Connecticut Street Art
Paint the City Murals are seven murals that can be found around the city of Hartford that were designed to represent the neighborhoods where they were found. Although not outdoors, the Black Rock Harbor Mural is over 60 years old and just went through a major restoration. More information on these murals, as well as details on muralists Brian Colbath and Tao LaBossiere are provided below.
Black Rock Harbor Mural
- In 1948, the Black Rock Harbor mural was painted by muralist Robert Lambdin. From the time it was painted until 2017, it hung in the Black Rock Bank and Trust Co. in Bridgeport. That building had been abandoned and, when it was renovated in 2017, The Fairfield Museum worked with the owner to obtain the mural and to restore it.
- Bank of America, the Black Rock Community Council, and over 70 private donors, funded a $40,000 restoration of the mural, which now hangs in the Fairfield Museum. The restoration itself was done by the Williamstown Art Conservation Center.
- Lambdin was a sought after muralist in the 1930s and 40s. For the Black Rock mural, he spent two months researching the harbor and took three months to complete the mural.
- The mural "depicts Black Rock Harbor as he envisioned it in the early 1800s, with a ship unloading its cargo onto the docks and Black Rock Harbor Lighthouse in the background."
- This link provides a picture of the mural prior to restoration, and the restored piece can be seen here.
- Brian Colbath is on the faculty at the West Hartford Art League. He was the winner of the Connecticut Watercolor Society first place award in 2003.
- The Art League did an installation of quilts made by Ed Johnetta, that are hung in spaces that can be seen by the public free of charge. This is part of the Art in Public Spaces program.
- Additionally, the quilts were turned into a mural on the Art League grounds, and Colbath was one of three artists that worked on the mural.
- Currently, Colbath mainly works on murals for residences and child care centers, but several of his murals can be seen at the Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester, CT.
- According to the bio on his website "Tao LaBossiere is an award-winning illustrator, sculptor and mural painter whose personal mission is to celebrate community through creativity." From 2014-2019, he was commissioned to paint dozens of murals in the Hartford, CT area.
- In 2017, Connecticut Magazine wrote an article about LaBossiere titled Hartford's Master of Murals. Some murals that were highlighted include the mural at the Still Hill Brewery taproom, the Everlasting Spring in the Secret Garden mural outside St. Mary Home, and a bear mural at the original Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ location on Arch Street. Many of the murals can be seen here.
- LaBossiere has painted many restaurant murals in the Hartford area so restaurant visits could be combined with mural viewing for a fun outing.
Paint the City Murals
- In 2018, Hartford started seeing the results of the Hartford Paint the City project. After a call for artists the previous year, the public voted on designs for various neighborhoods around the city. Seven artists were selected and the murals started appearing around the city.
- The murals, along with info on the artists and neighborhoods, can be found here.