The National Park Service and its partners have commissioned Xiomáro to create an artistic photographic series that will bring wider acclaim to the New England National Scenic Trail (NET), a 215-mile hiking route through 41 communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts comprised primarily of historic trail systems.
Although the NET has been in existence for over a half century, it was federally designated as a National Scenic Trail in 2009 to receive protection as a nationally significant recreational resource. The trail is jointly managed and cared for by the National Park Service, The Connecticut Forest & Park Association and the Appalachian Mountain Club (for the Massachusetts portion). The three organizations commissioned Xiomáro (SEE-oh-MAH-ro), an artist known for creating artistic photographic collections that help draw wider public attention to national parks and historic sites. Since 2011, Xio has been the Visiting Artist at Weir Farm National Historic Site, in Wilton/Ridgefield, Connecticut. The site is the homestead of J. Alden Weir, the father of American Impressionist painting whose works can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian and many other world-class institutions.
The NET travels through classic New England landscape features: long-distance vistas with rural towns as a backdrop, agrarian lands, large forests, and river valleys. The trail also highlights colonial historical landmarks and a range of diverse ecosystems: mountain ridges and summits, forested glades, wetlands and vernal pools, lakes, streams and waterfalls. Since the federal designation in 2009, there have been some noteworthy changes to the historic route, including a 15-mile extension to Long Island Sound in Guilford, Connecticut, and a 22+ mile eastward deviation from the historic Metacomet-Monadnock Trail in Massachusetts.
Xiomáro is a nationally recognized artist, curator, writer and speaker whose photography has been covered by The New York Times, News 12, Newsday, The Huffington Post and Fine Art Connoisseur. His photography has been widely exhibited at Harvard University, Long Island Museum, Fraunces Tavern Museum and other major institutions. Xiomáro has completed several commissions for the National Park Service including Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area and Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, Long Island. A large exhibit of his Weir Farm photographs will be exhibited this year at the Connecticut Capitol/Legislative Office Building and at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, both in Hartford, in celebration of the National Park Service’s Centennial.
“Using the camera as a palette, my goal is to showcase the unique beauty and history of the NET and the dedicated volunteers who care for it. The public needs to know of this resource and increased visitation is a much needed economic driver for the communities touched by the trail,” says the artist.