Press Release  December 4, 2020

Made in Connecticut: Celebrating 25 Years of the CT Art Trail

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

John G. Matilus, New Britain Seen From Newington, 1942. Tempera on panel. New Britain
Museum of American Art, Gift of David Matulis 

The Connecticut Art Trail is celebrating twenty-five years of guiding art aficionados on a journey that includes twenty-two world-class museums and historic sites. Originally launched in 1995 as the Connecticut Impressionist Art Trail, encompassing ten museums, today the Trail includes more than double that number, plus a growing range of affiliate members including galleries and art-based environments.

Bruce Museum

Childe Hassam, The Mill Pond, Cos Cob, 1902. Oil on canvas. Bruce Museum, Anonymous Gift

"When the founding museums first gathered, over two decades ago, I'm not sure that anyone imagined that this Trail would not only continue to thrive but grow in reach and reputation, across the country," shares Carey Weber, volunteer President of the Connecticut Art Trail and Executive Director of the Fairfield University Art Museum. "When considering how to celebrate twenty-five years of collaboration, the answer was clear--curating and opening a collaborative exhibition comprised of works from all of our member museums, hosted by a member."

The resulting Made in Connecticut collaborative exhibition will run through Sunday, February 7, 2021, at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.

James Prosek, American artist, writer, naturalist, and current Artist-in-Residence at the Yale University Art Gallery will be the independent curator for the exhibition. "This exhibition is made possible thanks to the tremendous collaboration of the partner museums, and the generosity of our guest curator James Prosek. We are excited about building on this energy for our next twenty-five years," continues Ms. Weber. "In addition to paintings, drawings, prints and other traditional works of art, this exhibition will feature a number of decorative and industrial art objects including a rubber desk, an early typewriter, a selection of historic buttons and much more."

"The member museums and historic sites of the Connecticut Art Trail are spread statewide," shared Mr. Prosek. "Their combined collections number over half a million objects and are filled with astonishing works. It is an honor to be working with the museums to showcase the diversity of objects that have impacted Connecticut's rich cultural landscape over the centuries."

Mattatuck Museum

Elsie Rowland Chase, Chase Rolling Mill, c. 1895. Oil on masonite board. Mattatuck Museum, Gift of Fredericka Chase.

In addition to works from the collections of the member museums, Prosek has included works by two contemporary artists and members of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, Bill Donehey and Kristin Emilyta. Together the artwork in the exhibition tells the story of Connecticut's natural and industrial landscape. It showcases the state's makers and builders, workers and thinkers, artists and innovators.

Made in Connecticut is the highlight of this milestone year for the Trail, which will also include educational programming and unique anniversary exhibits among individual members. This will also be the final year that the popular Connecticut Art Trail passport, which provides no-cost admission to all twenty-two member sites," will be available for its original, $25.

Courtesy of the artist

James Prosek, Connecticut Composition No. 1, 2020. Oil and acrylic on panel.

Entrance to the Wadsworth and Made in Connecticut are included with the purchase of the Passport which can be done online at ctarttrail.org or at any member location. "The proceeds of passports purchased directly at a member location results in a $25 donation directly to that museum," concludes Ms. Weber. "Not everyone realizes that the Trail currently does not receive any state or federal funding and that we strictly operate from members dues and the sales of passports. Therefore the sales of the passports have a direct impact on the ability of the museums to promote their great work." Docent-led tours of Made in Connecticut will be on Sundays at 11am from November 1, 2020 to February 7, 2020. Advanced registration is required.

In addition to celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary with Made In Connecticut, the Wadsworth will be hosting several virtual related programs. For a current listing, check thewadsworth.org.

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