Carlos Hernandez Chávez.

Carlos Hernandez Chavez.

Hispanic Heritage Month begins Sept. 15, and to mark the occasion, the Hartford Public Library is highlighting local artist Carlos Hernández Chavez, a musician, muralist and friend to the library.

Carlos had already established himself as an accomplished artist when he came to Hartford from Mexico City in 1967.

“When I first arrived I might as well have arrived to another planet,” he told The Hartford Courant in 2013. “Everything was just so different even though I spoke English. The newness of the place… it was just mesmerizing. I was told that I was the first Mexican in Hartford. I’m not sure if that was true but I did not meet any Mexicans for many years after 1967.”

Carlos quickly became ingrained in the city’s arts scene and worked for the City of Hartford for 25 years, beginning as a bilingual social worker and ending his career as the top hearing officer for housing and parking violations.

In 2014, his works were featured in the ArtWalk at the Hartford Public Library. The exhibit, “Dialogues: Impromptu Conversations in Color,” included works created in the Carite rain forest in Puerto Rico. Carlos took leaves off plants, coated them with paint and pressed them to paper or canvas.

Over the past year, Carlos has been photographing the progress of the construction of the new Park Street Library @ the Lyric that is scheduled to open at the end of the month.

Hartford Public Library honors and celebrates the history, culture and contributions of our Hispanic and Latino community.

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