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Hearts for Superheroes

Beautiful hearts hang on the outside wall of the Central Office building in Hartford. Each day, as hundreds of cars pass by, these hearts serve as a calming visual during uncertain times. Who made them? How did they get here? What is their purpose?


The hearts were created by youth at Solnit South - But there is more to this story.


"Art heals," says Solnit South Rehabilitation Art Therapist Heather Cassella. With enthusiasm in her voice, this 5-year DCF employee spoke about her work and seeing youth "develop strengths" by engaging in this non-traditional form of therapy. Art therapy allows an expression of emotion and the gaining of insight into yourself that for some, is elusive via other therapeutic means.


In Heather's art therapy group, the decision was made to create hearts to show gratitude for the healthcare workers at Hartford Hospital. According to Heather, activities such as giving back allow a "sense of control in uncertain times."


Quickly, the shapes were cut, colors picked, and one by one, the youth personalized their work. With vibrant reds, to softer blue colors, each heart was unique. For one youth, she described the emergency medical technicians and healthcare workers as "superheroes." Her heart was a way to help those who help take care of others. 


For the staff at Hartford Hospital, seeing colorful hearts while traveling to and from work, serves to lift their spirits. The hearts help them heal from their long days and trying times.


For the youth at Solnit South, creating colorful hearts serves to lift their spirts. The hearts help them heal from their long days and trying times.


Thank you, Heather Cassella and the youth at Solnit South!