‘Black Lives Matter' Mural Unveiled in Downtown Hartford

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Dozens of people from across the state came out to celebrate the unveiling of a new street mural inside the Capitol City.

The art display reads out 'Black Lives Matter' in all capital letters with an array of different colors and images inside each letter.

Local artists began working on the piece on Thursday and made some final touches to the piece on Sunday morning.

"I think it's very symbolic to our community and a great display of support to the Black and African American communities," said Alexa Farmer, one of the many people who came out to see the display. "I think it's beautiful and symbolic, but I just want to make sure that the state continues to put action behind the symbolism of this mural."

Keva Bonner is a former Hartford resident who made the trip over from Manchester and wanted to give her two sons and niece a front-row look of the messages and images painted by local artists.

"I wanted them to see that their lives actually matter," said Bonner. "I think it's important for our children to know that and my son loves art and maybe one day he can become an artist and continue to paint images that will reflect future generations."

The idea was brought to life by Lashawn Robinson, an artist and lead organizer for the project.

"Everyone is telling their own story of what they've been through or what they've experienced growing up as a Black person," said Robinson. "I've been able to fight for equity for our community while also creating images and paying homage to the pillars of our community."

A Black Lives Matter mural was painted on Trinity Street the same morning the House passed a police accountability bill.

Robinson along with other members from Hartford-based group, Black Lives Matter 860, paired up with the City of Hartford who helped supply some of the art materials.

"I feel like art is so therapeutic and by seeing the beautiful colors, it might just make you say 'this does matter and it is important," said Robinson. "I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to work alongside some amazing artists to bring this mural to life."

There are a few messages the group wants people to walk away with after viewing the mural.

"We want our community to know that we can create change together," said Natalie Langlaise, an artist and activist. "We want people to know that we stand as one when we say Black lives matter and we can be unified and try to break the chains of the systemic injustice that's been happening in our country for decades.

Organizers said the mural is slated to be on display until September.

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