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Kay Hartnell missed by DC art community

Passing of long-time resident and artist Kay Hartnell.
Former Exploring Art Group Chair Janet Miller Loiselle with members Kay Hartnell and Rosemary Reid - April 16, 2021

Dawson Creek's art community is missing colour and good company after the passing of long-time resident and artist Kay Hartnell last month, an active member of The Exploring Art group for over 20 years.

Kay painted nearly every week with the group, and expressed herself through paintings of landscapes, old buildings and old vehicles, animals, sunsets, and more – inspired by her photography captured around the Peace.

Friend and fellow artist Merigene Fuhriman says Hartnell was always highly supportive of the people around her, and an avid fan of the outdoors.

“You couldn’t ask for a nicer person. She was an awesome lady and everyone’s friend, I’m really just getting used to the idea that she’s not here anymore,” said Fuhriman. “She was a great artist, she loved to paint, and I think that was the one of the highlights of her more senior years, painting with our group.”

The two had met at Hartnell’s health food store, which she ran from 1979 to 2001, with her husband Francis.

“I started working there and we became friends through the store. We started doing things together that we enjoyed, and travelled to different places, we went camping a lot together,” said Fuhriman.

She added Hartnell was a tremendous supporter of the art gallery with many donations of her work for fundraising every year.

Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at