisconsin. Its sites include the award-winning Lincoln-Tallman House, Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center, Charles Tallman Archives, Tallman Carriage House, Wilson-King Stone House, and the Frances Willard Schoolhouse.