We’ve partnered with Aetna to bring Art on the Streets back to downtown Hartford this spring! Local artists and musicians will present interactive experiences for the public to enjoy that also draws attention to how the arts make us happier and healthier. Share your Art on the Streets photos with us on Instagram using #GHACxAetna and we’ll repost!

Tuesday, May 29 | 11:30AM – 1:30PM | Pratt St. 

‘Hello from Hartford’ Postcard Design with Anita Balkun. Have fun with snail mail! Design your own postcard to be mailed from Hartford. Add your artistic touch to a “Hello from Hartford” postcard using art supplies and Hartford landmark rubber stamps created by Anita Balkun.
Dance Jamboree with Caribbean American Dance Co. Get up and move with dancers from the Caribbean American Dance Co. Dancers will lead you through movement in reggae, Caribbean folk, Afro-Caribbean folk and Soca.
Words from the HARTBEAT Poetry with Vintage Fiyah Open Mic. Spoken word presentations centered around the notions of a Healthy Hartford will give you a chance to interact with or just enjoy the work of local poets and spoken word artists.

Thursday, May 31 | 11:30AM – 1:30PM | State House Sq. 

Small Paintings on Paper with Rebecca Maloney. Design your own abstract print using paints, pencils, and oil sticks. Mount your masterpiece so it can easily hang in your office or home for future inspiration to get creative.
Paint a Poem with Melanie Faranello. Write an original poem based on the “jar of emotions” or prompts provided by Melanie. Site at the typewriter and type up your finished work and even add some color with watercolor paints. Take your poem, give it to friend, or leave it on display for others to enjoy.
House Band feat. Mike Carabello. Bring your own instrument to jam!

Tuesday, June 5 | 11:30AM – 1:30PM | Pratt St. 

‘Hello from Hartford’ Postcard Design with Anita Balkun. Have fun with snail mail! Design your own postcard to be mailed from Hartford. Add your artistic touch to a “Hello from Hartford” postcard using art supplies and Hartford landmark rubber stamps created by Anita Balkun.
Small Paintings on Paper with Rebecca Maloney. Design your own abstract print using paints, pencils, and oil sticks. Mount your masterpiece so it can easily hang in your office or home for future inspiration to get creative.
Collaborative Tapestry Making with Hartford Artisans Weaving Center. Make your mark on a collaborative tapestry! At the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center, we believe that art strengthens the fabric of our community. Stop by to learn how to weave a tapestry, and hear stories about the blind and senior weavers creating beautiful textiles here in Hartford.

Thursday, June 7 | 11:30AM – 1:30PM | State House Sq. 

Everyday Impressions Printmaking with Elizabeth McNally. Create your own art print using everyday objects. Take a handmade note card, bookmark, or printed paper back to your desk or home.
‘Hello from Hartford’ Postcard with Anita Balkun. Have fun with snail mail! Design your own postcard to be mailed from Hartford. Add your artistic touch to a “Hello from Hartford” postcard using art supplies and Hartford landmark rubber stamps created by Anita Balkun.
House Band feat. Mike Carabello. Bring your own instrument to jam!

Tuesday, June 12 | 11:30AM – 1:30PM | Pratt St. 

Dance Jamboree with Caribbean American Dance Co. Get up and move with dancers from the Caribbean American Dance Co. Dancers will lead you through movement in reggae, Caribbean folk, Afro-Caribbean folk and Soca.
Small Paintings on Paper with Rebecca Maloney. Design your own abstract print using paints, pencils, and oil sticks. Mount your masterpiece so it can easily hang in your office or home for future inspiration to get creative.
Words from the HARTBEAT Poetry with Vintage Fiyah Open Mic. Spoken word presentations centered around the notions of a Healthy Hartford will give you a chance to interact with or just enjoy the work of local poets and spoken word artists.

Thursday, June 14 | 11:30AM – 1:30PM | State House Sq. 

Paint a Poem with Melanie Faranello. Write an original poem based on the “jar of emotions” or prompts provided by Melanie. Site at the typewriter and type up your finished work and even add some color with watercolor paints. Take your poem, give it to friend, or leave it on display for others to enjoy.
Everyday Impressions Printmaking with Elizabeth McNally. Create your own art print using everyday objects. Take a handmade note card, bookmark, or printed paper back to your desk or home.
House Band feat. Mike Carabello. Bring your own instrument to jam!

Tuesday, June 19 | 11:30AM – 1:30PM | Pratt St. 

Paint a Poem with Melanie Faranello. Write an original poem based on the “jar of emotions” or prompts provided by Melanie. Site at the typewriter and type up your finished work and even add some color with watercolor paints. Take your poem, give it to friend, or leave it on display for others to enjoy.
Everyday Impressions Printmaking with Elizabeth McNally. Create your own art print using everyday objects. Take a handmade note card, bookmark, or printed paper back to your desk or home.
Words from the HARTBEAT Poetry with Vintage Fiyah Open Mic. Spoken word presentations centered around the notions of a Healthy Hartford will give you a chance to interact with or just enjoy the work of local poets and spoken word artists.

Thursday, June 21 | 11:30AM – 1:30PM | State House Sq. 

Collaborative Tapestry with Hartford Artisans Weaving. Make your mark on a collaborative tapestry! At the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center, we believe that art strengthens the fabric of our community. Stop by to learn how to weave a tapestry, and hear stories about the blind and senior weavers creating beautiful textiles here in Hartford.
Dance Jamboree with Caribbean American Dance Co. Get up and move with dancers from the Caribbean American Dance Co. Dancers will lead you through movement in reggae, Caribbean folk, Afro-Caribbean folk and Soca.
House Band feat. Mike Carabello. Bring your own instrument to jam!

Art on the Trees

May 27 – September 21 • Constitution Plaza • #ArtontheTrees

Bountiful City by Katherine & Oliver Tolve

Why doesn’t Hartford have more fruit trees? If a city is going to plant and trim trees anyway it might be good to plant ones that bear fruit. This concept is being explored in urban areas throughout the country and although there may be some objections to the idea, it is something worth talking about. Our installation aims to bring this concept to Hartford and perhaps “plant the seed” in someone to make things more fruitful.

Through our decorations and adornments, we have brought the bounty of nature to the urban landscape. Structures resembling oversized fruit have been placed in the trees, on the ground, and even hanging down from limbs to echo what one might envision in a fantasy orchard. A variety of different fruits are represented, lemons, grapes, blueberries, apples, and pears add a plethora of color and texture into the current landscape. The use of actual seed, nest building materials, and habitable enclosures attracts the city’s birds to enhance the experience of those viewing the art.

We have used locally sourced materials along with salvaged items. The main building material used is grapevine foraged from the riverside of Hartford and the surrounding area. The grapevine creations were spray painted to add splashes of color and better represent examples of fruits that can be utilized by different cities. Natural elements such as pinecones, bark, wood, and acorns found locally. Recycled materials such as yarn, fabric remnants, were also used in an effort to make the structures attractive to wildlife as well as humans.

About the Artists

Katherine Tolve obtained her BFA in painting from Hartford Art School in 2008; upon graduation she was presented the Rudolph Zallinger Painting Prize.  A self-described experimental painter, she has produced work ranging from large canvases to furniture redesigned with her own fabrics. Over the past two years she has explored interests in performance art through her participation in “Art on The Streets” with her interactive flower cart. Having helped fellow established artist such as Carol Padberg and Cat Balco on large-scale installations, Katherine continues and has worked on pursuing her interest in public art. Her recent art works are a culmination of her interests in textiles, pattern design, painting, nature, and the recycling of various materials. She is an active member in the arts community, particularly in her hometown of Windsor, CT, where she currently resides and maintains her own studio practice.  Katherine had served on the Board of directors for the Windsor Art Center (WAC) for three years, one in which she held the title of curatorial committee chair and interim Gallery director.  During her time with WAC she helped in the planning and execution of over 12 exhibitions. Currently, in addition to curating exhibitions, she teaches children’s art classes at the Connecticut Art School as well as independently offering mixed media workshops to Hartford organizations and schools. She has also been invited as a guest juror for multiple juried exhibitions. Her newest venture, founding an artist’s collective, Mother’s In Art (M.I.A.).

Oliver Tolve III received a bachelor’s degree in urban and community studies from UConn in 2005. He is currently a dean of students at the American School for the Deaf. Creativity runs in his family and he has always used his free time to hone his skills as a musician and writer. It only seemed natural that he would be drawn to an artist like Katherine, whom he married in 2011. Oliver has acted as Katherine’s artist assistant on many projects over their years together and when the call for “Art in the Trees” came out, the couple went to work conceptualizing an idea that reflects their joint interests in art and nature to create their first of hopefully many collaborations.