This painting of Dunach Elementary School in its early days, commissioned in the 1990s, was recovered from the now-closed school and sent to The Reach Gallery Museum archives.

This painting of Dunach Elementary School in its early days, commissioned in the 1990s, was recovered from the now-closed school and sent to The Reach Gallery Museum archives.

Abby Schools

Art recovered from Abbotsford’s now-closed Dunach Elementary

Art being stored in archives of The Reach after advocacy from former PAC president

Artwork steeped in sentimental value from a long-closed Abbotsford elementary school has been recovered and is now being stored in The Reach Gallery Museum archives.

Lindsay Babineau, a former teacher and parent advisory council president at Dunach Elementary, said in her role with the PAC she had commissioned two paintings of about five feet by five feet from Kimi’s Kreations, funding for which was matched by the Abbotsford Community Foundation.

One painting was based on a photo of the original school, while another was of Matsqui Town Hall commissioned in 1994 for the centennial of Matsqui.

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Another three paintings were done in memory of Mary Anne Curtin, a teacher who died in a car crash at the time. Those paintings were completed by students in a style of art that Curtin had taught them.

Babineau said she had been seeking to get the art preserved, something that was expedited once the art was found in a dumpster while the school was being cleaned out recently.

“There was some recent action around the school because they were cleaning some of the things out of the building that are stored in there, and some people were concerned about this art,” school board chair Stan Petersen said.

Trustee Shirley Wilson noted that while Babineau was concerned about the future of the paintings, curator Kris Foulds at The Reach had expressed interest in taking on the artwork.

Kimi Postma of Kimi’s Kreations in Abbotsford, who created the two commissioned paintings, said she is “very honoured to have these pieces recovered and used as a part of the history of our community.”

“It is an honour for me as a third-generation artist to have something I painted used as a piece of the history that will likely extend beyond my life and continue to impact our community,” she said in an email.

This painting, done by students of Dunach Elementary School in honour of Mary Anne Curtin, a teacher who was killed in a car crash, was recovered from the now-closed school and sent to The Reach archives. This painting, done by students of Dunach Elementary School in honour of Mary Anne Curtin, a teacher who was killed in a car crash, was recovered from the now-closed school and sent to The Reach archives. This painting, done by students of Dunach Elementary School in honour of Mary Anne Curtin, a teacher who was killed in a car crash, was recovered from the now-closed school and sent to The Reach archives.

These paintings, done by students of Dunach Elementary School in honour of Mary Anne Curtin, a teacher who was killed in a car crash, were recovered from the now-closed school and sent to The Reach archives.

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

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