Earth Day's 50th Anniversary Celebrated through Sculpture

New Canaan, CT - The New Canaan Land Trust is proud to announce the installation of Passages, a preview of the New Canaan Sculpture Trail. This outdoor art exhibit was designed in partnership with the Carriage Barn Arts Center to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and to uniquely connect residents and visitors to our natural surroundings.

“It was important for us to install this signature piece as a hopeful reminder of better days ahead and to show the essential connection between art and nature,” commented Aaron Lefland, New Canaan Land Trust Executive Director. He continued, "We believe that Passages will serve as an inspiration to the entire community in the weeks and months to come."

The full New Canaan Sculpture Trail exhibition is scheduled to open in late spring or early summer and will include eight juried sculptures positioned at Land Trust preserves, New Canaan Town Hall and at the Carriage Barn courtyard at Waveny Park.

Passages, created by Norwalk-based artist, Thomas S. Berntsen, is a series of seven, eight-foot-tall panels that meander along a path in the center of the Hannan-Eberstadt Preserve, located at the corner of Smith Ridge (Rt. 123) and Canoe Hill Roads in New Canaan, CT. The panels are designed as individual portals of mirror, light, and color. Each has its own distinct pattern, which was inspired by and borrowed from the famous 13th-century labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France.

"Passages represents a series of sculptures that reflect, refract and extenuate their natural surroundings.” Berntsen explained. “Composed of dichroic film, each frame reacts to minute changes in the environment in a myriad of ways, responding to small movements of angle and light. Each visit, and each time of day, will create a unique and memorable experience."

In response to the town of New Canaan’s closure of all town parks, the Land Trust temporarily closed public access to its preserves, however, Passages can be easily viewed from the road. Visitors who wish to park their vehicles are strongly advised to do so along Canoe Hill Road.

The New Canaan Sculpture Trail has been made possible by the generous support of Lead Sponsor Harlan E. and Lois J. Anderson Foundation; contributors Stuart Higley Foundation; A.P. Construction Company, and the Town of New Canaan; and Media Sponsor Serendipity magazine.  


About the New Canaan Sculpture Trail Artist:

Thomas S. Berntsen – Norwalk, CT – Tom graduated Rochester Institute of Technology in 1977 with a B.S. in Professional Photography. He immediately launched his career as a commercial photographer in N.Y.C., specializing in the decorative arts. He later shifted his creative efforts toward an inspiring mode of self-expression. Steadily working on expanding his oeuvre in novel ways using new and varied material, Tom has taken the time for a journey within that has opened the work in meaningful and introspective ways.

About the New Canaan Sculpture Trail:

Visit the website:

Download the Otocast LLC mobile app to hear more from the artists

Contact the New Canaan Land Trust at or 203-972-1270.

About the New Canaan Land Trust

For more than half a century, the New Canaan Land Trust has worked to build a healthier and greener New Canaan by protecting and stewarding New Canaan’s natural resources. By engaging the community in programs, workshops, and other events, NCLT fosters a connection between people and their natural surroundings and instills a conservation ethic in the New Canaan community. For more, visit

Submitted by Fairfield, CT

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