Photographer Harrison Judd Pays Homage to J. Alden Weir

Written by Ed Osborn

J. Alden Weir Catalog COVER final

The Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University proudly presents “In Place, In Time,” the gallery’s opening exhibition in Eastern’s new Fine Arts Instructional Center in Willimantic.

The exhibition opens on Jan. 14 and runs through Feb. 25, with an opening reception on January 21, from 4–7 p.m. and a discussion by the artist on January 28, from 4–5 p.m. The gallery is located in Room 112 in the Fine Arts Instructional Center; entrance is on the High Street side of the building.

This historically relevant exhibition celebrates the timeless parallels between contemporary and historical art-making through the work of Windham photographer T. Harrison Judd, whose images reveal striking visual and philosophical connections to the paintings of legendary Windham artist J. Alden Weir. Shared locations and points of view span generations of time to create this impressive salute to the enduring connections that unite art, love and life — in place and in time.

“In Place, In Time” features 30 large-scale original photographs by Judd that demonstrate a shared aesthetic with Weir, the famous American impressionist and Windham resident. Judd’s photographs commemorate settings and themes from today’s perspective that served as inspiration for Weir between 1882 and 1919.

The show explores significant parallels between the two artists, delving into their shared Windham location and experiences. Though from different generations, Judd and Weir both grew up in southwestern Connecticut and moved to Windham after falling in love — living and working in Windham with their respective soul mates. These similarities, along with strongly aligned personal philosophies, reveal themselves in both subtle and dramatic ways throughout the exhibition, which includes landscape still-life images and portraits of notable local artists and art-world figures.

Curator Anne Dawson, professor of art history at Eastern, presents Judd’s work in two categories that clarify its connection to Weir’s. “A Shared Aesthetic” features Judd’s work before he studied Weir, and “A Deliberate Response” showcases photographs composed and shot by Judd in conscious relation to Weir’s work. Explanatory wall text and image pairings of the two artists’ work further highlight these connections.

“In Place, In Time” is the inaugural event for Eastern’s new Art Gallery, a stunning exhibition space in the University’s new state-of-the-art Fine Arts Instructional Center. This exhibition will re-identify Windham and its community as a place of rich historical and creative importance with a vibrant legacy of art and place-making that characterizes it to this day.

Gallery hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays, 1-7 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, 2-5 p.m.  For more information about the new gallery and “In Place, In Time,” visit http://www.easternct.edu/artgallery/.