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The Hilltown Calendar 2023
As much as the Hilltowns testify to the beauty of the undulating landscape and 18th-century architecture, there are also remnants of more modern times. This year’s calendar features some newer old buildings from the age of railroads, turbines, and high decoration. Chester, in the south, was a busy rail hub, with its station now standing proud. Rail lines also threaded along the north of the region, aided by the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel. Some odd buildings still stand in Williamstown, abandoned coal silos next to the old railroad spur. Since the sheep farmers in the central Hilltowns had no railroad, they transported their animals to Pittsfield. That city’s center was the site of the nation’s first agricultural fair, featuring the successful Merino sheep. That spot is showcased here with an unusual structure, the city’s original Athenaeum. Another relic in this year’s calendar is an electrical generating plant built on a local “gentleman’s farm.” The work of the guest artists also juxtaposes the old with the new: a team of still-working oxen and a classic white New England church.
Kathryn Jensen created the Hilltown Calendar as an homage to this beautiful region. She has a keen eye for how things used to be, and she appreciates how the enterprises of the past provide a guide for a sustainable future. Her website, where additional copies of this calendar can be purchased, is www.kathrynjensenart.com.
Steve Hamlin, who lives in Huntington, specializes in paintings of wildlife, especially birds. He is a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, the North East Watercolor Society, and the New England Watercolor Society. His website is www.stevehamlinwatercolors.com.
Walter Cudnohufsky has had a distinguished career in landscape design, founding the Conway School of Landscape Design and authoring Cultivating the Designer’s Mind. Based in Ashfield, he has been practicing and teaching watercolor painting for some years. His artist website is www.cudnohufsky.com.