The 2017 Williams Lake Art Walk and Sale grand prize is a little bear carved by Ken Sheen that does double duty as a coat and hat rack. Photo submitted

Carver Ken Sheen creates grand prize for 2017 Williams Lake Art Walk and Sale

2017 Williams Lake Art Walk and Sale begins Friday, Sept. 8 with grand opening and inaugural walk

A wood carving of a bear will be the grand prize in the Williams Lake Art Walk and Sale for the second year in a row.

Last year Spirit Carver Dean Ross created a special bear for the grand prize and was commissioned to create another sculpture for this year’s grand prize but because of the wildfires has been unable to accept the commission, Arty the Art Walker Willie Dye said.

While it has been difficult to find an artist available to provide the grand prize, he said carver Ken Sheen agreed to accept the commission.

“We have an absolutely beautiful carved bear from Carver King’s Ken Sheen,” Dye said. “He is a multipurpose bear that can also be used to hold coats and hats in your hallway.”

There are several larger examples of Sheen’s work around Williams Lake including a bull rider and a cowboy on a horse situated at the main Y intersection to the city along with several other of his large carvings around the city.

Sheen started carving full time in 2000 and has been part of the popular HGTV show The Carver Kings.

From small one foot carvings to 20-foot log archways created for log homes, no job is too small or too large for this creative carver.

He uses his saws and power tools to create vikings, dragons, cowboys, wildlife and personal signs for anyone who is looking for a one of a kind piece of sculpture.

Sheen lived in Northern B.C. for many years and relocated to the Cariboo in 2004 establishing his Pine River Carving business at his Cariboo Castle studio located on Highway 97 about half way between Quesnel and Williams Lake.

The grand prize bear and examples of Sheen’s work can be seen during the art walk at Lake City Glass on Yorston Street.

The annual art walk begins this Friday, Sept. 8 with the opening ceremonies taking place at Hopkins Design Studio on Third Avenue starting at 11:30 a.m. followed by an inaugural guided walk with Mary Forbes visiting 20 of the businesses hosting artists for the walk this year.

A total of 56 artists and businesses are participating in the art walk that was moved from August into September this year because of the wildfire situation in the region.

“This is not our largest art walk but this is an amazing turnout considering the circumstances,” Dye said.

Artists are participating from Williams Lake, Quesnel, Sun Peaks, Merritt, Nimpo Lake, Horsefly,

Salt Spring Island, 100 Mile House and Lac La Hache.

Art walk guide booklets with artists biographies and venues where their work can be seen will be available at the Tribune/Advisor, participating merchants and other locations around the city. The booklets will also be coming to readers in the Friday, Sept. 8 edition of the Tribune/Advisor. Dye said the booklets will also be distributed in 100 Mile House and Quesnel.

This year in addition to submitting stamped booklets in the entry draw to win the grand prize walkers will have the option of using their smart phones to register their visits electronically.

QR codes will be displayed in the right hand corner of the artist’s biography that will be mounted in a prominent place at the venue where the work of the artist is being shown.

The procedure is explained in the art walk booklet.

Grand prize entries are based on the number of venues visited: 10-21 stamps for one entry; 21-30 stamps for two entries; 31-40 stamps for three entries; and more than 41 stamps for four entries.

Each merchant will also have a draw prize for walkers to enter.

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