The Arts vs. Summer Slide

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When we think of summer we often think about the beach, hot and humid weather, ice cream cones, and of course summer vacation. For teens, there are a number of ways to keep busy during their extended time away from school. Whether they choose to hit the pool, put in extra time at work, or play Pokemon Go, they are at risk of something called “summer slide.” Summer slide is the learning loss that occurs when school aged children and youth are not engaged in educational activities over the summer. This learning loss can potentially set students’ reading and math skills back by two to three months. Engagement in the arts can help prevent this loss and provide young people with an upper hand when they return to the classroom at the end of the summer. Read More



Ten Ways Supporting the Arts Improves Your Community

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The Greater Hartford area is a community united by art. We are vibrant and creative; diverse and thriving. We are home to hundreds of arts and cultural organizations that bind us together, making us a strong community. Our United Arts Campaign is designed to allow the Greater Hartford Arts Council to provide funding to nearly 150 arts and cultural organizations, allowing them to serve our community with cultural programming, educational opportunities and so much more.

Those organizations are 150 reasons alone to support the arts in Greater Hartford, but here are a few more ideas we came up with! Read More


One-on-One with 2016 Featured Artist Katherine Tolve

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Katherine Tolve at her studio in Windsor

You may have seen Windsor-based artist Katherine Tolve’s beautiful paper and felt flowers during Art on the Streets (who else snagged one of the beer cap flowers?!), now here’s your chance to see more of her artwork at the opening reception of Reclaimed Rubbish on June 23 from 5-7PM at 100 Pearl Street Gallery. The exhibit is a collection of collage art repurposed from discarded materials from buttons and textiles to Traveler’s calendars and checkbooks. My favorite piece from the exhibit, Supper Time, speaks to Katherine’s struggle with domesticity as an artist and is composed of dozens of vintage Betty Crocker recipe cards (spoiler alert: you’ll get to pick out a recipe card during the reception!). “I can’t make dinner every night, I can’t make the perfect meal, but I can paint it,” she says.  Which gets to the heart of Katherine’s collage work – in the process of reexamining the value of objects, Katherine also confronts and questions previously accepted notions of womanhood and gender roles. It’s no surprise then that her work is rooted in feminism and feminist responses to materialism, “As a kid, watching my Gram pull her jars of treasures from the back of her closet taught me that the utilization of saved materials is a trait that’s often missing from our disposable society.” Read on for our q&a with Katherine and watch our video at the end of the post to take a virtual tour of her studio.  Read More


The Art of Taking the Perfect Selfie

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Selfies. Everyone takes them whether they admit it or not. And yet, the practice of taking the best selfie is still so elusive. Short of adding a Valencia filter, some selfies just don’t do us justice. So, as part of our United Arts Campaign, we teamed up with Connecticut photographer Roger Castonguay of Defining Studios to host a selfie workshop for the employees of Lincoln Financial Group to master once and for all how to take the perfect selfie. Read More


“The Hartbeat” Depicts Everything We Love About Hartford

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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! 
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Art on the Streets Launches in Downtown Hartford this Spring

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Downtown Hartford is about to get artsier during your lunch break. We’ve teamed up with our friends and supporters at Aetna to bring vibrant art and interactive experiences to the streets of downtown from Phoenix Gateway to State House Square. Ten talented local artists including our 2016 Featured Artists Lindsey Fyfe and Katherine Tolve, will give you the opportunity to paint, dance, create clothing out of trash, and unleash your inner poet. It’s a great way to get creative, and best of all you don’t even have to miss work! Stop by during your lunch break between 11:30AM – 1:30PM to participate. Check out the schedule below and visit LetsGoArts.org/Streets to see the full list of participating artists and their activities.  Read More