A Summer of Art on the New England Trail

July 21, 2017

Whether it’s a hike or a poem, there’s no end to the ways one can experience the natural world, and this summer, many of these experiences can be found through the New England Trail’s (NET) artist-in-residence program.

The summer started off with a sensory walk program at Mount Tom State Reservation, led by artist Bibi Calderaro. The program was held specifically for retired veterans through a partnership effort between AMC and The Holyoke Soldier’s Home. Bibi’s walks are aimed at enhancing the relationship between individuals and living landscapes, and they offer a way to experience trails and parks as places of healing and restoration. With her guidance, the veterans spent a beautiful June morning exploring the trail and finding new connections to nature and the people around them.

Art on the New England Trail
Veteran David Murphy makes his way down the trail with Soldier’s Home staff Kate Farrell and Margaret Feyre. Photo: Sue Zlogar
Art on the New England Trail
Veteran David Corriveau and artist Bibi Calderaro take in the view from a bridge. Photo: Sue Zlogar

Photography will also be featured on the NET this summer thanks to artist William Van Beckum. William will be producing an eight part art installation along the trail in both Connecticut and Massachusetts. The installation is made up of kiosks displaying iconic views of the NET. These images have been created through appropriated images that visitors to the trail have posted on the social media platform Instagram. In Massachusetts, the kiosks will be on display at DCR properties along the the trail including the Notch Visitor Center and the Mt. Holyoke Summit House. Viewers will be invited to participate in the installation by posting their own images using the hashtag #myNET and having their photos featured on the NET’s Facebook page.

Art on the New England Trail
Image created by artist William Van Beckum of Mt.Higby in Meriden, CT. Photo: William Van Beckum

For those looking to experience the trail through literary means, the NET’s poet-in-residence David K. Leff has spent the past several months hiking the length of the trail and producing short narrative poems about his experiences. The poems, known as ‘haibuns’, are a marriage of prose and haiku, and David uses them to beautifully capture the New England landscape. His poetry can be found on his website. For a chance to hear his poetry read in person, David will be leading a poetry walk on August 5th along the Emily Dickinson Trail in Amherst. The event is graciously being hosted by the Emily Dickinson Museum, and more details can be found on their website.

There is art for everyone this summer on the NET, and we invite you to be a part of these unique trail experiences!

The New England Trail conducts the artist-in-residence program year round. To find out more about the program and past artists, please visit newenglandtrail.org.

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Bridget Likely

New England National Scenic Trail Planner