I’ll open by quoting the first sentence of the Greene Land Trust‘s Mission Statement: “The mission of the Greene Land Trust is to preserve and protect significant natural and cultural resource in and around Greene County, New York.” And I’ll add that they do superb work in this regard. The GLT owns or manages eight properties in Greene County that are of outstanding natural and ecological importance and scenic beauty. A significant part of their work consists in partnering with other local organizations to the mutual benefit of both for the sake of furthering their mission.
In the history of the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, the contribution of landscape artists in showcasing the beauty of this area has been invaluable in raising the consciousness of the importance of caring for and preserving this land. From the time of Thomas Cole (1801-1848), founder of the Hudson River School, until the present, painters and, more recently, photographers have worked tirelessly to share the beauty of our mountains, forests, rivers, and valleys with an appreciative and discerning public. This would scarcely have been possible without the venues — the galleries and other outlets — that have made their spaces available to display these artistic creations.
Now, right here in Athens, the Athens Cultural Center is hosted the third Seasons of Greene exhibition, showcasing the work of the region’s finest painters, who have contributed their paintings of the GLT-owned or -managed properties, offering them for sale to benefit the Greene Land Trust. The success of the first Seasons of Greene in 2017 (the brainchild of James Coe, GLT’s Secretary and a gifted artist) led to Seasons of Green II in 2021 and now Seasons of Green III, featuring paintings by thirteen artists, some of whom are new this year. Space doesn’t allow me to discuss or show a painting by each artist, but I’ll present a few whose paintings could be photographed without the interference of reflections and paintings of which I remembered to get the title and the artist’s name (when you’re trying to do this at a deservedly crowded opening reception, it’s not as easy as it sounds!). Thus, nothing to do with favoritism, just, really, chance.
You don’t have to be an art critic for the New York Times to realize that these photos don’t do justice to the paintings or their creators. The exhibition runs until October 23 and gallery hours are Fridays 4-7 pm, Saturdays 12-6 pm, and Sundays 11-2pm at the Athens Cultural Center on Second Street, a block from Athens’ lovely Riverfront Park. Don’t miss it.