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Gilroy
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February 5, 2023

Volunteers ‘heart bomb’ downtown

Artists show love to vacant Monterey Street buildings

While most of the community was preparing to watch the Super Bowl over the weekend, the Gilroy Downtown Business Association was hard at work promoting its 2022 Vision Statement, “To return Downtown Gilroy to its historical significance as the Heart and Soul of our community.” 

Newly elected Board Member Melanie Reynisson, who also serves on the GDBA Design Committee, created the “heart bombing” public art exhibit, which can be seen on various buildings in Downtown Gilroy. 

Reynisson, who has a background in art, jumped at the idea when it was first proposed and offered her services and talent to make it happen. Reynisson and her volunteers made artistic heart cutouts and wrote chalk paint messages that now adorn windows of empty buildings downtown. 

According to the GDBA, the goal of heart bombing is to reinforce the association’s new vision statement while at the same time bringing attention to empty buildings that have the potential to be improved and put back into use.

The concept of heart bombing began as a grassroots campaign organized by the Buffalo Young Preservationists in 2012. The goal was to draw attention to Buffalo’s vacant buildings and showcase them as community assets rather than eyesores. 

The GDBA invites all the downtown businesses to use their creativity to make hearts, signs and other decorations to hang in their windows. The festive decorations will remain on display through the end of February.

“Heart bombing is like sending a love letter to our city’s historic buildings,” said GDBA President Gary Walton. “We have selected several buildings that are vacant, available or in the process of being restored that we think deserve some extra attention. It’s easy to pass by these places without thinking much about how they contribute to the cultural fabric of the city. This heart bombing display is a visible declaration that says we care about the future of these buildings and want to see them preserved.”

For information on how to get involved in the GDBA’s Heart Bombing project, contact Nancy Maciel at [email protected].

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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