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Museum exposition celebrates David Thompson journey

Mountain View Museum is hosting David Thompson Highway, a new art exhibit that will be on display until Feb. 27.

Mountain View Museum is hosting David Thompson Highway, a new art exhibit that will be on display until Feb. 27.

The exhibit is a collaboration between six Central Alberta artists to celebrate the bicentennial of David Thompson's first crossing of the Rocky Mountains.

“These six artists went and took a trip to look at the modern perspective of what Thompson would have seen,” said Donna Erdman, chair of the Olds Historical Society.

“There are rocks, trees, water, prairie, and all kind of different vistas in 29 paintings. It is a fair interpretation of what he would have seen as he was travelling. It is a very interesting idea.”

Didsbury painter Dee Poisson contributed to the exhibit with a painting representing a spot near Abraham Lake.

“I went and took reference shots of this spot. I use a lot of reference materials, photos and things like that when I am doing that,” she said.

“I do not often paint in the wintertime, so to go out there and paint would just be too cold.”

The exhibit was put together by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition program (TREX).

The same six artists collaborated for the first time six years ago for a show called Alberta Highway 53: The Artist's Journey.

“We received a grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and we proceeded to do images from along that highway and show it along that highway when we were finished,” said Poisson.

The show drew the attention of TREX curator Dean Tatam Reeves, who told the artists he would be interested in curating their work, should they ever want to put together a similar show.

“We started putting the David Thompson Highway exhibit together and painting the artwork three years ago. Reeves came out, took a look at it and said this is what he wanted,” said Poisson.

“He picked it up and took it and started showing it around the province.”

TREX basically rents the paintings from the artists and exposes them in museums, schools and public spaces around Alberta.

“They estimate that in one year, 16,000 people will visit the exhibit,” said Poisson.

“They will have anybody from school kids to seniors in different spots.”

On Feb. 15, Mountain View Museum will have a come-and-go coffee party from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Poisson will be present to answer questions from the public. The museum invites all residents to come see the exhibit.