Hearts for Newtown on display April 10

Twenty-six hearts, painted in honor of each victim of the Sandy Hook shooting, will be on display April 10 from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Giggling Pig Studio, 478 River Road, where visitors can meet and speak with the artists.

Artists include Lisa Dickal, Hannah Perry, Dana Daxner and Alexandra Loh of Shelton.

The "heARTS for Newtown" project was organized by Perry, the owner of Giggling Pig. Each heart was painted by an artist — one as far away as South Africa — and dedicated to a specific victim.

Some of the hearts are more personal than others because some of the artists knew the families.

The final heart — they were created to resemble balloons — recently was given back to Perry. “It’s an amazing thing to see them all together,” she said.

Some families have seen the hearts

In March at the Run for Newtown event in Hartford, Perry displayed many of the hearts.

“A lot of the families have seen the hearts, and friends of the families,” said Perry. “I didn’t expect them to see it at all.”

She said that as the owner of an art studio for children, she was especially mindful of this work. Perry said that the balloons bring a calming sense of emotion, and the significance behind them doesn’t necessarily have to be explained to a child who may not know about the shooting.

Event open to the public

All are invited to attend and view the finished project at the art studio. The event is free, but organizers will be collecting donations for the Healing Newtown — Healing Through the Arts organization.

“The hearts will be hung like balloons floating in the room,” Perry said. The exhibit will be donated to Healing Newtown after the showing in Shelton.

Perry said she was recently contacted by the family of a student who was killed at the elementary school. They want the balloon made in her honor to be on display at the church where her funeral was held.

The display will be available for public viewing on April 11, from 10-5 p.m. at the store.

More information at thegigglingpigartstudio.com/SandyHookProject.