John Spittal, The Arts Report

RED DEER, Alb. - An exhibit featuring the work of an art student who has been missing for nine months opened this week in a central Alberta museum.

Nicole Hoar, from Red Deer, was last seen in June of last year hitchhiking along Highway 16 just outside of Prince George, British Columbia.

Her father Jack Hoar organized the art show to display his 25-year-old daughter's unique pottery.

The exhibit also features works of art from Nicole's classmates and other friends.

"A very large painting came in the other day and it was a picture of our daughter and one of her friends and it was a self-portrait by the artist," said Jack Hoar. "It's very difficult to see those kinds of things. But at the same time, talking to those friends, was a healing process.

Red Deer Museum director Wendy Martindale, who donated the space for the exhibit, said Nicole was a gifted artist.

"Very creative very humourous, very energetic and I think very inspiring of other people," she said.

Proceeds from the exhibition will be used to establish scholarships at the Red Deer and Halifax art schools Nicole attended.

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