Donated paintings trace Athabasca’s past
During their 20 years in Fort McMurray, Joyce and Peter Hunt accumulated an extensive collection of artwork reflecting Alberta’s north. Today, thanks to their generosity, 20 of the paintings call Athabasca University home.
Some of the paintings feature the Athabasca River and its basin. The majority of the collection comprises works by E. Colin Williams, the first artist-in-residence at today’s Keyano College.
“We felt this was a natural fit,” says Hunt, referring to one of the paintings now on display at AU. “Athabasca Landing-now the town of Athabasca-was the jumping-off point for early entrepreneurs who travelled the Athabasca River and its treacherous rapids to ship their equipment north. Athabasca University is an innovative institution and its Athabasca River Basin Research Institute is focusing on what the river means to the community.”
Peter Hunt worked with Great Canadian Oil Sands, now Suncor, while in Fort McMurray and has been in the oil and gas industry for 40 years. Joyce Hunt taught at Keyano College and has a keen interest in the history of the Athabasca area. Her history of the oil sands from 1870 to 1930 will be published in the fall of 2011.