Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The SweetheART City

I've written at least twice before about my town and the fact that it is famous worldwide for Valentine remailing. We have been called the Sweetheart City and the Valentine Capital of the World. Interestingly, the name, Loveland, came about not for romantic reasons at all, but was named after the railroad tycoon who was responsible for the tracks going through the new town, aiding in its growth into the city it became. It was still a rather small town when I moved here in 1971(around 10,000), and is probably small in comparison to many of your homes. We rather wish it had stayed a bit smaller than it has become. But that's beside the point.

So - the Sweetheart City nickname came because of the Valentine remailing program, which really put us "on the map." Visitors have always delighted seeing the traditional heart shaped signs posted throughout the city thanks to one of the service clubs.

Since I'm not an artist in any sense of the word, I'm not sure exactly when the other aspects of the "art" reputation began taking place (I guess I could research it), but we began to have more and more sculptures appearing around town. We have several artists right here in town who have international reputations. We began having entire parks full of sculptures, and eventually a week-end in August dedicated to that form of art - with people coming from all over the world to bring their sculptures to sell. I still intend to do a post on my favorites of those pieces.

Today visitors to Loveland can find hearts throughout the city regardless of the time of year thanks to our friends at Engaging Loveland. In 2007 Engaging Loveland began a project called Loveland: A City with HeART that creates monumental hearts made of fiberglass and stand five feet tall and four and a half feet wide. Each heart is individually designed and painted by local Loveland artists with businesses and individuals sponsoring a heart of their selection. Many people make a game of it and hunt down all of the hearts, with the aid of a map they downloaded or picked up from the Chamber of Commerce. I enjoy discovering one I haven't seen before. Here are a few of them. They represent some aspect of our town important to the artist.

This one resides in front of one of the realtor's offices. I love the details.

The next two are the two sides of the one in the yard of the nursing home close to my house. It is very close to the lake.

This one is at the entrance to the assisted living/senior apartment/nursing home complex where DC's mom lives.

This one is by the side of the highway heading north on the property of a new large church. It represents the history of our area as one huge cherry orchard. I regret that most of the cherry trees have been replaced by houses or businesses.

I discovered this one when DC was in the hospital last week - it is the logo of Banner Health.

This one seems to represent the Valentine Remailing Program, as it is the cache that was on one of the more recent stamps that are put on the envelope of the Valentines that arrive here by the tens of thousands for remailing all over the world.

This one is placed outside the building that used to be the Lego factory and offices - a once booming business, sadly no longer in existence here. It was a huge boon to our town, along with Hewlett-Packard.

The rest of these I haven't actually located myself, but found them on line. I hope to hunt them down one of these upcoming nice summer days and take the kiddoes on a treasure hunt. The one below represents so many historical aspects of Loveland - I want to look at it closely.

Recently a new "art" popped up around town. It has caused a great deal of controversy. Local artists could apply to paint one of these electrical boxes. I thought it would be fun to show them to you - some consider them very tacky, others enjoy them. I'm kind of on the fence - some are very well done and some do qualify for the "less than lovely" category.

I got a charge out of this one, front and back - definitely an "Old West" theme.

No clue on this one!

Sorry for the lack of focus - I found this one by the lake.

I watched the artist do this one for several days as I picked up the kids for various things. She did all 4 sides representing the 4 seasons.

Last but not least - ?? But cute.

I'd love it if you would come and visit me - we'll take a tour around town looking for these pieces of "art" - art is in the eye of the beholder, as I am always told when I don't like something. But I rather enjoyed finding these things - kind of makes our town different from the rest. We'll also go see the lovely and not-so-lovely (in my eyes) sculptures.

Have a great week-end!


Needled Mom said...

Those are great hearts. I doubt that I have ever noticed them when traveling through Loveland. I will have to pay more attention the next time round.

I like the electrical boxes. They are certainly more interesting than the way they look naturally. That frog one IS very interesting!!! Hmmm.

Tiffany said...

Those are wonderful! And I would have flunked that part of CO history in school - I had no clue!

grammy said...

I think painting the boxes is a pretty good idea. I like the hearts. Years ago we had big geese all around downtown and then people bought them.
You didn't say how you are doing? Still have the girls? Are you getting some rest and is your hubby doing better?

Sharon Lynne said...

Quite an interesting tour you have taken us on. I like the paintings, but I'd have to see them in the complete setting to know if they looked tacky.

Due to your recommendation, I bought the book "When I Lay My Isaac Down". I think it will be a help to me. I'm quite glued to it.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

These hearts are incredible!!! I wish our city would do something like this, all we see is gang graffiti. LOLOL

What a great post, I really enjoyed it. I can't say that I have a favorite, but I do like the one with the I remember all the cherry orchards around there when I was young...from your town clear up to the Wyoming border...was it Wellington? Oh well...there is a highway going north. LOLOL

I'm on a roll.

Hope all is well with you and yours, and I do hope you and your family have a great, peaceful and loving holiday next week!

Karen H. said...

Good Morning Dawn. I have always heard of the town Loveland and even heard them talk about it on The Weather Channel alot. I think hubby has been thru there in the past while driving a big truck. I would love to come visit there someday as I have never been to Colorado myself. I love all of the Heart Monuments that Loveland has. I'm a big heart fan and collector, so anything with hearts, is very interesting to me. Take care my friend and I hope you and yours have a very "HAPPY THANKSGIVING". May GOD Bless you all.

Love and hugs,

Karen H.

Glenda said...

It's fun learning about your city! The pics of all those creative hearts are great! And the electrical boxes, too!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Gigi said...

Love the hearts! Our city does something similar but with mermaids since we're a coastal city.

And I really love those electrical boxes!! Every single one of them - including the poor little frog you didn't have a clue about (someone's gotta love him!) I think that's a very clever idea to beautify those ugly boxes - about time someone came up with a way to do it!

I hope DC's recovery is going well and that you and yours enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving!

nancygrayce said...

I love the hearts....we have something similar here but dolphins instead of hearts.

I'd love to come visit! I hope that happens one day!

A Hint of Home said...

Happy Thanksgiving to your family!
I hope your hubby is doing well.

groovyoldlady said...

Dawn, Dawn, Dawn, DAWN. The one you have no clue about is A BLUE PHROG! I think that's the best one of all. Of course, I collect blue phrogs... ;-)

Wville has one hideous statue downtown. There was quite a flack over the fact that the town paid $85,000 for it with tax dollars, even though many of the residents think it's hideous.

Ffield, where we live, did something fun a few years back. They allowed residents to decorate all the fire hydrants. All a person had to do was submit a sketch of their proposed "artwork" and the town supplied the paint and assigned them a hydrant. They were fun to see! Alas, they are getting old now, so I noticed the town was painting over them one by one in boring yellow.