Visitor of the Month
July 2014 Visitor of the Month: Janice Hess
It's July, and Weir Farm National Historic Site is proud to celebrate our newest Visitor of the Month, Janice Hess! Janice is the volunteer Executive Director of the Weir Farm Art Center, a non-profit organization that works closely with the park, and she has been visiting the park since 2005. Recruited to work on the board of the Weir Farm Trust (the precursor to the Weir Farm Art Center), Janice got hooked on history of this place and has been coming back ever since.
However, Janice wishes that she had more time to devote to exploring and experiencing the hiking trails in the park and in the Weir Preserve, as she did when she first started volunteering here. Currently, one of Janice's favorite spots in the park is the Secret Garden, but she also loves the Weir Studio, the Young Studio and the newly restored Weir House.
Janice played an important in the grand opening of the Weir House, Weir Studio, and Young Studio. The Weir Farm Art Center graciously arranged the temporary loan of Julian Alden Weir's "The Laundry: Branchville" from the Wadsworth Atheneum to the painting's "home" on the living room wall in the Weir House for the first month of the of the Weir House being open to tours. Janice also managed the park's resident artists during the seven-year restoration process, allowing them sneak previews of the progress to satiate their interests in these famously artistic buildings.
As Executive Director of the Weir Farm Art Center, Janice is tasked with "keeping the Artist-in-Residence program at the park running smoothly" and serves on the joint committee that selects the resident artists for the park. One of the Weir Farm Art Center's sources for fundraising is the Jazz in the Garden concert, held annually in September. Jazz in the Garden was central to one of Janice's favorite moments here. She remembers when it had been raining for the whole show, leaving only the die-hards in attendance for a foggy mystical experience.
Janice has been a Wilton resident for the past ten years, along with her husband Mike and their children Anton, Teddy, and Maddie. Beyond her work for the Weir Farm Art Center, Janice also serves on the board of the Wilton Library Association and the Parent Advisory Board for Special Services and 504 plans to the Wilton Public Schools. Yet she still has the time to read, solve computer problems for family and friends, and figure out what to do with all the produce from her CSA (community-supported agriculture) share.
Janice, everyone here at the park wants to thank you for all the work you have done over the years for the Weir Farm Art Center and for Weir Farm National Historic Site. With applications for the Artist-in-Residence program due July 15th we know you will find another great cadre of Artist-in-Residence.
Did You Know?
Weir Farm National Historic Site is located in the historic town of Branchville, Connecticut. It was named for the "branch" of the train line that used to connect the Danbury railroad to the center of Ridgefield, Connecticut.