The courtyard of the Palladio at Broadstone was filled with people and filled with plenty of excitement Friday evening for the much anticipated “Heartbeat of Folsom” community art exhibit.  

Choose Folsom Leadership Class celebrates Heartbeat of Folsom 2023

A product of Choose Folsom’s 2022-23 Leadership Class, The Heartbeat of Folsom has been the talk of Folsom over the last two months. The project is a community art exhibit featuring a series of beautifully designed and painted heart sculptures, each featuring different themes celebrating what makes Folsom special and unique as a city and a community.


Themes for the “Heartbeat of Folsom” include innovation, health, history, technology, community, and natural beauty. Friday. A total of twenty-one sculptured hearts, each sponsored by local businesses and organizations were unveiled to members of the community for the first time since all of the unique sculptures were beautifully painted by local artists. Friday night was the first time the general public had the opportunity to see all of them in person while they enjoyed live music, food and drinks 

After being on display for 10-days, project sponsors will install the sculptures for individual display in public-facing areas throughout the city, with “heart maps” available by clicking here on the Heartbeat of Folsomwebsite at


Sheir Merrick, chief operations manager for the Folsom Chamber and Choose Folsom was one of the members of the leadership class that planned and facilitated the project. Merrick and her classmates took the project from being a concept to becoming a reality, covering all of the aspects in between from procuring sponsors, attracting artists, planning Friday’s grand event and more.


A longtime member of the Chamber staff, this was the first time she enrolled in the class after long being encouraged by Joe Gagliardi, CEO of Choose Folsom. Friday, Merrick took to the stage to share with her classmates and the attendees that the class was all what it was described to be and then some. 

“Our class was amazing, Joe (Gagliardi) has been after me to try and take this class,” said Merrick. “For so many years I heard from just about everyone who took this class that it’s all about the relationships that you create  and it truly has been that. We are so excited that we decided on this class project because it’s going to add beauty to our already beautiful city. The class of 2022- 23, we did it and it’s been amazing.”


The artists behind the outstanding themed creations were as follows:  Vicky Warren was the creatore of Folsom Live;Mya Ray created Cruising Through History; Courtney Hvostal created Magnificent Oaks; Mandi Oliphant created Seasons of Folsom; Delayna Breeve, Folsom’s Hidden Heart; Nirmal Mangal Vedhekar, Blossom Bliss; Luliana Rodriguez, Folsom Luv; Tina Petersen, Life in Prison, Sarah Bluford, The Art of the Trail; Students of St. John Notre Dame School, Folsom Leadership Has Heart: Ashley Ragan, Fun at The Farmers Market; Heidi Garner, Coming in Clutch, Lauren Baierlein and Kaitlyn Wilkey, Home is Where the Heart Is; Jessica Horne, It Flows Through; Mercy Hospital Staff, Leaders and Physicians; Eric Eggie Foust, Ride Folsom; Curt Ives, Sunset in the District; Emily Shearer, On the Old Gold Mine; Alex Freitas, Logan Henderson, Kate Horita, Patty Mimmock,Katy Wykoff and Jeanette Young teamed up to create Innovation; Shauna Gallagher, Heart of Nature; Nick Butler, Delivering on Our Promises. 

More than 20 local organizations have sponsored the hearts, with a portion of the funds raised going to Powerhouse Ministries to help support the underserved in the the community. 

Businesses and organizations who sponsored and funded the hearts included Adrian Blanco Jewelry, AKT, Broadstone Marketplace, BRMS, Clutch, Choose Folsom, Dan Haverty, Dignity Health, Elliott Homes, EXP Realty, Folsom Central / Folsom Faire, Folsom Lake College, Folsom Premium Outlets, Happy Memories Care Home, Inductive Automation, Morton Pitalo, The Palladio, Powerhouse Pub, Red Bus Brewing Company, REY Engineering, Snooks Chocolate Factory and Toll Brothers. Additional partners that provided in-kind support included TK Automotive Refinishing, DesCor Builders, and Hemington Landscaping, 

For those that are interested in joining in a future Leadership Class with Choose Folsom and the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, more information can be found at

Photos by Adam Frick. See event video above.

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.