“Key to My Heart” and the art of business

The presence of art pieces in Edmond enhances our overall economic vitality.
Bob and Kathy Thomas at the installation of "Key to My Heart" (Photo: Eriech Tapia)

When Edmond’s largest interactive art piece was installed at the Festival Marketplace on October 15, it not only marked the city’s 235th public art installation, but also a new business trend. Interactive art is engaging visitors and citizens to stay downtown longer, and it’s working with Edmond businesses to do so.

The presence of art pieces in Edmond enhances our overall economic vitality. Interactive art brings Edmond citizens and people from outside the area to our downtown to eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, and create experiences that make them want to return again and again. While it may be hard to put a number on that, the impact is tremendous.

The Edmond-based artist

Locks on “Key to My Heart” art exhibit in downtown Edmond (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Zonly Looman, an Edmond-based artist, created “Key to My Heart” as his sixth piece in the Edmond Public Art inventory. 

“I designed this piece for more than visual attraction,” he said. “It will encourage people to touch and interact with the art, but also engage with local businesses. Most importantly, everyone needs a little more L-O-V-E in their life.” Looman plans to create a new art piece with the keys that are collected from the locks.

How it works

Here’s how it works:

  1. Visit “Key to My Heart” on the north end of the Festival Marketplace at 30 West First Street. 
  2. Scope out where you’d like to add a lock on the seven-foot-tall and 32-foot-long steel L-O-V-E letters.
  3. Visit a downtown Edmond business selling locks.
  4. Write a message on the lock.
  5. Walk back to “Key to My Heart” and attach your lock.
  6. Drop the key in one of the slots in the base of a letter.
Edmond Business contributor Jennifer Seaton with the “Key to My Heart” piece (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Personally, I officially joined the lovers’ tradition of adding locks to art like the famous “Love Lock Bridge” in Paris, France, and “SkyDance Bridge” in Oklahoma City. I attached a lock with a birthday message to my son.

Business selling locks

Several businesses already have locks available for purchase, including The Edmond Historical Society & Museum, Edmond Tag Agency, Frenzy Brewing Company, Hello Love Salon, Office Depot, and Silver Leaf Gems.

Downtown Edmond business leaders expressed excitement about attracting new customers with interactive art. 

Ashton Stovall, co-owner of Urban Okie, said, “I am a huge fan of Zonly Looman. This is a creative way to motivate people to spend more time in downtown Edmond.”

Evan Small, co-owner of Blocworks, said, “Art installation takes lots of cooperation and the collaborative spirit is contagious. I love the blooming creativity in our downtown.”

Kristy Woodson, general manager of Around the Corner, is also supportive of this concept. “I’ve seen this concept in other cities and we are really supportive of fresh ideas that bring new customers,” she said.

Private funding partners

The private funding partners for “Key to My Heart” are Matthew & Kim Myers, Chris Dingess, David Maschino, Ashley and Casey Massegee, Kyle and Lex Copeland, and Chris and Anabelle Anderson.

You can read more information about Edmond’s Public Art on the Visit Edmond website.

Bob and Kathy Thomas at the installation of “Key to My Heart” (Photo: Eriech Tapia)

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About Jennifer Seaton

Jennifer Seaton has been the Director of Visit Edmond (also known as Edmond Convention & Visitors Bureau) since July 29, 2019. She is a City of Edmond employee and long-time Edmond resident. Jennifer brings extensive marketing and advertising experience from her 25 years working in the Oklahoma City metro. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Business Development for STAPLEGUN, an advertising agency based in Oklahoma City. She previously worked as the Director of Marketing for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and Vice President of Marketing for United Way of Central Oklahoma. She attended Ohio University where she received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communication. Jennifer's goal is to elevate the “Edmond experience” to attract more leisure travelers, tournaments, and business conferences to Edmond.