The Mayor’s Gallery in Stamford presents “Weir Was Here – Secret Rooms, Doors and Windows,” a photographic essay by Xiomaro (pronounced SEE-oh-MAH-ro). The free exhibit runs until April 30, 2013 at Mayor Michael Pavia’s office at 888 Washington Boulevard, 10th floor, in Stamford, on weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The exhibit presents 38 images, the largest number ever exhibited, from the first artistic photographic collection documenting the beauty and textures of the key historical structures at Weir Farm National Historic Site located in Wilton and Ridgefield, which have never been seen by the general public. The homestead was continuously occupied by artists starting with Julian Alden Weir, one of the founders of American Impressionism, and including Mahonri Young, a sculptor and painter of the Ashcan School.
Congressman Jim Himes, whose office is just down the hall from the Mayor’s Gallery, remarked that “the photographs are almost haunting. You stare at them and there are just multiple levels of things that you see. In fact, I liked it so much that for some time now I’ve had Xiomaro’s [work] hanging here in my Stamford office.”
Lina Morielli, the curator of the gallery, agreed that Xiomaro “managed to capture something about the essence of what was going on there. There is a ghostlike quality.” Morielli explained that although the images are all digital photographs, “some of them are very painterly. They are composed in a way that makes you think that they could almost be something else.”
This fall the buildings will open to the public with the interiors fully furnished and significantly changed from how they appear now. So the photographs offer a rare peek of what lies within these vacant rooms. Xiomaro uses photography to draw attention to historical sites where American figures lived and worked to pursue their vision. Other projects with the National Park Service include President Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill mansion, which will be exhibited at Harvard University next year. “My goal is that after experiencing these collections, urban viewers will feel compelled to visit the parks where they, too, can examine these leaders and explore the ideas that shaped our culture,” explains the artist. “As a product of New York City, I can attest to the inspiring and introspective effect these iconic, local places can have on one’s spirit.”
The artist produced a video with commentary from Congressman Jim Himes, whose office is next door to Mayor Pavia, and Lina Morielli, the curator of the Mayor’s Gallery.
The artist is offering a free 4” x 6” souvenir print from the collection until the close of the exhibit on April 30, which can be obtained at his website www.xiomaro.com. For information about visiting Weir Farm, go to www.nps.gov/wefa.