By land and sea

A number of local sites are offering free activities as part of the Essex National Heritage Area’s Trails & Sails, taking place from Sept. 20-29 throughout Essex County. More than 150 events are planned.

Offerings include a twilight paddle on Lake Gardner; tours of Newburyport’s Oak Hill Cemetery, which will also host performances of “Poe” by Theater in the Open; and a mindful outdoor experience at Veasey Park in Groveland.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit www.trailsandsails.org.

A critical eye

An internationally known critic of photography and photo-based art will visit the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport’s Market Square on Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to discuss “Art and Perturbation: Social Responsibility and the Photographer.”

A. D. Coleman has published eight books and more than 2,000 essays on photography and related subjects.

The presentation is part of the North Shore Photography Lecture Series, a collaboration between Sweethaven Gallery and the Firehouse.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Call 978-462-7336 or visit www.firehouse.org.

An array of art

A reception this Saturday night from 6 to 8 will celebrate two new exhibits at the Newburyport Art Association: the Fall Members Open Show, running Sept. 20 through Oct. 12, and the Master Artist Level Group Show, Part 2, open through Sept. 29.

The open show features a variety of acrylics, digital art, drawings, fine crafts, mixed-media pieces, oils, pastels, photographs, prints, sculptures and watercolor, while the second show spotlights 38 of the association’s 71 master artists, an elevated level of membership.

The galleries at 65 Water St. are open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

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