Love Locks

Written by Amy Dee Stephens in the July 2020 Issue

Love Locks Sign

“All you need is LOVE, da...da...dadada.” It’s a sentiment shared by both the Beatles and a large team of Edmondites who have pooled funds and creativity to create a showstopping art form for downtown Edmond. Large metal letters made of smaller hearts spell the word L.O.V.E. in a big way. From L to E, the length is nearly 31 feet! The philosophy is that love should be a foundation of our community. 

The lead artist, Zonly Looman, believes it is the largest sculpture in Edmond. “The Native American statue, Touch the Clouds, by the entrance of the University of Central Oklahoma is certainly taller, but this is longer. You won’t be able to miss it,” Zonly said. “It’s a positive message because love is what we all need and want out of this life; to share love, give love, and to feel love.” 

“Love Locks” is more than a visual icon; it’s an interactive sculpture. People are invited to add padlocks to symbolically lock-in their love for each other. Decades from now, thousands of padlocks will hang from the hearts, creating an ever-changing art piece.

It was initially Matthew Myers, a local businessman, who had the idea to create the interactive art piece. He was inspired by a similar concept in Paris where couples add padlocks to a metal bridge and throw the keys into the river. “We obviously don’t have a river, but I think it will be a great memory for people to come back year after year to see the symbol of their love locked securely on the heart.”

Matthew took his idea to Studio Z, where Zonly, and his father, Robert, began brainstorming. “It was originally just a heart shape, not the letters,” Zonly said. “We started thinking it could be a bigger statement, so my dad sketched the concept, and I added my flair to it.”

Matthew approached some like-minded friends who were willing to participate financially: Casey Massegee, Chris Anderson, David Maschino, Kyle Copeland and Christopher Dingess. The Edmond Visual Arts Committee also contributed funds, and local businesses were used for various parts of the fabrication. 

From concept to construction, the project came together in just two months—but the Love Lock partners predict that L.O.V.E. will become the visual icon that makes Edmond a “destination.” Local retailers are already ordering unique padlocks to sell, anticipating that strollers and out- of-town visitors to downtown might be inspired to spontaneously add their own love lock. There is also discussion about creating a way to collect the keys, maybe to meltdown to create new art.

“I have a passion for art, and I love our bronzes, but I also want to see other types of art here, too,” Matthew said. “This isn’t just my dream, it’s a lot of people coming together with a vision of helping families and couples engage with art.”

“For couples to put the lock on together and click it around a heart—that’s a memory,” Zonly said. “And at the end of the day, memories are what we have about the important things we’ve done in life. Love is one of those important things.”

Edmond’s about to get a whole lotta LOVE! 

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