Halloween is a few weeks away and while some may be staying home instead of trick or treating, one West Hartford resident is looking to educate and establish a community dialogue through Halloween decorations.
Along North Main Street, there’s one house that has images and information that may cause some drivers to circle back and get a second glance.
“I literally like turned around and did a U-turn in the middle of the street and asked my roommate ‘Did you see that?'” said Armanthia Duncan of Hartford. “I think to see these two major topics married together is powerful.”
Armanthia Duncan and her roommate, Michael, live in Hartford and stumbled upon what they said is a captivating display of art and history.
“I think the person who created this made a connection between what’s happening now with police violence and contextualizing that historically with slavery and abolition,” said Duncan.
Matt Warshauer created the idea and built the two-part panels. It’s not his first time either; Warshauer has put up Halloween decorations with a message in the past.
“This year, I thought I would focus on social, cultural and political issues,” said Warshauer. “I think the top two issues are the pandemic and Black Lives Matter.”
On one end, visitors can observe Connecticut’s history with images of ads about enslaved people in newspapers, and as you make your way down, you’ll see pictures of those who lost their lives after a confrontation with police.
“The idea is not to proselytize to people but to show them the information,” said Warshauer.
The goal behind the panels was to unite the community and bring back what he says is missing in society.
“I think we are missing our connection with each other and that’s what we got to bring back,” said Warshauer. “I hope they enjoy some of the artistry of it for what it takes to put it all together, I hope they enjoy the spooky Halloween season, it’s meant to be fun, it’s not meant to be hateful.”