Xiomaro exhibition: Weir Farm travels to Hartford

Xiomaro photos
Forty-four large print photographs of Weir Farm taken by nationally exhibited fine art photographer Xiomaro will cover 250 feet of wall space at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford beginning Monday, Oct. 3.

The solo exhibition, Weir Farm — Restored, will reveal the dramatic before-and-after restoration of artist Julian Alden Weir’s house and painting studio at Weir Farm National Historic Site at 735 Nod Hill Road.

It will also celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service, as Weir Farm is Connecticut’s first national park and the only one in the country dedicated to American Impressionist painting.

Xiomaro, Weir Farm's Centennial Visiting Artist since 2012, said the photos featured in the exhibition will offer “rare views and unique perspectives” that people cannot see on a Weir Farm tour.

In 2011, Xiomaro was commissioned by the National Park Service to photograph the empty interiors of Weir Farm’s historic structures, which were being restored for the first time in the park’s history.

“There were two days at the start when I met with Weir Farm staff to discuss the scope of the project, go on a tour of the buildings to see the empty rooms, and take some test shots,” said Xiomaro.

“After that, the proper photographs of the house and studio were taken in seven days — one day a week over the course of two months.”

Xiomaro then spent another eight days selecting photographs and processing them into final images.

Once Weir Farm’s restoration was complete, he returned to photograph the change in the fall of 2014.

“After the restoration, the process was similar, but I was able to create more photographs in less time because of my prior experience in working in these spaces,” he said.

“I spent four days doing the photography, but it did take more time to select and process the final images since I had more to choose from.”

While photographing the rooms, Xiomaro said, he had access to the rooms “for hours at a time without the restrictions that are necessary when one is on a tour.”

“It gave me time to look critically and to contemplate what it must have been like for Weir to live and create in the spaces,” he said.

“That feeling was part of what I was trying to get across in the photographs — a sense of place and a sense of his spirit.”

Xiomaro said he hopes his photographs not only help “build support for continued funding of both the arts and national parks,” but also inspire people and compel them to visit Weir Farm.

Funded in part by the Weir Farm National Historic Site, the exhibition will run through Friday, Oct. 28, at Upper Concourse — the main underground passage between the Legislative Office Building and the Capitol Building at 300 Capitol Avenue in Hartford.

Exhibit hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 to 5.

Other Weir Farm images are on display at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, 79 Elm Street in Hartford, until June 16, 2017.

Information: 860-240-0100 or visit xiomaro.com.