Ditch the screen and head to the museum: here are five events along the CT Art Trail

Art is better in person — there, I said it. While it’s wonderful that museums and galleries have made art more accessible through their online exhibitions during the pandemic, it just isn’t the same as viewing it up close and personal.

Art lovers can rejoice as the Connecticut Art Trail announced the sale of its 2021 passports, noting that 2020 passports will be honored through Labor Day.

The Connecticut Art Trail is a partnership between 22 museums and historic sites that grants passport holders admission to the variety of historical and art exhibitions on display at participating locations.

“Connecticut is in full bloom,” Carey Weber, volunteer president of the Connecticut Art Trail, said. “With the exception of a handful of museums, all members of the longstanding Art Trail are open to the public during posted hours or through timed admissions. The $25 Art Passport provides access and admission to all of these world-class art centers and we invite you to escape April showers under our umbrella of great exhibits and events.”

Unfortunately, not all of the Art Trail locations are open due to the pandemic, but these are: Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Greenwich Historical Society/Bush-Holley House Museum, MOCA Westport, Silvermine Arts Center, Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Weir Farm National Historic Site, Mattatuck Museum, Florence Griswold Museum, Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Mystic Museum of Art, Slater Memorial Museum, Art Museum at the University of Saint Joseph, Hill-Stead Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Please check a location’s website before visiting.

For those looking to get out now, here are five upcoming Art Trail events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nights Out: Farmer for the Evening
Stamford

Learn how to care for farm animals at Farmer for the Evening on April 29 at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center.

Learn how to care for farm animals at Farmer for the Evening on April 29 at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center / Contributed photo /

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center offers folks the opportunity to try out their farming skills and lend a helping hand on Heckscher Farm on April 29. Try your hand at tending to the goats, sheep, cows, llamas, alpacas, donkeys and other farm critters. The program is only for adults and takes place rain or shine. Attendees should note that they are spending time with animals and that they should dress accordingly. Register for the event online.

Location: Stamford Museum & Nature Center, 39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford

Info: stamfordmuseum.org

Clarity Haynes: Collective Transmission
Ridgefield

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum on Main Street. Ridgefield could be the first town in the state to receive a cultural district designation from the state. Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in Ridgefield, Conn.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum on Main Street. Ridgefield could be the first town in the state to receive a cultural district designation from the state. Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in Ridgefield, Conn.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media

Looking to channel your feminine energies? Artist Clarity Haynes has two debut paintings on display at the Leir Atrium in the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum April 28 through Sept. 6. The paintings “Birth Altar” and “Altar for Femme Joy” are intended to act as “queer feminist spaces liberated from the patriarchy.”

“In a time of toxic masculinity and violence, to put forth joyful feminist principles feels radical. To create one’s own archive, altar, cosmology, autonomous space is an act of taking care,” Haynes said of her paintings.

Location: Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, 258 Main Street, Ridgefield.

Info: thealdrich.org

Instructor Showcase 2021
Norwalk

Brushes for applying ink in the Helen Frankenthaler Printmaking Cottage at The Center for Contemporary Printmaking.

Brushes for applying ink in the Helen Frankenthaler Printmaking Cottage at The Center for Contemporary Printmaking.

Alex von Kleydorff / Hearst Connecticut Media

Ever been curious about printmaking? The Instructor Showcase at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking aims to provide visitors with the opportunity to not only look at stunning prints, but to learn more about how they’re made. The exhibit is available virtually and in-person at the Grace Ross Shanley Gallery located at the center. The prints featured in the exhibition were created by the center’s staff and will be on display through May 23.

“The intention behind this pair of concurrent exhibitions is to provide our community with greater insight into the printmaking practices of the instructors who teach at CCP,” the center’s website states. “This work from their personal practices showcases the range of expertise between them, skills developed as professional printmakers balancing their own studio practices while working to train and educate others.”

Location: Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Mathews Park, 299 West Avenue, Norwalk

Info: contemprints.org

Expanding Horizons: Celebrating 20 Years of the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection
Old Lyme

The exterior and grounds of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

The exterior and grounds of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Bob Gregson / Contributed photo

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the gifted art collection from the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, the Florence Griswold Museum will host an exhibition of the art in their “Expanding Horizons” show. The donated collection features 190 pieces of art.

According to the museum’s website the gift “instantly broadened, both geographically and chronologically, to include artists working in every corner of Connecticut from the 18th- to the mid-20th century. While landscape was the preferred subject of most Lyme Colony artists, the HSB Collection brought to the institution a variety of canonical American portraits, still lifes, figurative compositions, narrative scenes, and landscapes painted by artists from outside of Old Lyme.”

Location: Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.

Info: florencegriswoldmuseum.org

Paul Manship: Ancient Made Modern
Hartford

The European art galleries in the Morgan building at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.

The European art galleries in the Morgan building at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.

Wadsworth Atheneum /

At first glance many pieces of Paul Manship’s work resemble classic Roman and Greek art, when in actuality the sculptor created his art during the 20th century. Manship is known for his major public commissions such as Prometheus at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and the Rainey Memorial Gates at the Bronx Zoo. Patrons can visit the exhibit in person and online to view his sketches and signature bronze works through July 3. In addition to the exhibition the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is holding two public events. “New York In The 1920s: Art, Architecture, and the City” is a lecture hosted by Roger Williams University architecture professor Gail Fenske on May 27. Emily Orr, curator of design at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, will give a lecture on “Bronze, Iron, And Silk in the 1920s” on June 22.

Location: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main Street, Hartford

Info: www.thewadsworth.org