Hartford Art School meets Charcoal Grill

Hartford Art School meets

Charcoal Grill


Six months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Valdira Wenger. She is proud new owner of The Charcoal Grill in Hartford’s West End. Through a long time friend of mine, Marcus Silva, I was introduced to Val. Through Marcus, I had a nice time getting to know Valdira. It was wonderful hearing about her plans to turn around the business, detailed by adding an artistic experience to the already authentic Brazilian culture of the restaurant.

After the three of us sat down that night, I left with a warm feeling of hope. We had a mutual understanding to how important art is in strengthening any environment and bringing the customers and community even closer. By showcasing some art of the Hartford Art School’s community, I gained a strong sense that we could build something inclusive, creative, and inspiring for everyone involved.

November 18th 2017, I spent the night with my friends Remy Gaulin (photographer) and Jocelyn Delia (painter). The three of us teamed up in installing a few pieces of all our work. Weeks later, Marcus contacted me about the positive impressions the restaurant and its customers gained seeing and being around the artwork. Due to the success of our first installment, we have had the pleasure of being welcomed back to install seasonal rotations of work from photography, painting, drawing, illustration, printmaking and more!

This past Saturday (4/6) We finished installing the spring collection of work. Jocelyn and I hung paintings from my dear friend Chelsea Bard and prints of photographs by my friend Erika Santos. As I have known Chelsea, Erika, Remy, and Jocelyn for a few years now, it has been a great experience for all of us being able to showcase and connect with the community. My four years at the Hartford Art School has been a transformative experience, and all the relationships I have created with both faculty and fellow alumni have been a driving purpose behind the work I have selected to bring into The Charcoal Grill. With all that being said, we are thrilled to be able to return and share new work every three months at the turn of the seasons.


Just in the past six months, Valdira has been able to maintain an authentic Brazilian cuisine, strengthen the nightlife to the bar in her restaurant, and bring in DJs and music from New York city and other major hubs for the near future. For myself and others, the direction of Charcoal Grill is really exciting. I am very blessed to have been given the opportunity to build this relationship with the business and the Hartford Art School community. Having fellow alumni and current students from the university share their work with the business has been a rewarding experience due to accessibility of the work, opportunities to share with the community, and the opportunity of exposure for the talent that exists and has come from Hartford Art School.

I hope you stop by and try the food and grab a drink. Enjoy the current work of myself, Chelsea, and Erika up now until the end of June!

Chelsea Bard: bardchelsea.wixsite.com/chelseabard

Erika Santos: erikagabrielasantos.com

The Charcoal Grill

1995 Park St, Hartford, CT 06106