Mount Allison University is exhibiting a collection of never-before-seen works of one of its famous graduates, artist Alex Colville.

Colville donated the complete set of 35 prints to his alma mater shortly before his death in July at age 92.

The painter was famous for tranquil paintings that sometimes conveyed loneliness and isolation. but he also created serigraph prints – a copy of each one now hangs at the university's art gallery.

Colville attended Mount Allison from 1938 to 1942 and graduated with a Fine Arts degree. He then joined the Canadian Army and became a war artist in 1944. Following the Second World War, Colville returned to Mount Allsion and taught as a faculty member in the Fine Arts department from 1946 to 1963.

Colville remains an important figure in the silkscreen program at the Sackville university.

Erik Edson

Erik Edson is the head of the fine arts department at Mount Allison (CBC)

"Not only was he making it for his own work, he was also teaching it and silk screen is still taught at Mount Allison, " said Erik Edson. "There's been a continuation there for something he started back in the fifties."

Edson says the recent gift is an invaluable glimpse into the artist's development over decades of his career.

"It's really quite amazing to see  the work he was making in 1955 and then the work he made in 2002," said Edson. "There's quite an evolution there as an artist so it's pretty fantastic."

Philip Mercier is a young artist who says Colville's work is still relevant. He appreciates that Colville was able to gain an audience outside the Maritimes.

"Being in my first year there's a lot of projects and stuff that I always have on the go, so it's sometimes hard to find inspiration for different projects," said Mercier. "So coming in to see this body of work today is definitely a great way to get inspired."

Rebecca Blankart is an intern at the university gallery. She has been a fan of Colville's work and was thrilled to see the collection unveiled on the weekend.

"It was exciting and it was really crazy," said Blankart. "There were a lot of people here, but it was done in a respectful manner."