Feeling Love on the East Side
The “Hearts of the East Side” campaign consists of 11 different artists that created their spin on a steel heart installation. Funded by the Souly Austin group and the East Cesar Chavez Merchant Association, the artists were given the steel heart and the freedom to design however they desired.
Miles Starkey, a local Austin artist, created his heart installation, which sits outside Something Cool Studios at 1717 E César Chávez St.
“The feeling of love and what if feels like to experience it inspired my heart’s design,” shared Starkey.
When asked about his heart’s name, he responded that it didn’t necessarily have one.
“It just is meant to evoke a feeling of love,” explained Starkey. “And I’m sure others have felt the same way when viewing the heart.”
Starkey has been a longtime local artist with numerous connections to other artists here on the east side.
“I got involved in the project because of my love for sculpture and the importance that public art serves in our culture,” said Starkey. “A good friend pointed out the opportunity and I jumped on the chance to be a part of such a cool installation.”
He strives to create art that has a greater meaning. “I focus on bringing the community together through my art,” remarked Starkey.
One could say that Starkey had a significant impact on the community through his work. He’s worked as project manager for the HOPE Campaign. This campaign focuses on creating and promoting art that represents greater causes and strives to create more inclusion, diversity, and vibrance amongst the city.
One of their most well-known projects is the outdoor gallery that came to be known as “Graffiti Park” here in Austin. This space offered an unlimited canvas for anyone to paint freely. The park was bought, but the “Graffiti Park” has a new planned location by the airport.
Starkey has a passion for what he does. His design and installation processes are simple: his budget determines what path to take, the materials allow for parameters of what can be accomplished, take into consideration labor and finding the time to complete it, and the last component, create.
His work, including his heart installation, displays greater meaning, especially love. “For me, love has many names and many faces,” said Starkey.
Whatever love may mean to the individual, Starkey hopes they can experience something great when viewing his art.