Artist Brian Croft has created a new work depicting life in Abbotsford 90 years ago.

Artist Brian Croft has created a new work depicting life in Abbotsford 90 years ago.

Artwork depicts city from 90 years ago

Abbotsford 1922 will be unveiled at the Reach during 90th anniversary gala dinner for Abbotsford News.

A B.C. artist has created a new work depicting life in Abbotsford 90 years ago.

Entitled Abbotsford 1922, the piece by Brian Croft will be presented to the Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford on Sept. 8, in conjunction with the Abbotsford News’ 90th anniversary celebration gala.

“This is about telling the story of the community,” said Croft, a Langley resident.

He began painting 16 years ago, creating the usual still lifes and flowers.

“I realized I liked the old buildings. I started painting all the heritage buildings in Langley,” he said.

From there Croft moved on to other communities and painted Vancouver’s history.

“I felt guilty at that point because I left the Valley.

He returned to his original stomping grounds and began creating at least one work a year.

He has created historic visions of Cloverdale and Chilliwack and has finally turned his talents to Abbotsford.

“The town has changed so much in the last 80 years. It took some time to get my mind around it.”

With help from Kris Foulds, collections manager at The Reach, Croft  searched through all of the Abbotsford archives to get as realistic a view of the area and the time period as possible. His research uncovered three photos taken from a hill at the east end of Essendene. From those pictures he managed to create most of his work.

“I knew that was the painting,” he said.

The photo helped Croft locate the buildings, telephone poles and railway tracks in the correct locations. However more research is needed to complete small details including building styles, clothing and other historically correct touches.

The gala, celebrating the Abbotsford News 90th anniversary is set for Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. For information visit thereach.ca.