Southington Landscape in Transition

The Southington portion of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail is actively undergoing change. The”Rails to Trails” pathway is 4.1 miles in length and spans distance between the Cheshire/Southington town line north to Hart Street in Southington.

Asbestos was removed from Ideal Forging at High and  Center Streets May 4, 2015. According to the Record-Journal report, Weston Solutions Inc., supervised the initial 2013 cleanup when the bulk of hazardous materials such as oils, manufacturing chemicals, acids and florescent tubes were removed in 2013. Site cleanup required specific demolition permits from the state for asbestos removal.

Peck, Stow & Wilcox was located in Southington and employed over 1000 workers spanning decades dating back to 1785-1795 under iterations of the combined names, Roys & Wilcox, Solomon Stew and Seth Peck.

The development of the Linear Trail is such a positive addition to Southington. The flat trail is a great use of open space and provides a resource for exercise enthusiasts: a win-win for all. It seemed a natural fit to look at the surrounding areas and plan for the removal of vacant buildings such as Ideal Forging and nearby empty factories. The Hartford Courant reported New York developer Meridian Development Partners Southington purchased The Ideal Forging property in 2005. The recession delayed a retail-residential complex project slated for the 14-acre parcel. The wait is over and signs of change are seen throughout the landscape.

Piles of rock wait to be taken away while blocking the view from homes that line the trail. Rusted metal artifacts truly look the part of relic technology. That view will continue to evolve as debris is replaced by new construction. It will be interesting to see how the integrity and idyllic feeling of open space the trail currently offers will blend with that of a mixed use space site plan.

Another factor to consider is crowd logistics. Southington is best known for its annual Apple Harvest Festival with a 5K run, the yearly Italian-American street fair, weekly music on The Green concerts and big turn outs for parades.  With new housing situated so close to populated events – be prepared to get your maneuvering skills ready!

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Pitfall or Preference in Art Collections – Let The Viewer Decide

If you were an artist and had a specific speciality you enjoyed creating, how do you think would be the best way to showcase that collection?

Would you worry over viewer response? Should a body of work be expressed via the artist’s intention and process or should the creator be concerned with a potential audience  experience? These are typical questions I asked myself after attending a exhibit “APISIDES’ by Branford, CT’s landscape photographer Fran McMullen.

The exhibit is being held at eatery Christopher Martins in New Haven, CT. What a great venue – good food and unpretentious atmosphere makes for a relaxing opportunity to take in artwork, conversation and eats.


Aprides is described as, ‘The point of greatest or least distance of the orbit of a celestial body from its center of attraction.’ Looking at these magnificat landscapes that capture the beauty of a singular moment in time, namely the transition of light from day to night, or possibly the exact moment when dawn gives way to the banality of morning, my immediate response is I want to be there. I want to feel my body’s weight sinking, and making claim to the sand beneath my feet. I imagine the sounds and smells of sea air. Unmistakably and undeniably nature, a view of sky and water together, would inspire me to leave any worry I might be harboring aside in lieu of the moment that showed itself.

Nature photography or landscape, call it what you may, is a genre that calls into action so many elements. Timing, framing, color, light, composition… these qualities don’t just happen to line themselves up by chance.

That is what I appreciate about  McMullen’s collection. The subject matter is indeed a grouping of similar themes – outdoor views of a water based landscape filled with a reflective skylight, but that is where it ends. I know each image represents an ever changing day, an every changing moment in time. If you are the kind of person that one sunset satisfies, then you will surely miss the next. NO two are alike just as no two of anything are alike. You have to be open to seeing a hue, where a hint of difference is a world of difference.

To see more of Fran McMullen Photography and landscape work visit: