Weir Farm National Historic Site and the
Weir Farm Visiting Artists Program
Drawing inspiration from its magical landscape, artists have lived and worked at Weir Farm for 120 years. Underlying the significance of Weir Farm National Historic Site is the preservation of an extraordinary facet of Americas artistic heritage. Equally important, is the preservation of an environment where contemporary artists can thrive. This environment includes not only the physical landscape, but also an atmosphere in which the creative spirit is both fostered and nurtured. Providing outstanding opportunities for promising artists within the context of this environment is a mandate of the Weir Farm Trust and is critical to the success of the long-range management plan of the Farm.
The Visual Artists Program including both resident and visiting artists is the cornerstone of the Trusts programs for professional artists and is central to its mission. The Visiting Artists component was originally envisioned as the first step towards the development of the residency program. Artists apply to the program in all visual art forms and are selected primarily on the quality of their work through a competitive panel process. These artists have reached a level of maturity in their work and have thoughtfully considered why they would like to work at the Farm. Using Weir Farm as an open air studio, participating artists work over the course of a year to create a cohesive body of work influenced by his or her own experiences of the Farms cultural and natural resources.
Since its beginning in 1991, the program has attracted Guggenheim, Fullbright, National Endowment of the Arts Fellows and Connecticut Commission on the Arts grant recipients, as well as winners of other national and international residency and fellowship awards. We are very pleased with this year's outstanding visiting artists Richard Lang Chandler, Maureen Cummins, Steven Dolbin, Camille Eskell, Thomas Mezzanotte and Michael Torlen.
After the conclusion of the work period and as a key benefit of the program, each group of visiting artists is presented in a museum exhibition. We extend our deepest thanks to The Housatonic Museum of Art and to Robbin Zella, Director, for presenting this exhibition of the 2001 Weir Farm Visiting Artists.
J. Alden Weir had a lifelong commitment to nurturing other artists. His spirit is alive and well at the Farm, due in great part to the artists who come to immerse themselves in their work, having been captured by the landscape that continues to inspire.