The Inaugural Rome Community HeART Project, sponsored by the Rome Area Council for the Arts (RACA) and Redmond Regional Medical Center, unveiled 10 large hearts around Downtown Rome and at Redmond Regional Medical Center on Saturday February 1st. February is Heart Month with a national focus on raising heart health awareness. To celebrate this month and to provide a public display of art, the HeARTs will be displayed outside throughout the month of February. “We are truly excited to bring community art to Rome” said RACA President, Emily Hjort. “By partnering with Redmond, we are able to combine this unique art project with heart education. It’s a perfect match.”

The Rome Community HeART Project is the result of a partnership with RACA and Redmond to bring a community art project to Rome with a message of heart health awareness. The HeART sculptures are approximately four feet in size. Local concrete artist, Bill Thornton, created each sculpture (or HeART) as a hollow form covered with a skim of concrete. Thornton then delivered each sculpture to the individual artists. Using the medium of their choice, these local artists have truly created unique pieces of art, conveying a message of heart health awareness. The HeARTs will begin appearing in the Downtown Rome area Saturday, February 1st, courtesy of Bill Thornton, and will remain on display outdoors throughout February.

The Rome Community HeART Project is pleased to announce the following participating artists and the local businesses who are serving as the “HeART Hosts” for each piece. The community is invited to visit these local businesses and enjoy these colorful pieces of community art.

  • Eva Marie Kelly Burns – hosted by Kaleido-Sno
  • Stacy Cates – hosted by Swift & Finch
  • Zane Cochran and Harrison Daniels – hosted by Redmond Regional Medical Center
  • Ken “Blacktop” Gentle – hosted by Corner of 2nd & Broad
  • Kelly Moore – hosted by River City Bank
  • Kathryn O’Mara – hosted by Joe Marion’s office, JL Todd Building
  • James Schroeder – hosted by Georgia Power
  • Siri Gunderson Selle – hosted by Southeastern Mills
  • Cabell Sweeney – hosted by Citizens First Bank
  • Redmond Cardiology Staff – hosted by Redmond Regional Medical Center

“We are so thankful to the local artists and to the local businesses for supporting this project,” said Megan Watters, RACA Board Member. “The project would not have been possible without their energy and support. It has been a pleasure working with all of them.”

The public is encouraged to visit the HeARTs and to vote for their favorite either on the RACA or Redmond Facebook pages. Both sites will have a photo album of the HeARTs. The public can cast their vote by “liking” the photo of their favorite HeART. “The HeART with the most ‘likes’ between the two Facebook pages will be recognized as the People’s Choice Award for 2014”, said Andrea Pitts, Director of Marketing at Redmond.

On Monday, February 3rd, 2014 there will be a “Meet the Artists” reception to celebrate the unveiling of the Rome Community HeART Project. Participating artists will be present to meet the community and share the inspiration behind their pieces. The reception will be held at 5:30pm at the Seven Hills Meeting Space on Broad Street.

About the Rome Area Council for the Arts:
The Rome Area Council for the Arts (RACA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit community arts organization that was founded in 1976. RACA’s Mission is to enrich the Greater Rome Community through the unifying and compelling power of the arts. RACA fulfills its Mission by providing advocacy for area artists and arts organizations and by supporting a dynamic community-based arts environment through arts programming, education, promotion, and community outreach.

To learn more about RACA or to support the organization through donation or membership, please visit or email