The Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk officially began last weekend as over 40 artists installed their art in 40 businesses throughout downtown Williams Lake.
This year the Tribune is catching up with many of these artists to help Art Walkers better understand the significance of art and give the artists their time to shine. Here are just a few of the many talented artists whose work now graces the lakecity and who help enrich the community every day.
Take Soo Nan, an optometrist by trade with FYI Doctors who has been living and working in Williams Lake since 2016. Nan is relatively new to painting but chose to take part in Art Walk based off her friend Tiffany Klassen a fellow Art Walk artist’s advice and encouragement.
“I did know about Art Walk last year to but I never got a chance to walk around and explore but this year Tiffany approached me and asked if I wanted to do it together. I thought it would be meaningful because I wanted to find more time to paint and do artsy hobbies,” Nan said. “I thought this would be a chance for me to commit to them more and it definitely did that.”
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Acrylics and watercolours have been what Nan has primarily dabbled in so far, with the majority of the work she’s submitted for art walk being made up of the former rather than the latter. Since coming to the lakecity, Nan said that she’s slowly but surely fallen in love with Williams Lake and its surrounding environment, which led her to paint a range of scenic landscape shots based off of Google Images searches of the city and the Cariboo.
Nan thinks Art Walk is a great way to support local artists, many of which she’s finding she knows from appointments at the clinic or in the community. She feels that art creates a more personal connection with the viewer when you know the artist comes from your community.
The Art Walk this year seems to be making a habit of attracting artists who are new to the community, as is the case with Amy Piquette. While she may be a new face in the Cariboo, Piquette is an avid and experienced artist who has been featured in BC Magazine, is a member of the Canadian Federation of Artists and has sold and shown her artwork in shows across the province.
Piquette specializes in paintings of landscape and nature and chose to showcase a selection of primarily animal subject matter at Remax Williams Lake. These include an owl, a lynx, a wolf and a moose done with acrylic paints.
“This year for Art Walk is just thought it would be interesting to be involved in the community and to see all the local people,” Piquette said.
Not every artist is new to the community, however, as some like Sarah Sigurdson have built a life in Williams Lake as well as an artistic career. A mother of three children, Sigurdson prefers to work with acrylics and watercolours, though she has done a few murals for schools like Columneetza. Her subjects and styles, she said, tend to “somewhere between dreams and reality.”
Sigurdson’s paintings all sold this year, so she won’t be in the regular Art Walk, however, she did submit a four foot by four foot painting of a wave she calls a ‘Self-Portrait’ to the showcase exhibit at Mint and Lime Catering. She said it’s a great honour to have her artwork judged and featured in this way, even if she admits the title is a little cliche and artsy.
“It’s not quite reality, right, because I like to leave things not quite real looking because it, I think, speaks to image itself,” Sigurdson said.
Personally, Sigurdson feels that Williams Lake is on the cusp of a really exciting phase for local art and is so excited to see so much community support for it.
Not all artists involved in the Art Walk this year are visible members of the community.
Some, like the Banksy inspired Lifeline Series, prefer to remain unknown and let their art speak for themselves.
The Lifeline Series artist said they are a series of life like line drawings that hope to reflect the real world and everyday feeling and experiences.
“I live in Williams Lake and I’m really happy to be showing at Smashin Smoothies. You can find me on Instagram and I love how sometimes the simplicity of art can speak volumes,” Lifeline said.
The Lifeline Series said this is their first time stretching their legs out and showing their art to the community and figured that Art Walk was as good as a time as ever. As an artist, they said Art Walk is such a welcome challenge to put together a collection of work and showcase it in a place where people recognize its value.
The Lifeline Series artist would encourage other new artists to take part in Art Walk next year, as they’ve already noticed an improvement in their style since taking part.
In the Williams Lake Tribune’s own office the works of Danielle Brown can be found, a longtime lakecity resident of 33 years who recently returned home. This marks Brown’s first-ever Art Walk in Williams Lake, though she took part in a few while living up in Nelson as an art walker.
Brown has been painting for about the last year or so and is a little shy to be showing off her art in this way for the first time. Her works are of a range of things she’s done to build up her confidence painting different subjects and include an angry ostrich alongside a series of landscape paintings.
“I find something I like and then I plagiarize it but it’s just practice,” Brown joked.
She believes the Art Walk is a great opportunity for people to flex their creative muscles while showcasing their work to the entire community.