SCT Designs and the KC Parade of Hearts!
If you've been following along for a while, you will know how lucky we are to have Sara Trucksess of SCT Designs local to us in Kansas City. Sara is an incredible artist who has worked with many mediums- but is best known at KC Needlepoint as a canvas designer. You may be familiar with some of our best selling needlepoint canvases including the Nutcracker Ornament or her incredible holiday advent calendars.

Sara was selected to participate in the Kansas City Parade of Hearts; a public art project designed to unify the various communities of our city that were affected by the pandemic. The Parade of Hearts was organized by a group of creative Kansas City business owners. It is designed to echo the Cow Parades of Kansas City, New York, Chicago and other cities from 2001 where giant fiberglass cows were painted by local artists and displayed locally as public art. 20 years later, the Parade of Hearts reimagines the sculptures as 5 foot “Charlie Hustle” KC Hearts, painted by local artists and displayed around the city in support of the ongoing pandemic. The heart sculptures will be auctioned off this coming summer to live in private homes and collections with proceeds raised going toward those in our communities who were most negatively affected by Covid-19.

Sara's "Heart" is a 5 foot tall "faux-needlepoint" canvas in sculpture form. Fortunately for us, we are lucky enough to have an exclusive SCT Designs KC Needlepoint Parade of Hearts canvas available for purchase. A portion of sales from the canvas will be donated back to The Parade of Hearts to be distributed to various local charities. 

Click to shop the Parade of Hearts Canvas.
Read on to learn more about Sara and her experience. 

Sara, how did you get involved in the Parade of Hearts?

The Parade of Hearts organizers put out a call for local artists to submit design ideas last summer. Several friends encouraged me to submit a design and I like to say yes to new experiences as often as I can so I decided to give it a whirl, submit a design, and see what happened.

What made you interested in it?

I have worked in all kinds of artistic mediums, but lately I have been working mainly in fiber arts as a needlepoint artist. The Parade of Hearts project was pretty far outside my current artistic aesthetic, but it seemed like such an interesting community project that I wanted to see how I could translate my typical designs to such a large scale piece and bring needle arts farther out into the world, all while doing good for my local community.

How did you choose to do your design?

My design is a 5 foot “faux-needlepoint” piece, meaning that normally with needlepoint you would stitch fibers (yarns, threads, etc.) through a mesh grid to create an artwork, but I executed this design with paint instead of fiber. The parameters of this project required the heart to sit outside and be durable enough for all kind of weather and human contact and I was concerned that whatever giant threads I could find might not stand up to the elements. Because of its huge size, all of the elements of this projects were amplified to a much larger scale. Instead of a tiny needle and thread on itty bitty mesh holes, I found myself in the local hardware store buying garden mesh intended to keep rabbits and pests out of vegetable beds as the basis for my needlepoint grid. I also modified giant wooden kitchen spoons to look like huge needles.

The design on the statue and the canvas features many local Kanas City landmarks. What was the significance behind the parts of the design chosen?

The artwork I used to fill in my needlepoint grid is a repeating pattern fabric that I designed featuring Kansas City landmarks through the lens of my family’s history in this city. In addition to locally favorite locations and florals, I included the Constellation aircraft flying into the downtown airport representing one grandfather who flew the first transatlantic TWA flights while settling his family in Kansas City. I also included baseball great Satchel Paige’s home in the design because it was the home that my other grandfather grew up in. He was very proud to note that Satchel Paige happily lived in the boyhood home that had brought him so many great memories and the two families stayed in touch for many years. I also included the office building downtown where my own father has had an office for 40 years and as a result, the owners of that building subsequently sponsored the placement of my heart and have located it in the first floor of that exact office building (Lightwell) at 11th and Main.

It has been an absolute honor to be involved in this project from start to finish. It was a much bigger project than I realized I was taking on when I started, and most of the artists and organizers I have talked to (with the exception of a few professional muralists) felt the same. No matter the artistic medium, really very few of us had ever translated our work on such a scale, on such a specific form, with so many detailed parameters, making every step an adventure in troubleshooting. Even moving the giant hearts into our homes and studios to work on them required the assistance of moving companies, starting the adventure from day one. Despite all that, the personal reward for completing such a huge project was all the sweeter. Through this project, I have had the privilege to meet exceptionally talented artists, creators and motivators from across the city. The goal of my faux-needlepoint heart was to inspire “stitching the city together” from one community to another and I believe that this project has achieved exactly that, on a scale that I had never imagined.

We are so proud of Sara and her work on this incredible project.

May 11, 2022 — KC Needlepoint
Tags: Inside Scoop

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