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Community Solutions Presents Outdoor Valentine’s Day Art Installation in Northeast Hartford

February 17, 2015

NORTHEAST HARTFORD, CONN.— Community Solutions is pleased to present a public art installation in partnership with The Golden Thread Gallery as a valentine to our neighbors in the Northeast neighborhood of Hartford. A large banner with original artwork entitled “Live and Love” will be installed on the side of the historic Swift gold leafing factory today and will remain on display for public viewing until spring. (Photo attached)

“With the Swift factory located on Love Lane, what better holiday than Valentine’s Day to recognize and celebrate our amazing community through public art?” said Gina Muslim, Director of Community Solutions’ Hartford programs.

The artwork was chosen through a public proposal process, which produced two strong submissions. The Golden Thread Gallery selected a submission from international Canadian artist Shakil Akram Khan, a tessellation artist who specializes in the creation of readable puzzle art. Khan is self-taught and takes inspiration from the Dutch tessellation artist M.C. Escher. He says that Escher’s idea of perfectly tiling complex shapes, like lizards, fish, birds and horses, has long filled him with wonder. For the Swift factory project, Khan devised a modern take on Islamic geometric art, which is based on tessellations of square Kufic calligraphy. His tiling art is not only a visual delight of colours and shapes but is clearly readable, repeating the words “live” and “love” in interlocking combinations. Khan was born in Singapore and is of Pakistani ancestry.

In his artwork “Live and Love”, Khan wishes to convey a message of peace to all of humanity. He believes that what we have in common is much greater than our differences, and our differences make the world more fascinating. The two words used in the artwork, Live and Love, are repeated in identical, interlocking proportions, demonstrating the common foundation of humanity. The differences in our physical and psychological make-up are represented by an array of bright colors.

Community Solutions, which works in communities across the US and internationally to end homelessness and intergenerational poverty, has been working in Northeast Hartford since it was deed the former Swift gold leafing factory following its 2004 closure. Today, the organization is leading an effort to improve health and economic stability outcomes in the neighbourhood. Its team is in the midst of a door-to-door health survey of the neighbourhood and recently cemented an innovative philanthropic partnership with Cigna to draw on that company’s broad skill set to surface new strategies for improving community health.

The art installation will also include artwork from local at Simpson Waverly, MLK and Grace Academy. Their work will be on display on the porch of Community Solutions’ offices on Love Lane, beginning Saturday.

About Community Solutions:

Community Solutions is an internationally recognized non-profit organization working to end homelessness and intergenerational poverty. We adapt successful problem-solving tools and strategies from diverse sectors like public health, manufacturing and design to civic and human services issues, supporting the natural wisdom and capacity of community members to develop their own solutions. Our All YOU NEED IS LOVE project was created through a partnership with The Golden Thread Gallery.

About The Golden Thread Gallery:

The Golden Thread Gallery works to unify the artistic focus by creating a comprehensive statement and a unique viewing experience that showcases professional and emerging artists from various backgrounds and welcomes all cultures and religions. By displaying collections of various perspectives on a common theme, the gallery reveals how art can creatively illustrate the diversity of the human condition.