Northwestern Connecticut Is Emerging As An Art World Hotspot

It's attracted artists and writers for a while now

Litchfield, CT
The historic Henry B. Bissell house in Litchfield, CT.
Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 4.0

It’s a given these days that many large cities have substantial art scenes, with galleries and institutions large and small featuring an aim of supporting contemporary artists. But it would be a mistake to say that this represents the entirety of where artists create work and develop their careers. Whether it’s Marfa or Montauk, plenty of less populous regions have also helped to nurture many an artist. And it turns out that the latest town to get on the map for doing so can be found in northwestern Connecticut.

That would be Litchfield, which is home to a host of historic buildings and a sprawling sculpture park. A new article by Adrian Dannatt in ARTnews describes the region as “the secret epicenter of the contemporary art world” — and cites the ascendency of Litchfield as an especially notable development.

As Dannatt points out, this area has long attracted writers and artists — including the likes of James Thurber and Arthur Getz. Jasper Johns lives in the nearby town of Sharon, and has plans to establish a sizable artists’ residency in the region — one that, in tandem with the existing Beecher Residency, would have the effect of drawing even more artists to the area.

The array of artists living in and around Litchfield who are cited in the article demonstrate that the area doesn’t just have staying power — it seems to have increased its level of prestige in recent years. Then again, the appeal of an idyllic corner of New England isn’t that difficult to understand.

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