Weir Farm National Historic Site at 735 Nod Hill Road opened its 2017 season with Photo Ceramics by Xiom\u00e1ro: An Homage to J. Alden Weir and the Tile Club, a free exhibition of photographs fused on black ceramic tiles by the park\u2019s visiting artist Xiom\u00e1ro. The collection of 22 photo ceramics will be on display at Weir Farm\u2019s visitor center and museum store until Oct. 31. Weir Farm features the eccentric home and studio of J. Alden Weir, the father of American Impressionist painting. In 1877, Weir formed the Tile Club with Winslow Homer, William Merritt Chase, and other iconic artists to create hand-crafted decorative tiles \u2014 a Gilded Era craze sparked by displays at the 1876 Centennial celebration in Philadelphia. Internationally-recognized artist, writer, and speaker Xiom\u00e1ro, who has been Weir Farm\u2019s visiting artist since 2012, applied a modern twist to the idea. Rather than painting on eight-inch square cr\u00e8me-white tiles as Weir did, Xiom\u00e1ro used his brush to apply adhesives and finishes to fuse photographic prints he created onto four-, six-, and 12-inch black, square ceramic tiles. The photo ceramics feature luminous surfaces and individualized antiqued textures from stippled brushwork. \u201cThere was a lot of trial and error in working with the finishes,\u201d Xiom\u00e1ro told The Bulletin. \u201cI tried many different brushes and application techniques to get the surface texture I wanted.\u201d Xiom\u00e1ro said he started the collection two weeks prior to the exhibit and finished it \u201ca few days beforehand.\u201d \u201cIt went fast because I had spent two months doing a lot of experimenting with adhesives, finishes, brushes, tiles and other materials,\u201d he said. For the collection, Xiom\u00e1ro said, he used \u201cactual museum-quality photographic prints.\u201d The prints were rectangular and required him to find \u201ca new composition with the existing composition\u201d so that they would look good after he hand-cut them into squares to fit the ceramic \u00a0tiles. \u201cGluing them down took a lot of care to avoid scratching or scuffing the photograph, and without leaving any air pockets between the print and the tile,\u201d he said. After that, Xiom\u00e1ro said, he applied several coats of the finish by \u201cstippling or pouncing the brush over the prints.\u201d The photographs featured on the tiles were taken at Weir Farm in 2011, when Xiom\u00e1ro photographed the house and studio prior to restoration. \u201cAfter they were fully restored, I was commissioned again in 2014 to photograph them in their furnished state,\u201d said Xiom\u00e1ro, who created the photo ceramic tiles at his New York studio. He said each tiles took about an hour-and-a-half to make and required \u201ca lot of downtime waiting for things to dry or cure, setting up and cleaning up work spaces, and working slowly to avoid damaging prints or cutting fingers.\u201d Themes The solo exhibit presents four themes as an homage to Weir and the Tile Club\u00a0\u2014\u00a0\u201cStepping Back in Time,\u201d \u201cDecorative Treatments,\u201d \u201cLong Island,\u201d and \u201cConnecticut.\u201d For the \u201cStepping Back in Time\u201d and \u201cDecorative Treatments\u201d themes, Xiom\u00e1ro used photographs Weir Farm commissioned him to create, as well as images from when he began as the park\u2019s artist-in-residence. These two themes give an overview of the park\u2019s historic buildings and grounds, as well as close-up views of stained glass, wallpaper designs, and other artful details from Weir\u2019s house and studio. For the \u201cLong Island\u201d and \u201cConnecticut\u201d themes, Xiom\u00e1ro borrowed photographs from his Fire Island National Seashore collection to commemorate the Tile Club\u2019s three famous excursions to Long Island, which helped popularize plein air painting and the Impressionist style. Xiom\u00e1ro used photographs from his collection of the New England Scenic Trail \u2014\u00a0a 215-mile hiking route that starts at Guilford, goes through the state, and ends at the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. Photo Ceramics by Xiom\u00e1ro viewing hours at Weir Farm are 10 to 4, Wednesday through Sunday. For more information on Photo Ceramics by Xiom\u00e1ro, call 203-834-1896 or visit nps.gov\/wefa. To learn more about Xiom\u00e1ro and receive a free e-book on Weir Farm, visit xiomaro.com.