BY INDIANA NASH
NISKAYUNA- Although trains haven’t used the station in Niskayuna for many years now, the brick-front building is as bustling as ever and local artist Nancy Hunt has been a part of this redesigned hub this summer.
“We get so many people coming in during the afternoons . . . it’s always fun here,” Hunt said. Even during a thunderstorm in the middle of a Thursday afternoon, the train station hosted several people and Hunt had to work to answer questions from all of them, while answering this reporter’s many inquiries.
The Old Niskayuna Old Train Station was turned into a sort of artist haven in 2014 by Maureen Sausa. Although Sausa is still running the show, Hunt has taken on the position of assistant for the summer.
For now, she is helping to put the exhibits together and to man the station whenever Sausa is out of town.
“When I have down time and there aren’t a lot of people in, this place is also a studio space, which is great,” Hunt said, although she admitted that there wasn’t a lot of time spare studio time.
Hunt has always known that she was more of a creative type.
“Even as a child, my mother would draw with me and I would draw everything. I would even just draw the people I saw on the television,” Hunt said.
Her mother would also paint, although, she kept all her work in the bottom drawer of her dresser.
Thus, when Hunt went off to a joint program at Mercyhurst University and Gannon University, she studied art education.
“In college I tried a lot of things . . . we had to learn everything so that we’d be able to teach it all,” Hunt said.
After graduating, she taught art classes at Iroquois Middle School in Erie, Pennsylvania.
But after two years, she moved to Boston to pursue a career in illustration.
“I was hired at the Boston Store as a copywriter . . . I wanted to be an illustrator for them but copywriter was the only position open so I took it hoping that I would be able to move into it after awhile,” Hunt said.
Instead, she became a buyer and a model for the children and teens fashion lines.
Even though she wasn’t using her artistic skills to execute the designs, Hunt said that it was still a creative job that allowed her to work on her own artwork on the side.
After working for the Boston Store for several years, Hunt’s ex-husband’s work relocated the couple to Newburgh, New York.
“We lived in a lake house, which was a great setting to work in,” Hunt said. She took commissions from neighbors and others to paint their children, their pets, or their homes.
“I had two children, Aaron and Lauren. So I took care of them and I was a substitute teacher so that I could also work on my own work when I wanted to,” Hunt said.
In the late 1990s, she moved with her family again to Schenectady. While here, she took several classes and joined local art societies.
One of the most influential artists she has worked with is Gunter Korus, a hyper-realism painter.
Learning this style of painting led her to marry her husband William.
Hunt had painted a hyper-realistic still life of a bouquet of flowers, that William purchased at an art show in December of the late 1990s.
The following year, he called Hunt to ask for another painting because he loved the other so much.
“So we met for coffee and became really good friends for a while. Then we got married in 2000,” said Hunt smiling.
The couple now live in Clifton Park in a quiet neighborhood, in a home with many windows which makes for great display lighting for Hunt’s art.
Unlike her mother, Hunt sometimes hangs her work up in her home.
“That’s another thing I’ve always wanted to work on . . . a mural-sized painting. But there just isn’t enough room in my house,” Hunt said.
While working with Sausa at the Niskayuna Old Train Station, Hunt said that she has met many local artists and had some of the best conversations.