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Open Trails: Saturday in the Park featuring Site-Responsive Biennale Artworks and HKHS Community Art Project

Submitted by Joanne Paradis 

Gatekeeper, 2021

(East Haddam, October 21, 2021) I-Park will be wrapping up its 20th Anniversary season with a Founder’s Guided Walk on November 5 and a final Open Trails: Saturday in the Park event on November 6 featuring its eighth biennial Environmental Art Exhibition (including two special Anniversary Commissions). At the Open Trails event, the public will also have the opportunity to experience “The Tea Leaves Project” an artwork created by Haddam-Killingworth High School (HK) juniors/seniors of Jason Canaan’s Advanced Art Project and Arts Portfolio classes. The work will be installed the week of November 1 and will premiere at the November 6 Open Trails event. Mr. Canaan is a Visual Arts Teacher at HK and a graduate of Central Connecticut State University. I-Park would like to thank Mr. Canaan, Mr. Jeffrey Wihbey, HK’s new school superintendent, and all the administrative staff for supporting this collaborative project that has been two years in the making. The project had to be postponed several times due to the ongoing health crisis. I-Park is thrilled to finally host HK High School and invites students, family, friends and staff to join us.

Open Trails Featuring Site-Responsive Art Biennale Artworks on November 6, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

A diverse group of sixteen artists from around the country created nine new artworks on the land. An additional forty existing environmental artworks will also be available for viewing. I-Park’s Anniversary Commission artists, Marvin Touré and Sui Park, installed their works this spring. These artists have created large-scale, site-responsive artworks specifically designed for the I-Park landscape. These works are joined by new (September) installations by Die-cast (led by Brenna Geffers and doug greene), Pennsylvania, Gibson + Recoder, New York, Paul Golisz, New York, Benjamin Heller, New York, Le’Andra LeSeur, New Jersey, Thomas Putzier, Minnesota, Daniel Shieh, New York/Taiwan – and their collaborating team members. Upon arrival, you’ll get a map, some wayfinding instructions – and you’ll be invited to undertake your own self-directed exploration. We will also be hosting a scavenger hunt with prizes and yummy apple cider donuts for all the kiddos. FREE tickets at,

Founder’s Guided Trail Walk: The First 20 Years on November 5 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

This intimate event, to benefit the non-profit I-Park Foundation, will feature a visit to our archives room and a walk along our unique system of art/nature trails. Our Founder, Ralph Crispino, will offer insights into I-Park’s evolution from concept to master plan to execution. View the original master plan from 1994 , other research and planning documents along with the town’s approved expansion plans. You’ll get the behind-the-scenes skinny on the art, the artists, the land and I-Park’s plans for the future. While the walk will be guided, the conversation will be responsive to the observations and questions of the guests, each of whom will receive one of I-Park’s 20th Anniversary posters. To assure a meaningful, personalized experience, only 20 tickets will be available for this event.  Tickets are $65, $20 for I-Park artist-fellows, at

Tickets for all events are available by visiting For additional event information or questions, write or call 860-306-0636.


WHAT: Open Trails: Saturday in the Park
WHEN: Saturday, November 6, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: I-Park, 428 Hopyard Road, East Haddam, CT
HOW MUCH: Free, reserve tickets at
FURTHER INFORMATION: Please register at To reach I-Park, write or call 860-306-0636


About I-Park: I-Park is an international artists-in-residence program offering onsite residencies in visual arts, creative writing, music composition/sound art, new media and architecture/landscape design. Since its founding in 2001, I-Park has sponsored over 1000 fully-funded residencies. I-Park stewards its private 450-acre nature preserve so as to safeguard its gnarly wildness and associated animal habitats – while encouraging sensitive artistic interventions and interpretations within this space. I-Park engages the community through its exhibitions, concerts, symposia and initiatives that facilitate artistic collaboration. For more information, visit

Photo credit: Thomas Putzier, Gatekeeper, 2021

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