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Tiles & Tales

Mark Peterson
Parade at the K - Pink Zone
View Artist

Using letters and words to “paint” and “sculpt,” I’m visually sharing a story of the wealth of opportunities for fun, learning, exploration and community that my son and I love about Kansas City.

“How can I cleverly incorporate the indented KC on the front of the heart to my benefit?” That was one of the goals for my design. While exploring ideas, Scrabble tiles came to mind as a solution. Like this game, people use words to “connect” and “intersect.” The game board looks like a gridded city map. The hundreds of squares and lines become downtown streets and neighborhood blocks. This background is the home and “playground” for the numerous places, teams, and activities represented in the words built by tiles around the front and back rims of the heart, as well as the “active” game being played on the back side.

My first-grade son is learning to read, and we spend hours developing this skill. As we drive around the city, we look for words on signs, signs on buildings, words inside stores, in museums and on and on. Kansas City still feels new to me, having just moved here eight years ago. My son and I love to explore the city and have made it our giant playground; our “game board.” As I was developing this concept and “consulting” my son on his favorite places and things, he said “the swings in the parks, pools, Chiefs and that train in the street.” The list had begun, and it was just a matter of space that brought it to a resolution.

Exploration of language, discovery of this beautiful city, and art as a tool to unite and engage a community have not only been the factors that have guided my life as an artist, but also the elements that inspired this heart for the city I love.

Created in 2023
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