A Smithers woman is in the middle of a remarkable project.

Rene Jaspers is painting a scene from along Highway 16 every 25 kilometres between Prince George to Prince Rupert and to Haida Gwaii; a lifelong dream for her.

Jaspers was an outreach support worker until an accident left her with a brain injury unable to work.

“A year and a half ago I fell from 11 feet onto a cement floor onto my head. And my doctors tell me I shouldn’t even be living anymore. So instead of just sitting there talking about it, I’m gonna do my bucket list.”

When complete, the ‘Highway of Hope’ project will consist of 40 paintings.

Jaspers 'Gravel Pit'

Jaspers ‘Gravel Pit’

“My husband stops the car, I have five steps I can take from the car to take a photo, then I take these photos home and I work with them and they become my painting” Jaspers said

The variety of the scene has been a pleasant surprise.

“I’ve painted a gravel pit… I didn’t have a choice it was right there” Jaspers said with a laugh “ I’ve painted poplar trees because that’s all there was, so I painted it. I’ve got a couple winter scenes, but mostly fall scenes right now because I started in the fall.”

A set of ‘Highway of Hope’ art shows are planned throughout the corridor for the fall. The Smithers Art Gallery will show the full collection October 26th, and the paintings will travel to all the communities along Highway 16 and be displayed at the CNC and Northwest Community College campuses. A Prince George date is yet to be determined.

However, those in Burns Lake will get a chance to see a sneak peek at the first 15-20 paintings Monday March 7th at the High School.

After the art shows, the paintings will be sold with the proceeds going to fund transportation for low income families, and helping people achieve their full driver’s license.

Japsers is currently taking donations to help cover the costs of art supplies and framing which will cost about $4500. An ‘Highway of Hope’ account is set up at the Bulkley Valley Credit Union to take donations. People can also connect through the Facebook page to get involved.