Eric Haun, the artist behind the Joplin heart logo and 'HeartJoplin' public art project

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin has seen more and more murals popping up in recent years – and even smaller public art projects like a series of hometown hearts. It’s literally the heart of Joplin.

“Different colors, different shapes. Some have different designs there’s Wilders has bull horns on it. The cat cafe on Seventh Street has whiskers and cat ears,” said Eric Haun, “HeartJoplin” Artist.

An ongoing public art project called “HeartJoplin.” Joplin artist, Eric Haun, launched the concept a year ago.

“Each painting takes like seven hours, seven to 10 hours to do. So it’s a one-day project. I’ve done some public art that can take 40 hours. So it’s nice to be able to do something that actually you can get finished in one day,” said Haun.

Seen above Main St.

He’s up to 19 locations, so far.

“It kind of turned into a scavenger hunt for people can go and look at the art and look at the find all the hearts.”

But the Joplin heart didn’t start out as a heart, but something more basic.

“So I had made this Joplin circle image that I actually had stolen from kind of a logo in Bend, Oregon. I had a chance to do a painting and it was a five-foot by five-foot section. So I made a five-foot by five-foot stencil and I designed and drew out this giant heart to make the image,” Haun continued.

The Joplin heart is also it’s own sticker – and tops the latest version of the Downtown Map, drawn by Haun.

Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Patrick Tuttle says the word is spreading outside city limits

“It’s really been a cool draw. We’ve been getting into the visitor’s guide as well as our website because people who love public art, they love being able to take the picture in front of something that is truly of the town that they’re from so it says ‘Joplin,'” said Tuttle.

Haun will start on heart #20 this weekend at Wildcat Glades, just the latest addition.

“I’ll do these hearts as long as I can until I can’t do anymore. Really? I just think it’s a wonderful thing. It’s cool to create something that can outlive me,” said Haun.

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