The Connecticut Art Trail, with roots in impressionism, is going ultramodern in its 25th anniversary season. Like its real-life version, the new virtual trail is a passport to a half-million works of art in permanent collections.
In another pandemic pivot by arts organizations, CT Art Trail is launching the state’s first virtual art trail at ctarttrail.org/virtual-trails/ and #VirtualTrail. Although the 22 museums and historic sites of the trail are closed during the COVID-19 crisis to ensure public safety, they have joined to create a virtual experience that trail travelers can experience from home.
“By having all the trail locations in one place,” said marketing official Barbara Paquin in an email exchange, “it allows community members to see what their options are for entertainment while at home. It also (allows) passport program participants to continue to get stamps.”
It’s the 25th anniversary of the trail, which features an Art Passport that grants visitors one-day access to each museum from Greenwich to New London and north to Hartford for a $25 fee. The 22 museum-and-historic-site trail began as a 10-location trail highlighting American impressionism; it expanded beyond impressionism in 2005.
The free #VirtualTrail is offering curator lectures, museum tours and special programs, including links to audio tours, sneak peeks of upcoming exhibits, videos and coloring pages. And the trail’s Facebook page, facebook.com/CTArtTrail/, will be updated daily with content such as guided instructional videos, online programs for kids and historical facts.
Carey Weber, volunteer president of the Connecticut Art Trail, said in a release, “Although our doors are physically closed, our members are working hard to bring positive content during this trying time in our communities.”
And with a hopeful nod down the road to reopening, the #VirtualTrail is hosting “mini-contests” from now to the end of June to win free Connecticut Art Trail 25th Anniversary Edition Passports. With the passport, participants can visit all of the trail members to receive a stamp, in-person or virtually. Once the passport is filled with stamps, participants will be entered to win a grand prize at the end of the year. Passports are also available for purchase at ctarttrail.org/.
“The #VirtualTrail is a continuation of the normal Art Trail,” said Paquin. “We created this program to continue the momentum of our passport program to encourage people to continue to keep in touch with local art programs.”