Weir Farm National Historic Site is launching a pilot wayfinding system that will show visitors around the park during all months of the year. Beginning Thursday Oct. 29, visitors are able to take self-guided tours with the aid of the new “View Poles”, an innovative new wayfinding system created by a team of designers from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and curated by Weir Farm Master Artist & Instructor Dmitri Wright.
Painters and artists rave about the light and color in the park as it reflects off stone walls and the tree cover. Focusing in on that light and looking closer at how special it is, is the quick experience you get when you look through each of the fifteen View Poles,” said Weir Farm National Historic Site Superintendent Linda Cook.
The View Poles, a series of lightweight poles with built-in viewfinders, will be located throughout the park and oriented towards items of interest by a rotating series of guest curators, including visiting artists, ecologists, and historians. The inaugural curator, American Impressionist Artist Dmitri Wright, will be orienting the poles to highlight the qualities of light and color which have inspired generations of artists to paint at Weir Farm National Historic Site.
“The light that inspired the American Impressionists to capture the multiplicity of colors of this landscape, is still calling to the artist’s heart to experience the art of nature. I selected views that continually offer me a sense of place beyond time, ones that highlight a particular uniqueness about the way light plays upon the topography here at Weir Farm National Historic Site,” said Dmitri Wright.
“The View Poles introduce visitors to the environmental conditions that were central to the work of the artists that lived here, and allow visitors to capture these phenomena for themselves. It is incredibly exciting to be able to launch this project at Weir Farm National Historic Site,” said designer Yasmin Vobis.
The View Poles are accompanied by an informational guide and a take-home postcard that allows visitors to create their own views at home. Both the guide and the postcard are available on the porch of the visitor center, and the postcards will also be distributed to community and cultural centers across Southwestern Connecticut. Visitors are encouraged to contribute their own views of Weir Farm National Historic Site by posting photos to social media under the hashtag #seeweirfarm.
The View Poles were designed by a group of faculty and alumni from the Rhode Island School of Design. Led by Aaron Forrest and Yasmin Vobis of the architecture firm Ultramoderne, based in Providence, RI, the team includes graphic designer Dungjai Pungauthaikan of Once-Future Office, video artist and curator Noah Klersfeld, landscape architect Suzanne Mathew, and landscape ecologist Jessica Forrest. The team was selected in Fall 2014 to work with Weir Farm National Historic Site as part of the National Parks Now competition held by the Van Alen Institute in partnership with the National Park Service.
Dmitri Wright is a contemporary Impressionist painter who has painted and taught at Weir Farm National Historic Site for over ten years. Trained by Samuel Brecher and Donald Brown, Wright was a Max Beckman International Scholar at the Brooklyn Museum School of Art and graduated from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He has taught internationally and currently leads the Weir Farm Art Academy, instructing students of all ages in the Impressionist tradition. His work is represented in the Brooklyn Museum, the Newark Museum, and in private collections worldwide.
Designed and preserved by artists, Weir Farm National Historic Site welcomes everyone to experience the power of creativity, art, and nature. Escape to the only national park dedicated to American painting and rediscover the beauty of light and color in everyday life. Learn more at the website or on Facebook, YouTube, and on Instagram @WeirFarmNHS.