Blue Back Square Business Government The Center

West Hartford Art League Still Accepting Submissions for ArtBarrier Designs

Creation of ArtBarrier Mural in front of Max's Oyster Bar on Farmington Avenue on May 23, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Two paint days are planned during May, after the barriers have been deployed in West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square.

Creation of ArtBarrier Mural in front of Savoy, Shish Kebob House and Division West on LaSalle Road on May 23, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

By Ronni Newton

The West Hartford Art League is still considering designs for the ArtBarrier murals that will beautiful the outdoor dining corrals being deployed in West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square next month.

The deadline for submitting designs for the linear murals has been extended to 5 p.m. own Saturday, April 16, 2022, West Hartford Art League Executive Director Roxanne Stachelek said. Further details, and the application, can be found here.

“In addition to helping local businesses, this project will brighten our streets and energize our community with color while showcasing the talents of local artists,” said Roxanne Stachelek, executive director, West Hartford Art League.

The Art League is once again collaborating with the Town of West Hartford for this project, that will bring art to the streets on the exterior surfaces of more than two dozen concrete barriers along LaSalle Road, Farmington Avenue, Memorial Road, and Isham Road. With the addition of tables and chairs, umbrellas, lighting, flowers, trees, and plants, each restaurant space will become a distinctive “alfresco oasis.”

“Outdoor dining corrals created over 1,500 additional seats throughout town in 2020 and 2021,” said Kristen Gorski, economic development coordinator. “This opportunity was a lifeline to many struggling businesses when indoor dining was limited due to the pandemic. The addition of the artwork last year, was a major attraction that drove pedestrian traffic to our Center and enhance visibility to all businesses in this area,” she said.

Town Engineer Greg Sommer said the town is hoping to deploy the barriers on Tuesday, May 3, in time for Mother’s Day weekend.

Artists will be recruiting volunteers to join them in painting the murals, and the community will have the opportunity to watch the transformation in action during two paint days, tentatively scheduled for May 15 and 22. Check the town’s website for the time, and to confirm the dates.

The Town of West Hartford is funding the project, and brushes are being donated by Jerry’s Artarama.

West Hartford’s successful outdoor dining has been held up as an example for other towns in the state, and Gov. Ned Lamont was in town last week to sign a bipartisan bill passed by the legislature extending expanded outdoor dining statewide.

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