18-story mural being painted in downtown Hartford

Mural in the capital city
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 8:13 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - An 18-story mural is being painted in the heart of downtown Hartford. It’s a beautiful addition to the capital city.

The work of art is set to be the tallest mural in all of New England.

It’s part of a larger effort to beautify the city.

The mural is a work of art quickly coming to life.

Large swaths of color are being painted on the side of The Millennium apartment complex.

“To me, one of the things I wanted to convey with this was to not have the mural to be about any one particular thing but be more about the emotion,” said Michael Rice.

Rice is one of the artists working diligently on the mural.

It depicts a young boy holding a jar of fireflies escaping in the sky. It symbolizes hope and joy.

“Seeing the fireflies kind of dance and sparkle in the night kind of adds this sense of wonderment. It’s tapping into something I think we lose as we grow older a little bit,” Rice said.

The artwork is sprawled over 18 stories on the Morgan Street building.

It faces I-84 and can easily be seen by drivers on the highway.

Chris Gann is also helping paint the mural.

“It is an epic project,” said Gann.

It requires precision and meticulous attention to detail, which isn’t easy when you’re painting on suspended scaffolding.

“Definitely a learning curve. Definitely a lot more moving parts to this. You need to plan it out when you’re up there,” Rice said.

By the time the artists complete the mural, they’ll have used more than 500 cans of spray paint and 100 gallons of bucket paint.

“Projects like this are vital to really shift the perception of Hartford as a place where we are believing is going to be New England’s creative destination,” said Pablo Pita, Chief Creative Officer for the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

It has been a team effort transforming the wall.

The Greater Hartford Arts Council helped contribute to funding for the mural along with the property owner. They’re also working with the rise up group and hope it inspires more artwork around the capital city.

“I really hope it just spreads joy and more love around the world,” Gann said.