Artist creates a tribute to the creators of trails
Jane Austin has been mountain biking for more than 15 years, and knew it was time to give back to the trails she loved and used for so many years.
Inspired by a photo taken for Coast Mountain Culture of Al Munday and Terry Lewis — two members of the River Rats, the major creators of the Cumberland trail network — Austin said she wanted to commemorate their work with a painting.
“I’ve been painting for four years and taking lessons with (Valley artist) Robert Lundquist,” she explained. “I came across the (magazine) story of the River Rats by Andrew Findlay, and wanted to highlight all of the volunteer work the guys have done (for the trails) … they’re pretty much a fixture in the Valley.”
Biking prior to the established Cumberland trails, Austin said since the River Rats created the network, “(the village) has come alive … people are always talking about the Thirsty Beaver, Bear Buns and all of their trails.”
Working with Lundquist, she said she worked on the 24 x 36” painting for about 15 hours a week, for the past 25 weeks.
“Rob is an amazing mentor. He possesses the mentorship and guidance I needed and he helped me bring to the life the colours (from the photograph).”
Austin will share the fruit of her labour with the larger mountain bike community, as a print, created by Lundquist from the original painting, will be hung at the Waverley Hotel.
Phil Whyte of Whyte’s Framing & Gallery in Comox created a custom frame for the print, which was given to the nearly mandatory post-ride pit stop Thursday.
“It’s very personal for me,” added Austin, who said she’s gotten to know Munday and Lewis quite well.
“I’ve gone on a lot of road trips with them … I really wanted to show what these guys have done for the community.”