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Programs & Exhibitions

The Library offers free public classes, programs, and exhibitions at its 10 locations throughout the city of Hartford. Below is a selection of upcoming events.



Creative Aging

Creative Aging in America’s Libraries

Beginning in fall 2015, four distinct eight-week Creative Aging in America's Libraries workshops for adults 55+ will launch at multiple Hartford Public Library locations: Camp Field, Dwight and Park branches, and the Downtown Library.

Simply Crazy Quilting Class

Date: Mondays, October 12 – December 7, 2015, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Downtown Library (500 Main Street)

Join local quilter and teaching artist Irma Nelson for a free, 8 week quilting workshop. Designed for both absolute beginners and quilters with some experience, this creative aging program for adults 55+ will provide instruction in the basic aspects of traditional quilting. Participants will complete a 27 ½" square quilt project to display at a reception after the last class. Materials will be provided. Space is limited – registration is required! Call 860-695-6377 or email Sarah ( to register. Click here for more information.

Photography & Creativity: A Digital Photography Workshop Series

Date: Tuesdays, September 29 – November 17, 2015 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Camp Field Branch (30 Campfield Avenue)

In “Photography & Creativity: A Digital Photography Workshop Series” at the Camp Field Branch, participants will learn the basic operations of a compact digital camera, including settings, how to review photos in camera, how to delete unwanted photos in camera, memory card function, and methods of downloading digital images from the camera. Once comfortable with camera usage, students will then learn how to “see” through the camera lens through a series of exercises and discussions. To register, please call 860-695-7440. Click here for more information.

Creative Aging in America's Libraries is supported by a National Leadership Grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services in collaboration with Lifetime Arts, Inc., AARP Foundation, American Library Association and Westchester Library System.


Salsa Social

Salsa Socials

Date: Every Third Tuesday, 6:00 p.m.
Location: Downtown Library Atrium

Salsa socials are back at HPL! Join us for an open session welcoming dancers of all levels, free of charge! No partner or experience needed. Dancing and teaching for over twenty years, Rey Bermudez will share his passion for salsa at these open dance sessions.

August 18, September 15, October 20, November 17, December 15.


Trashion Dress

Trashion Fashion Exhibit

Date: September 29th- October 31
Location: Downtown Library, Center for Contemporary Culture

Trashion Fashion promotes the creative reuse of waste in our society by challenging individuals to create wearable art with items diverted from the waste stream, with the goal of global reduction of waste through creative solutions.

In conjunction with the Wadsworth Atheneum’s grand reopening, these selected designs were constructed from repurposed paper products, to reflect the Wadsworth's 1939 Paper Ball. The designs on display have been featured in past Trashion Fashion Shows and were created by designers Carmen Bermudez, Zoe Grinfeld and Marianella Chalfant.



Richard Brunton—Not Just a Connecticut Artist—Lecture with Deborah M. Child

Date: Thursday, October 8, 6:00pm
Location: Hartford History Center, Downtown Library, 3rd floor

Author Deborah M. Child follows in the footsteps of Richard Brunton, a British grenadier who fought in the American Revolution before deserting in 1779. A trained engraver and diesinker, his primitive but charming works include some of the earliest pre-printed family registers in America. Despite his many talents, he was never able to make an honest living from his craft and spent time in Connecticut’s infamous Old NewGate Prison for counterfeiting and forgery.

Brunton’s A Prospective View of Old NewGate, Connecticut’s State Prison (c.1799) line engraving will be on view during the event, courtesy of the Connecticut Historical Society.

“Soldier, Engraver, Forger: Richard Brunton’s Life on the Fringe in America’s New Republic” (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015) will be available for purchase immediately following the lecture.  



Poets on Poetry Series

Date: Last Saturday of every month
Location: Downtown Library

The Connecticut Poetry Society continues its monthly poetry book group discussions with Come Thief by Jane Hirshfield, (moderated by Ginny Connors) on September 26 and selected poems of Emily Dickinson, (moderated by David Epstein) on October 31. 10:15 am--12:30pm. Free and open to the public. For further information, visit


Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra

Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra Lunch Time Performance!

Date: October 7
Location: Downtown Library, Atrium

A roster of premier musicians from the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra will broaden your musical perspectives with a special lunch time performance in the soaring Atrium of the downtown library at 12:00 noon.

HICO presents these midday musical breaks with a wide array of modern classical music by 20th and 21st-century composers. Concerts are free and open to the public. Bring a lunch and share in the musicians’ enthusiasm for all things classical.



Beyond the Podium

“DNA Sequencing: Implications for Society and Medicine”

Beyond the Podium

“Beyond the Podium” Science Conversation Series Returns October 5

Date: October 5, 2015 at noon
Location: Downtown Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford History Center, 3rd floor

Join Hartford Public Library and the Connecticut Science Center for our next lunchtime conversation, “DNA Sequencing: Implications for Society and Medicine.”

Dr. Stephanie Airoldi, STEM Program Coordinator at the Connecticut Science Center, will lead the discussion that begins at 12:00 noon.

Bring a lunch and join the conversation!


Authors Table

The Author’s Table

Hartford Public Library is pleased to introduce The Author’s Table, an opportunity for local writers to showcase their latest publication and connect with downtown library visitors.

Hartford Public Library will publicize your scheduled appearance and will make available your book in the circulating collection, in a special section for local authors. Hartford authors will be given first consideration.

Please contact the Cultural Affairs Department at 860.695.6322 for more information.  


Authors Table Books

This Month at The Author’s Table

An opportunity to visit with local authors and discuss their published works. The Author’s Table is set monthly at the downtown library, 500 Main Street.

Books will be available for purchase.

JV Harvey—A Step Into the Rain
October 13

When Douglas Miles suddenly becomes a widower, he struggles to move on with his life; but in the comfort of new friends, he’s introduced into a new world he had no idea existed beyond his quiet, carefully manicured lawn. It is only a matter of time before his wife’s murderer will be at his doorstep.

James Herbert Smith--Wah-say-lan: Seneca Warrior
October 21

Young adult historical fiction, the story is set during the American Revolution when George Washington sent an army against the Iroquois nation, British allies. A Connecticut slave joins the Continental Army to earn his freedom. He meets and falls in love with the beautiful and courageous Wah-say-lan, a young Iroquois (Seneca) woman. Through the travails of warfare they encounter Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown and the Native American leaders Red Jacket and Cornplanter.


If you require special accommodations for participation, please call 860-695-6320 two weeks prior to the event.



Artwalk Logo

Calling All Artists

ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library offers one of the largest and most stunning exhibition spaces in metropolitan Hartford and the opportunity for Hartford residents and others to view art in a magnificent setting in our city. Exhibitions on the ArtWalk offer an array of art experiences that reflect a variety of media, styles, and cultures in the art world, provide diverse viewing experiences, and allow for many tastes.

Situated on the third floor of the Downtown Library in a space that looks down onto historic Main Street, the gallery offers unique visibility and exposure, adding to the increasing vibrancy of Downtown Hartford. The ArtWalk hanging system’s movable hanging panels allow maximum flexibility for each show.

The stunning state-of-the art gallery was made possible through the generosity of donors, especially the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Seeks Submissions:

The ArtWalk puts on four exhibitions each year, and every year, between August 1 and October 1, artists in all media are invited to submit a body of work. From these submissions, the four shows for the following calendar year are chosen.


Artists living and/or working in the MetroHartford area will be given priority. Students, emerging, or established artists are all eligible. Artists must have a body of work sufficient for exhibition on the ArtWalk by the date of the exhibition.


A jury will select up to four artists with final approval from the Library. Criteria for selection include but are not limited to: an artist’s resume or vitae and demonstrated ability, an appropriate body of work that is compatible with the ArtWalk space, and the ability to provide sufficient work ready for installation by an agreed-upon date. Installations designed specifically for ArtWalk are encouraged.

The jury will also consider the economic and physical feasibility of the proposed exhibition.

The jury may also recommend group exhibitions.

Selected Artists:

The selected artist(s) will generally receive a solo exhibition (although the library reserves the right to create exhibitions for multiple artists simultaneously); supporting marketing; an opening night reception; and, an opportunity to present an artist’s talk to the public during the exhibition.


1. Documentation of Work – up to six images of recent, current work, or the work specifically being proposed for the exhibition on the ArtWalk on clearly labeled CD-ROM/jpegs only; virus-free USB sticks may also be submitted. (Slides, original artwork and photographs of work cannot be accepted and will not be considered.)
2. Include title, dimensions and medium of each submitted image.
3. Up to three minutes of new media work will be viewed by jurors (clearly mark and cue the segment to be viewed)
4. A current resume with contact information including address, phone, and e-mail
5. A brief artist’s statement
6. Description and scope of proposed exhibition.

(Every effort will be made to return submissions. Please include with your application a self- addressed stamped envelope sufficient to return material, otherwise submissions will not be returned.)


Materials must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2015 and sent to:

Sarah Pelletier
Programming and Events Manager
Hartford Public Library
500 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103

Artist(s) selected by the jury will be notified by phone and e-mail no later than October 31, 2015. Good luck!


Blue Veil

Opposite Sides of the World - Connecticut to Singapore

Janette Maxey

Opening Reception—August 28, 6:00pm
Location: Downtown Library

Hartford Public Library announces the August 28th opening of artist Janette Maxey’s newest exhibit, Opposite Sides of the World – Connecticut to Singapore, on the ArtWalk gallery at the Downtown Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford.

Maxey is an American painter, born in California and now living and working in Connecticut. She recently returned from Singapore where she lived for four years.

She has exhibited in New England, Italy, and Singapore. Her works are included in private and public collections in North America, Europe, and Asia. She holds an AS in Fine Arts from Tunxis Community College and a BFA (magna cum laude) in Painting from The Hartford Art School. While completing her BFA, she studied abroad in Cortona, Italy. Maxey has also studied at the Art Students League of New York, New York Studio School and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

Maxey’s work will be on display through October 9, 2015, during regular Library hours. The Library invites the public to celebrate the opening of this exhibit at a reception with the artist on Friday, August 28, 2015 from 6:00 p.m-8:00 p.m. Both the reception and exhibit are free and open to all.


On my mind

“Hartford on My Mind: Words and Images from 550 Main Street” Exhibit

Date: September 19-November 30
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd floor

The City of Hartford’s iconic Municipal Building turns 100 years old on November 4, and serves as the inspiration for a special exhibit from participants of Hartford Public Library’s Arts & Archives spring workshop, geared toward adults who wish to explore and develop their creative abilities.

Guided by master artists, poet Kate Rushin and photographer Karen O’Maxfield, participants in the “Hartford on My Mind: Words and Images from 550 Main Street” classes were challenged to create original compositions using poetry and photography as their tools.



Famous Hispanics

“Famous Hispanics on United States Postage Stamps” Exhibit

Date: October 2 – November 30, 2015
Location: Downtown Library, 2nd floor

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, this colorful exhibit features over 30 illustrated United States Postage Stamps that honor Roberto Clemente, Desi Arnaz, Julia De Burgos, Richie Valens, Cesar Chavez and milestones in Hispanic culture and history. Special thanks to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.


Famous Hispanics

Venture Smith Exhibit at Hartford History Center

Date: October 15 – January 15, 2015
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd Floor

Hartford History Center, in partnership with the Documenting Venture Smith Project presents Making Freedom—The Life of Venture Smith, an exhibit that tells the story of a unique American, originally an African prince who was enslaved in the 18th century by New England traders, labored in bondage for 25 years, purchased his own freedom, wrote a narrative of his life and became a respected businessman in Connecticut.




ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library offers one of the largest and most stunning exhibition spaces in greater Hartford and the opportunity for Hartford residents and others to view art in a magnificent setting in our city.