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Lonnie Anderson

King of Valentine’s Day

As a kid I played for hours with toy army men with guns. I have found so many photos as a child with a gun and war toys in my hands it made me very concerned. I don’t know this as a fact but I would bet every school shooter had these toys. Rudy Flores is taking something that almost every child played with and is changing it from a war toy to a toy to celebrate his community. Instead of guns his figures hold sun flowers, musical instruments, paint brushes and now an Anne heart Piñata. The process is very complicated and the technology is mind blowing! All self taught. Rudy is changing the way we look at the world. He is teaching us how beautiful our community is. He is holding everyone up high and reminding us everyone's story is important. Our lives are important. 

My name is Lonnie Anderson and I am known around the world for making Valentine’s for my wife Anne. I have been named the “ King of Valentines Day” on NBC’s Today Show and “The Most Romantic Man in Dubai” by Grazia Magazine.

For 28 years I have has pulled off everything from a full size carousel in my front yard, 30 ft Paper Flowers, I had over 80 people from around the world hold up signs that say “I Love Anne” in several languages. I had a private poetry reading at a local coffee shop the featured famous poets like Jimmy Santiago Baca, Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo and Rudolfo Anaya. I made a 100lb Piñata that was lifted with a 50 ton boom crane with life size candy inside, I had my wife’s name written across the National Planetarium’s dome. I curated an Art gallery show with Obama Hope artist Shepard Fairey, Ron English and the late Daniel Johnston called Love, I made an enormous heart crop circle in a 10 acre field that could be seen from space. And last year I had the Santa Fe Symphony play one song for just my wife in a historic theater. All of this for about the cost for dinner and flowers.

These stories inspire and spread love and kindness and have slowly changed the perception of my underserved neighborhood in New Mexico. I am truly humbled to be part of Rudy’s project.


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