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January 10, 2014

Hanna Painter Highlights Night Life of Rural Alberta

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A Hanna artist has a knack for capturing the rural night life of southern Alberta motorists through his series of paintings.

Service stations and fast-food restaurants pop out of dark skies in Greg Pyra’s collection of life-like oil paintings titled Homeward Bound. The paintings will be on display in the Okotoks Art Gallery’s small gallery from Jan. 10 to Feb. 22.

“People are drawn to the service stations (at night),” he said. “It’s black, there’s a few stars and here is this refuge on the highway.”

With so many rural citizens commuting to work, Pyra said many travel the highways at night and can relate to these familiar landmarks – some of which are still beckoning motorists while others are just a distant memory.

“What I started thinking about is I couldn’t believe how quickly these places of refuge are changing and being closed,” he said. “It’s amazing how quickly rural Alberta is changing and the migration to the cities in the past 10 years.”

The Hanna resident has come to appreciate the lifestyle of remote community living and is sharing that with others through his paintings.

“I hope they get an appreciation for the non-typical parts of Alberta,” he said. “That means the rural isolated areas where, unfortunately, many buildings are decaying and where what’s left of towns is disappearing.”

It was during evening walks Pyra really thought intently about rural life at night.

Click here to read the full article by Tammy Rollie in the Okotoks Western Wheel.

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