Public Art Projects

Puffy Heart Project in Waxahachie Texas

Detail of the Puffy Heart for the Sun.  One side of the Heart has the Sun rising.

Installation of the city of Waxahachie’s “Hachie Hearts” public art project began this week for 10 hearts that are being set out at various locations throughout the downtown area and at Getzendaner Park.

This project represents the latest facet of the city’s “A Place in Your Heart, Texas” marketing campaign.  “We are excited to be one of the 10 businesses in Waxahachie that will have a ‘Hachie Heart’ downtown,” Waxahachie Sun publisher Scott Brooks said. “We’ve chosen an artist who will get started once the rains ends. Our heart will be at the corner of Rogers and Madison (streets) and won’t be hard to find when the artist – Leah Lawless-Smith – is done.”

Commissioned Heart for The Sun


The whole heart is full of color and patterns.  It is a cheerful public artwork.  Inspiration came from the 1960's psychedelic era.  On both sides of the heart are hidden images within the overall composition.  These images were selected by the staff of the Sun Newspaper.  Each image is a representation of themselves or their family members.  The images to look for are a green feather, Tennesee, Crimson Tide Mascot, typewriter, and 

the name of four children of the staff.

Puffy Heart


The back side of the heart has the Moon shining in the star lit night sky.  The moon reflects into the water below.  As I was working on the piece, I kept in mind the view taking self along side the heart.  I kept the colors bright and fun.

Puffy Heart for the Art on the Square Gallery


4 Artist Choosen

The Ellis County Art Association chose four artist to  paint on their sponsored puffy heart.  I was one of the chosen members.

Movie Themed Heart

Four of our members ( Candace Faber, Mike Duncan, Steve Miller, & Leah Lawless-Smith) are painting a "Puffy Heart" - a public art project in Waxahachie with a "Heart" theme. Our "Heart" theme is 4 of the movies filmed in Waxahachie.  The Heart is being painted in our classroom...drop in & take a look at the progress!  There's more pictures to come - Stay tuned - meanwhile, here's Leah Lawless-Smith & Steve Miller hard at work!  When the Heart is completed, it will be permanently installed next to the flag poles at the new County Court House, at Franklin & Jackson Streets. SO PROUD!

Each Artist is doing a different film made in Waxahachie.  Candace is painting Places in the Heart,  Steve is painting The Trip to Bountiful, Leah is painting Bonnie & Clyde, and Mike is painting Tender Mercies.

The town of Waxahachie goes by many names: the Gingerbread City because of the architecture of homes and buildings still standing from before 1900, the Crape Myrtle Capital of Texas because of the bright flower that blooms every summer — and perhaps the boldest of the bunch: the Best Little Hollywood in Texas.

The Waxahachie Convention and Visitors Bureau supports that last moniker with a list of more than 40 television shows and movies filmed in the town, including three that took home Academy Awards in the 1980s: “Tender Mercies,” “Places in the Heart,” written by Waxahachie native, Robert Benton, and “The Trip to Bountiful.”

Benton also wrote the 1967 film, “Bonnie and Clyde,” starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty as Dallas’ own infamous partners in crime. The movie was shot in Waxahachie and other North Texas locations. Estelle Parsons won an Oscar for her supporting role as Blanche Barrow. The film also grabbed the top award for cinematography that year.

Commissioned Heart from boze-mitchell mckibbin funeral home


Psychologolical Chart

This section of the heart starts with the center with the most intense feeling and emotions and leads to our most subdue feelings.  There are seven main emotions.  In the 20th century, Paul Ekman identified six basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) and Robert Plutchik eight, which he grouped into four pairs of polar opposites (joy-sadness, anger-fear, trust-distrust, surprise-anticipation).

Our Memories

On the back side list seven main memories in our life: birth, parent's love, birthdays, grandparent love, graduation, love/marriage, first home, and it repeats.  In the center is grief.  Grief is gray tone in color.  In hour hours of grief, it is our greatest memories that rescues us.