A word from Charlie Burlingham, grandson of Julian Alden Weir:
Indian Summer. The Old Farmer’s Almanac describes it as warm days, often hazy or smoky, which follow a spell of cold weather, or a hard frost. The conditions must occur between St. Martin’s Day (November 11) and November 20th. Antonio Vivaldi’s “Autumn” catches its atmosphere with a soothing opening section, followed by violins suggesting that winter winds are just around the corner. As I write, the time for an Indian Summer is fleeting. Keats’s ”season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” is nearly done.
All of which means that high on Nod Hill, it is time for us to ask our friends for their annual support. You will note that we only ask for your help once a year, quite a contrast from the multiple solicitations we all receive annually from dozens of charitable enterprises. But our one solicitation is vitally important to the mission of Weir Farm Art Center: to acquire art for the park collection while running our excellent residency program.
This year of 2017 was a successful one for us. We bought two important works: a self-portrait of Mr. Weir himself, probably painted during his studies with Jean-Léon Gérôme at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris about 1875, when he was 23 years old. It’s a bold and startling painting, quite confrontational, which shows young Weir about to take on the world. Our second acquisition was a tall silver chalice, which appears in several paintings by Weir. One such painting is Silver Chalice with Roses, a painting which had been stolen from Brigham Young University, was missing for 40 years, but finally recovered. The chalice puts in another appearance in Weir’s Homage to Whistler. In accordance with our mandate, both the self-portrait and the chalice will be given by the WFAC to the Weir Farm National Historic Site, for the permanent benefit of the America people.
Our Artist-in-Residence program has been highly successful, with many talented visual artists at all career stages participating. You can see their work on our website: www.weirfarmartcenter.org .We have completed the jury process for 2018 residency spots. Our guest jurors, Andy Romer, Carey Weber, and Courtney Linderman remarked on the quality of the work of the applicants, which bodes well for next year.
Our sponsorship of art-related events proceeds apace. This year, in addition to partnering with the Wilton Library to present monthly talks by our resident artists to the general public, we again sponsored the year-end Artist lecture/portfolio critique for the MFA program in visual arts at Western Connecticut State University. This popular event featured the well-known Eric Aho, who was an early resident artist at Weir Farm. This summer, we co-sponsored (with the park and the Friends of Weir Farm National Historic Site) the first annual Art in the Park festival at Weir Farm on August 25, the birthday of the National Park Service. The juried exhibit of the entries in the art competition first was presented at the Gilbert & Bennett Cultural Center, and then moved on to the Wilton Library, providing important exposure for the park and its supporting groups.
In addition to our hard-working volunteer board members, Bob Faesy, Bruce Beebe, Charlie Janson, Francesca Monro, and Janice Hess, we are thrilled to have acquired the professional services of Michelle Stewart, previously a park Ambassador. We’ve asked her to upgrade all things digital, and plan enhancements to our website and social media platforms. She has vast experience in, and a thorough understanding of these mysteries.
So, dear friends, as we enter the holiday season, the time has come for us to ask for your help. You have been dependable allies over the years in our important work here at Weir Farm, and with your generosity we can look forward to a successful 2018.
With best wishes for this happy season, and much gratitude,
Charles Burlingham, Jr.
President, Board of Trustees
We are proud of our 2017 ARTISTS
Click on the names below to learn more about this year's resident artists and their work.