Brooklyn-based artist Joell Baxter stands in the middle of her work to speak about it. Coverer, an installation woven from hand-screen-printed, cut paper, wants to be everywhere in the room, not limited to the walls.
Right now, Baxter is one of several artists whose vibrant work is at Real Art Ways. Michael Madore’s Nervatura is described as “travel-induced graphomania.” Expect castles, layers of earth, flora and fauna, and wonder.
Shane Morrissey‘s sculptures recreate objects from childhood memories: cacti made from cast paper, bolts, and walnut, a swarm of bees made out of zip ties, wire and wood. All of the sculptures seem sharp and hard, yet make you want to get as close as you can without touching.
Everything seems to be waking up after winter down in Parkville, between the energetic performances by Joey Batts and Them and Political Animals at Thursday’s Creative Cocktail Hour, and the announcement that Real Art Ways has raised the $60,000 to allow for a Digital Cinema Conversion. The mixed media — including claymation — documentary about Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, The Missing Picture, opens tonight. Okay, so it’s not all happy times, but if you are looking for something thought-provoking in your life, Real Art Ways has got it going on these days. Continue reading 'Castles, Cacti, and a Cinema Conversion'»
Vox Sambou on the mic
With artists from Haiti, South Africa, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Spain, Mozambique, UK, Cape Verde, Korea, Canada, India, Philippines, Czech Republic, and the United States, the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival celebrated its ninth year. The event’s main draw is the concert, but over several days there are lectures and workshops, films, dance, live graffiti art, and more. Continue reading 'Trinity International Hip Hop Festival Brings the Sun and the Noise'»
Between lists written by those who can’t see beyond the major institutions and shoddily researched, outdated articles authored by someone who spent little time in Hartford and has since moved elsewhere, it seemed appropriate to revisit just a few of the things we have going on here. As we have said before, we have to ♥ Mark Twain because when you move into Hartford you take an oath swearing as much, but we know that Twain and his legacy are not the only game in town:
One bike decorated for the Real Ride
- The Real Ride: during times of year when snow is not on the ground, cyclists of varying ability decorate their bikes with lights, streamers, giant puppets, beads, and more, and take a ten-mile slow ride around the city, at night. The group — in the hundreds — leaves from the Real Art Ways parking lot, taking a different route each time. On one ride, a cyclist towed a trailer on which an entire drum kit was set up and played during the ride. Other rides have featured a shopping cart bike with a giant dragon head mounted on it. This is free and all ages, beginning around nightfall and ending several hours later, as the group makes stops to view fireworks, participate in a drumming circle, or watch improv. What makes this significant? The ride gets people on the streets of Hartford after dark, doing more than just running off to their cars.
- Cedar Hill Cemetery: this is a place of peace and quiet, a place to see deer grazing around dusk, and a place to quietly recreate. That’s encouraged. They have hosted films, bird walks, and tours of the cemetery’s notable residents. Around Halloween, actors portray some of those residents in a lantern tour. Art, history, and nature collide here.
One contestant in the Art Sled Derby, 2014
- Art Sled Derby: For two years in a row, people have gathered at the hill in Elizabeth Park with sleds, some simple, and some seeming to challenge the idea of “sled.” There are no waivers, no fees. And there shouldn’t be. This is one of the regular sledding hills…but there is not usually the possibility of winning a bizarre trophy made of doll parts or competing against someone riding a bed down the slope. Unlike art galleries where work is curated, all entries are viewable. Even the creations that fall apart within seconds earn cheers from onlookers.
Continue reading 'Top Ten Non-Twain Things to Do in Hartford'»
The Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Jazz Band
The Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Jazz Band, Chorus, and Dance Group performed in Hartford’s City Hall on Friday. They also played in the State House Square food court and in the lobby of CityPlace.
You can listen to a few minutes of performance segments below:
Continue reading 'Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Brings Holiday Spirit Downtown'»
Chances are your December is already half-filled with obligatory office parties, family engagements, and such, but just in case you have downtime, here are ideas for things you can do in Hartford (mostly) on the cheap (mostly) every day.
- The Global Lens Film Series continues this month on Sundays at 2pm. Today’s film: The Parade. In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles. This will be shown at the Wadsworth Atheneum. It is free, co-sponsored by the Hartford Public Library and Out Film CT.
- Take a free Intro to Water Color class at StudioN111. First come, first serve — so contact Nina to reserve your space for the 2-3pm class. The studio is located on Pratt Street. Continue reading 'December 2013 Events'»
There are events not included on this list because organizations have not released final details yet. That is to say, you have even more to choose from than what is posted here.
- Maybe it’s not the most exciting thing, but small business owners might benefit from a free morning workshop that teaches how to navigate and search for federal, state, and municipal bids. This means potentially freeing you up so that you have more time to spend on, well, those exciting things you’d rather be doing. The workshop begins at 9:30 and ends at noon. This will take place at the Entrepreneurial Center; register online.
- Let The Fire Burn begins screening at Real Art Ways. This documentary centers on the bombing of MOVE in Philly. Contact Real Art Ways for exact show times and ticket prices.
- Hannah Sims and Pedro Bermudez will be on hand for the launch of Hartford River Dreams, a film series. Screening begins at 7:30pm at the Carriage House Theater, 360 Farmington Avenue. $10 at door.
- The Witching Hour will be performed by the Ensemble of the Judy Dworin Performance Project. They describe this as follows: “The Witching Hour, an award-winning dance/theater piece, brings Connecticut’s 17th century witch craze to life through the untold stories of women who were accused, tried and convicted as witches. Bridging the gap between the 17th and 21st centuries, The Witching Hour lyrically and evocatively explores what happens in communities when difference becomes dangerous, and folk culture–as practiced by herbalists, midwives, women landowners, and indentured servants–clashes with Puritan hierarchical authority.” This begins at 7:30pm in the Wadsworth Atheneum. Ticket prices vary on this one.
- On the first Friday of each month, the Kabbalah House hosts a free, all-ages open mic from 9pm-1am. The Kabbalah House is located at 1023 Albany Avenue.
- Another option for the grown folks: Pontani Sisters Burlesque-a-pades at Black-Eyed Sally’s. Contact the venue for ticket info. Performance begins at 9pm.
- Free admission to the museum galleries at the Connecticut Historical Society today from 9-5. There will be activities for children including a visit by storyteller Sharon Lynch (1-2pm). Check out Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographers and photography contest entries while you are here.
- Learn about Women and Mass Incarceration in the Youth Program Room at the Hartford Public Library today at 1pm. Beatrice Codianni, a former member of the Latin Kings, and Dr. Sandra Enos, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Bryant University, will be the featured speakers.
- At 7pm the Avodah Dance Ensemble will be performing A Way In, exploring themes of beauty, truth, love, and God. Ticket prices vary for this event at the Charter Oak Cultural Center.
- Celebrate two years of the Dirt Salon at the Dirt Flirt from 7:30-11:30 this evening. Ada Pasternak & Milksop-Unsung will be providing the music. Several artists’ works will be on display. The Night Fall skeleton dance will be performed. This is a pay-what-you-can event. The Dirt Salon is located at 50 Bartholomew Avenue. Continue reading 'November 2013 Events'»
To those who still subscribe to the stereotype of school teachers as being rigid and out-of-touch with reality, meet Joey Batts.
The 2013 (Hartford) Teacher of the Year finalist rescheduled our meeting because he needed to get Pacman inked on his calf. He jokingly (or maybe not) told his superiors that if he won, he would have gotten a face tattoo. Body modification aside, the bowtie-wearing rapper, open mic host, and English teacher stands out for other reasons. For one, he has chosen to teach at Opportunity High School, a place where students who “were given up on a long time ago” have a chance at getting a diploma instead of GED. It’s not unheard of for his students to have a pregnancy, a record, or an ankle bracelet. Continue reading 'Highlighted Hartfordite: Joey Batts'»