For over two decades, The Connecticut Art Trail has been a fun way for people to explore the state’s many and varied museums. The Arts Trail started as the Connecticut Impressionist Trail, but has expanded over the years to include a wider range of museums.
“Bringing the museums all together under one umbrella is great for the museums in terms of us being able to market ourselves,” said Cary Weber, Executive Director of the Fairfield University Art Museum and President of the Connecticut Art Trail, “but it's also a way of celebrating the arts, and making sure people aren't missing out on wonderful opportunities to experience the arts.”
This year, New Canaan's Glass House and Silvermine Arts Center joined the 20 museums on the Art Trail as affiliate members.
To encourage participation in the Art Trail, organizers have created the Art Passport. For $25, pass-holders get free admission to the participating museums, as well as other perks, such as freebies and discounts at the museum gift shop. Pass-holders who get their passport stamped by every museum by the end of the year can enter to win the passport Grand Prize – an overnight stay and couple’s massage at one three Delamar Hotels in Connecticut. Weber said there are many ways to enjoy the passport. One of her suggestions is to make it a group thing.
“Absolutely - get a group together, everyone get the passport, and then meet up during the course of the year in different areas, I think that would be super fun,” said Weber. “We have a new partnership with the Connecticut Beer Trail, and their map is in the back of our passport, so if you wanted to combine a little art museum and brewery visiting, you could do that.”
Weber said the participating museums have some exciting new exhibits coming up this summer.
“The Wadsworth Atheneum has a painting coming from Italy - Giorgione's "La Vecchia", painted more than 500 years ago and just recently restored. It's a masterpiece,” said Weber. “Totally different cup of tea, the Stamford Museum and Nature Center has a guitar exhibition, Medieval to Metal - the Art and Evolution of the Guitar. And at the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Georgia O'Keefe exhibition is up until June 2nd, so get your passport now and go see that because it's a stunning exhibit.”
Art Passports can be purchased at most museums on the Connecticut Art Trail, or at ctarttrail.org.