Photography Exhibit at Capitol

August 15, 2012
State Senator Kevin Witkos takes part in the “Connecticut’s Political Landscape” photography exhibition at Ski Sundown in New Hartford on July 19th.

State Senator Kevin Witkos takes part in the “Connecticut’s Political Landscape” photography exhibition at Ski Sundown in New Hartford on July 19th.

On Thursday, July 19th, I had the opportunity to take part in an art project involving over 50 different elected officials throughout our state. Stamford-based photographer Tim Coffey set out earlier this year to document Connecticut’s political landscape in 35 different communities. This year’s exhibit is his second effort and the results have been pretty impressive. The project involves featuring a public figure at an important or notable landmark within the district that we represent.

That day, I drove out to meet with Tim at a place that many of us are familiar with. If you are interested in winter sports, you may have visited Ski Sundown at some point. Located on Ratnum Road in New Hartford, the ski area draws thousands of ski and snowboard enthusiasts in the winter months. While it may not be the first location to come to mind in the summer months, I knew that the view from the top would be extraordinary.

With the help of Robert Switzgable, the President of Ski Sundown, we were able to drive up the slopes to the top of the mountain. From a height of about 1,000 feet above sea level, the view is simply spectacular. If you have gone skiing there, I am sure that you would agree. The rolling hills and blue reservoirs are excellent examples of how beautiful northwest Connecticut really is. For about half an hour, Tim set up and took a number of photographs with different lighting. After heading back down the mountain, I thanked him for taking the time to come out and visit us. I knew that he had a lot of work ahead of him to develop, print and set up the exhibit.

When August finally arrived, the exhibit was set up in the Concourse Gallery that connects the State Capitol to the Legislative Office Building by underground tunnel. The exhibit features a long line of unique photographs, including legislators at the shoreline, in front of local businesses and even a quarry. Each photo was also assigned a quote to detail how we perceive our role as elected officials and public servants.

My quote reads, “People should be voting based on what their constituents want. I always look at the board when I was in the House and now in the Senate too. In my area, we all kind of represent the same basic constituencies. We should be voting the same way. It shouldn’t matter whether we have an R or a D after our names. We should be lock step and barrel together.”

While they are best known for their skiing and snowboarding in the winter, Ski Sundown also hosts several fun summer events, including a Fugitive Mud Run in July and the upcoming 5th Annual Brewfest on September 22nd. I would like to thank them for allowing us to use their facilities for this fun project. To learn more about Ski Sundown, please visit their website at

During the month of August, you can stop by the State Capitol in Hartford to view the “Connecticut’s Political Landscape” exhibition. On weekdays, the images may be viewed between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. If you cannot make it to the Capitol, the photographs may also be viewed online at