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New Interactive Sculptures are Coming to Downtown Hartford

 Hartford, CT – July 15, 2020 –The Hartford Business Improvement District (Hartford BID) is pleased to announce the winners of their “Make A Thing” Placemaking Contest are Hartford-area creatives Julie Chen, Aaron Jarry, and Daniel Kuetemeyer.

The Hartford BID’s “Make A Thing” Placemaking Contest called for area artists, makers, and creatives to pitch ideas for unique placemaking initiatives, such as interactive sculptures, lighting installations, or one-of-a-kind street furniture.

The contest presented a unique opportunity for the Hartford BID to expand upon its efforts in beautifying and activating shared spaces in the Central Business District, while also working directly with local innovators to advance their own skill sets through their collaboration with MakerSpaceCT.

“Public outdoor spaces will be a vital piece of how we navigate our ‘new normal’”, said Chip McCabe, Hartford BID Director of Placemaking and Events. “As residents, employees and visitors begin to re-engage with public spaces, new installations in previously empty areas will give the public a sense of positivity and excitement.”

The Hartford BID received over 75 submissions to the “Make A Thing” Placemaking Contest.

Winners of the “Make A Thing” Placemaking Contest receive a year-long membership to MakerSpaceCT, including classes and necessary materials to help them execute their designs.

Finished pieces are expected to be installed by Summer 2021.

About the Artists

Julie Chen is an artist, designer, and educator. As an artist and designer, locals will know her from her photography at Hartford Open Studios, graphics for the Connecticut Science Center, the parachute fabric installation for Trashion Fashion 2016 in City Hall, and as a volunteer for the former Hartford Adobe group. As an educator, she is an adjunct professor of architecture at the University of Hartford. Newly as a Hartford Art School MFA student at the university, she is also expanding her art into social practice.

Aaron Jarry is an engineer, designer, and fabricator.  He works part time as a test engineer and also runs his own business Jarry Rigged Designs.  He manufactures custom furniture for the tattoo industry as well as one-off projects ranging from lamps to industrial furniture and stereo systems.
Instagram: @jarryrigged

Trained as a fine art painter, Daniel Kuetemeyer produced interactive digital experiences for museums and cultural organizations for many years. His recent work focuses on small-scale sculptures, what he calls “coping mechanisms,” that attempt to improve the human condition through ritual. This will be his first outdoor installation.

About MakerSpaceCT

MakerspaceCT opened their doors in April 2019 in the Historic G. Fox Building at 960 Main Street in Downtown Hartford. Their 25,000 square foot commercial space is designed to support an almost limitless variety of material types and fabrication processes. MakerSpaceCT houses CNC machining, metal fabrication, 3D printing, laser engraving, vacuum forming equipment and other production means that are, in many cases, too expensive or too large for homes or small businesses to accommodate. MakerSpaceCT’s mission is to be a valuable community resource by providing a large, well-equipped space where people and projects will thrive.


About Hartford BID


The Hartford Business Improvement District is a 60-block non-profit 501c(3) special services district. Working collectively with the City of Hartford, as well as the more than 100 property owners and other organizations within the District, the Hartford BID is dedicated to creating positive and lasting change by enhancing the economic vitality and quality of life for employees, visitors and residents within our District.


For any questions or more information please contact Hartford BID Director of Placemaking & Events, Chip McCabe at