Hartford Unveils Photo Installation Honoring Frontline Workers

Published on December 11, 2020

Hartford Unveils Photo Installation Honoring Frontline Workers

HARTFORD, CONN (December 11, 2020) – Today the City of Hartford unveiled a thirty-five photo public art installation at 1355 Main Street, at the intersection of Main Street and Albany Avenue, honoring frontline workers.  Local photographer Joe Gaylor has spent months collecting portraits of EMTs, grocery store employees, transit workers, public works employees, first responders, and more, and this photo installation pays tribute to their often-unseen hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“These powerful photos pay tribute to the thousands of selfless masked heroes in Hartford – city employees and everyday residents who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.  “This is a simple but beautiful way to honor their commitment to all of us, and also to remind ourselves why it’s so important to do what’s necessary to keep one another safe.  If we wear masks and keep our distance, we can help keep grocery store clerks, firefighters, delivery drivers, and every other essential worker and their loved ones safe.  This project was a labor of love for Joe Gaylor, and I’m very grateful to him for his partnership and creativity.  I also want to thank our Department of Public Works team, who helped install the photos and who are featured in the project.”

“In the early weeks of the pandemic when most of us were working from home and the city was devoid of most foot traffic, I would notice on my daily walks downtown that the only people out and about were our frontline workers servicing the rest of us,” said Joe Gaylor.  “Once the mask mandate was put in place by Governor Lamont in late April, I approached a CT Transit bus driver to thank him.  I also asked to take his photo and he obliged.  It was the first photo of a person I had taken in many weeks, and it was definitely the first time taking a picture of a person in a mask.  After that first photo, I was constantly noticing these selfless frontline workers be it bus drivers, postal workers, police officers, firefighters, grocery employees, and approached them for a photo for a special project I was working on – and it just snowballed from there.  It’s just a small way of giving back to these selfless men and women who have had our back from the beginning.”

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