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REPORTING · 4th June 2013
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Museum and Archives honoured Eileen Hutson on Thursday, May 30th. Hutson has volunteered for the Museum for over 20 years and is now moving to Fraser Lake along with her husband Bill. Hutson is an artist who has touched many lives in Kitimat, with her teaching, her artwork and creativity.

“We’ve actually had Eileen working with us with Museum in the Classroom since 1991,” said Museum Curator Louise Avery. Every January, they would have students visit the museum and be taught by several artists. Hutson soon became the sole artist in the successful program, and since 1998, she has taken the art classes into the schools.

Hutson has been a part of many different organizations including local church groups, Kitimat Arts for Youth and On Cue Players. She has also been a member of the Museum Board, sitting for two terms.

Sue Jay, on behalf of retired teachers everywhere, gave a speech concerning how many lives she has touched. She talked about the murals which were painted on Nechako Elementary School, Roy Wilcox School and Thornhill Elementary. Jay explained how students and staff created the artwork for the Roy Wilcox Species and how it was turned into a learning experience overseen by Hutson and Penny Baily.

“It was quite a sight to see a whole class painting minute details on such a massive canvas, a brick wall. But the personal involvement in something so meaningful, something they had done and could admire each day they came to school, taught them so much about respecting, and taking pride in the natural beauty of this natural valley and especially this mural, which was theirs. No one ever vandalized that mural and to each student, it still remains something they own,” said Jay.

She talked about how students and adults alike have benefitted from Huston’s ability to teach artwork in Kitimat. Her art is visible around the community. She thanked Huston for being herself.

A personal friend of Hutsons, Connie Craig said a few words about how Hutson was a good neighbour and dedicated member of the community.

Tina Watchorn said a few words on behalf of On Cue Players. How she met Hutson through Rick Jones, the Musical Theatre Director. Watchorn investigated the set of one of Jones’ productions and discovered the well done job Hutson had done in turning plywood into marble for the set.

“Eileen has turned wood and canvas into the amazing shoe for “The Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” pantomime. She has created massive backdrops for the same panto and then painted over her hard work to create another back drop for Aladdin or the Wizard of Oz or for whatever it was that she gave her many many hours of volunteer work to create for the community,” said Watchorn.

She thanked Eileen for putting together the nights of spoken word entertainment and hoped she will find peace to inspire her in her new home and invited her back to Kitimat to paint a back drop or create an ice palace.

Huey-Lin Guizzo and Anna Marie Carstens presented a gift from Kitimat Arts for Youth and Dance Kitimat. Rachel Fournier, the board chair of the Kitimat Museum and Archives presented Hutson with a photo.
Hutson painted this mural found in multilevel care
Hutson painted this mural found in multilevel care
One of Hutson's prize winning paintings
One of Hutson's prize winning paintings
Hutson planned the mural on on the side of Nechako Centre
Hutson planned the mural on on the side of Nechako Centre
Hutson puts on a display of her artwork at the Museum.
Hutson puts on a display of her artwork at the Museum.