The Valentine’s Day Bandit left their mark on the Portland Public Library on Congress Street on Valentine’s Day in 2019. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

For years, Kevin Fahrman literally gave a piece of himself to the city of Portland, anonymously helping post hundreds of simple red hearts throughout the city every Valentine’s Day.

When Fahrman died last year and his family revealed his true identity as the “Valentine’s Day Bandit,” Mainers grieved.

Kevin Fahrman, 67, of Falmouth, died unexpectedly. Fahrman was the driving force behind the Valentine’s Day hearts spread across Portland every Feb. 14. “He was big in stature. Big in love,” his wife Patti Urban said. Photo contributed by Patti Urban

But this year, Fahrman’s heart will still be available to all who want it.

The Fahrman family has created a website where people can download Kevin’s heart artwork and “be a bandit in their own communities.”

Fahrman, 67, was a photographer, graphic artist and teacher and a longtime member of Portland’s creative community with deep New England roots, his family says. Fahrman was born in New York and moved to Connecticut in the eighth grade. He came to Maine for college and planned to study forestry, but ended up enrolling at the Portland School of Art.

For as long as people can remember, Portland has been plastered with red hearts every Feb. 14 on landmarks, buildings, storefront windows, walls, sidewalks and benches, some of them seemingly almost impossible to get to, such as Fort Gorges in the middle of Casco Bay.


Fahrman’s family said he had been leading a group of bandits since 1979, when he took the torch from someone else.

Fahrman wasn’t just selfless with his hearts. His wife, Patti Urban, said last April he often took portraits of people even when they couldn’t afford to pay, including children who were sick. He spent hours on the water with the nonprofit community sailing center, SailMaine, donating his time and photography.

His daughter Sierra Fahrman said in a statement Thursday that her father’s work was “completely selfless” and magical.

“My family has heard from many people, sharing how the bandit touched them, and expressing their desire to help,” she said.

On the heart website,, the family wrote that they have received support from people all over the world following Fahrman’s death.

“We’ve heard your messages of love and support for The Bandit’s work, loud and clear,” they say above a button to “download” Kevin’s heart. “Especially your interest in selflessly spreading love in your own communities. Let’s keep it simple. Please find the official artwork for Kevin’s Heart, just below.”

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