Concert & Cocktails Preview with Dr. Liu

Concert & Cocktails

Photo by Jennifer Torrance 

Here at the Greater Hartford Arts Council, we talk a lot about the role of the arts in improving quality of life, health, even happiness. Arts education, for example, has been shown to help high school students increase GPA and standardized test scores. It’s no wonder 57% of Connecticut adults identify as artists. But what about the role of the arts in the sciences? We partnered up with The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) for a special fundraiser (yup, Concert & Cocktails) to learn just that. Featuring a live performance and presentation by Dr. Edison Liu, President and CEO of JAX, Concert & Cocktails will showcase the intersection of art, music, and science as you enjoy signature cocktails by Hartford Flavor Company and Waypoint Spirits (lemon lavender vodka martini, anyone?)

In addition to being a jazz pianist (he’s been playing since the age of 7!), Dr. Liu is also a world-renowned cancer and genomics researcher at JAX. We chatted with Dr. Liu to get a preview of his presentation “The Art & Science of Creativity” and find out why the arts are important to him. Read More


One-on-One with Art Connection Studio

“View from a Hawk,” 2016, Art Connection Studio

We’re frequently inspired by the local artists that brighten our communities. This month we’re excited to feature several inspiring artists at 100 Pearl Street Gallery. Our latest exhibit “Connections & Collaborations” showcases the collaborative works put together by the artists of Art Connection Studio, a community art center that provides artistic programming for  people with disabilities. However, the works are not about disabilities, explains Michael Galaburri, artist and art therapist at Art Connection Studio. Rather, they’re about “discovering one’s unique personal vision and opening up to one’s creative impulses.”

Read on for our q&a with Michael Galaburri, and join us for the opening reception of “Connections & Collaborations” Thursday, September 1 from 5-7 p.m. at 100 Pearl Street Gallery. Can’t make it to the reception? The show will be on display through September 23.  Read More

Hartford Residents: The Wadsworth Atheneum Belongs To You

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Photo credit: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

In an unprecedented move, our friends and grantees at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art will offer free admission to all Hartford residents effective immediately. “The Atheneum belongs to you,” said Thomas J. Loughman, Director and CEO of the Wadsworth at Tuesday’s press conference. As the largest public art museum in Connecticut, and the oldest in the country, the Wadsworth holds a legacy of firsts: from being the first museum in the U.S. to purchase works by Caravaggio and Salvador Dali to spearheading a collection of contemporary American art. Read More

DIY Tissue Paper Collage

DIY paper collage

From fashion advertising to abstract art, collage is emerging as one of the most popular mediums – and for good reason. As our Featured Artist and collage aficionado Katherine Tolve says, “The best thing about mixed media and collage is that you can’t really screw up.” We don’t know about you, but the idea of not messing up an art piece sounds really appealing. So, we teamed up with Katherine for a fun, budget-friendly DIY collage activity that you can do on a lazy afternoon. Read More

One-on-One with 2016 Featured Artist Katherine Tolve

Katherine Tolve

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


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

Art on the Streets Launches in Downtown Hartford this Spring


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 to see the full list of participating artists and their activities.  Read More