SAIT’s very own Billie Rae Busby the artist behind Heritage Hall banners
Heritage Hall’s modern, colourful banners are the work of Trojan marketing and communications coordinator Billie Rae Busby, who, to the surprise of many, is a part-time painter.
“The artwork is an abstract landscape … [with a] colour palette based on the colours showcased on the LED walls in the new buildings like the Aldred Centre. The hard-edge technique is used to create a dynamic energy which I think represents the current status and future of SAIT,” said Busby.
There are two banners in total, displayed on each end of the south side of Heritage Hall, and together they make one painting.
This painting is Busby’s first public arts commission, and the first time her SAIT and art worlds have collided.
“I have intentionally kept my two worlds apart, because they are very different. Some of my colleagues didn’t even know I was an artist,” she said.
However, Busby was glad she accepted the commission, as she has received a lot of positive feedback from her peers at SAIT, as well as a few private commissions.
“I feel confident with the direction I have taken with my artwork. It doesn’t seem like a conflict [with sports] anymore, and I’m happy to showcase my art side a bit more here at SAIT,” she said.
Busby defines her current painting style as abstract prairie landscapes, inspired by photos she has taken while traveling through the prairies.
In recent years, Busby’s landscapes have become increasingly successful in the art world, most notably in March when Canada’s department of foreign affairs commissioned Busby to help with the renovation of Canada House in London, England.
Busby will be creating two paintings for Canada House that will be fashioned into custom carpets.
“I was surprised and humbled to be asked to submit designs for Canada House. I was among a handful of Canadian artists commissioned. It is very prestigious and a highlight of my career.”
Despite her newfound success, Busby has no desire to pursue painting full-time, as she loves working for Trojan athletics.
“It’s really rewarding to work with student athletes. I love to see how they grow through their classes and involvement in Trojan athletics,” said Busby.
Though it can be difficult balancing her work at SAIT and painting, all the while being a mother of two young daughters, Busby will not end either of her careers.
“I love both sports and art and cannot see myself giving up one for the other. I am happiest when I am doing both.”