“The Hartbeat” Depicts Everything We Love About Hartford

the hartbeat by art connection studio
The Hartbeat by Art Connection Studio

From our Facebook cover photo to our United Arts Campaign brochure, this stunning mural by Art Connection Studio is making rounds during Campaign season. And for good reason – it perfectly depicts the energy and artistic potential of Hartford. In this post, Michael Galaburri, Artist and Art Therapist of Art Connection Studio, discusses the inspiring story behind this piece. P.S.: it’s available for sale! 

Written by Michael Galaburri

Celebrating Hartford, CT, and life in the city, The Hartbeat is an inspired mural of landmark structures and the many cultures of a community, uniting to create a thriving world. Back in September 2014, the 8ft x 4ft mural was the centerpiece for Art Connection Studio’s 9th exhibition, Cityscapes: Uncommon and Familiar Beauty. This piece marked the first official mural collaboration between artists and staff. Collaborations like these help strengthen the relationships we have nurtured in our community of artists.

The conceptual process of creating The Hartbeat involved showing our Hartford community’s cooperative spirit. People populate the foreground markets and parks in our Parkville neighborhood. In the background, the buildings stand together as though posing for a portrait. It was not important to thoroughly and accurately depict every building in its precise position in a skyline from a real, observable perspective. These Hartford landmarks are characters that were called into the painting frame. Many features of this work seemed to arise spontaneously.

Children from Mommy/Daddy & Me painting class pose in front of The Hartbeat, 2014.
Children from Mommy/Daddy & Me painting class pose in front of The Hartbeat, 2014.

It is worth mentioning, the process was not smoothly and easily executed throughout its creation. There was a point when we all became drained, bogged down with details and precision. We took a step back and decided to rework the surface, some parts had to be painted over. This was difficult but necessary to get the painting process flowing again. The work of the mural unfolded in similar ways to handling some of life’s circumstances. In order to move forward, one often has to leave something behind. There are times one must release attachments to old things and embrace new things. These artistic processes are contained in the studio work but often have therapeutic affects that can translate to one’s life. Since we covered over some of it, we found renewed energy in starting fresh. No longer too rigid or technical, we began having fun again as we worked. We let the piece and the work represent who we are as artists at play.

The process of making The Hartbeat mural has parallels to the evolution of a city. Some older parts pass away, some new parts rise up and take their place. This progress is balanced with the desire to save some parts, like the value of preservation for the traditions and historical structures of the city we cherish.

The work took about a month to complete. Overtime we have had many people pose for photos in front of it. It has been hanging in our studio ever since, waiting for a home.

After a paint night at Art Connection Studio artist folks pose in front of The Hartbeat, 2015.
After a paint night at Art Connection Studio artist folks pose in front of The Hartbeat, 2015.

Our United Arts Campaign is underway! Here’s your opportunity to make a real impact on the arts in your community.


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