For years the Art Walk has been a staple of Downtown Williams Lake’s event calendar and this year sees the return of an enhanced Art Walk.
From August 16 to September 7 Downtown Williams Lake invites people to once again experience all the artists and businesses of the lakecity have to offer.
While Arty the Artwalker will be absent this year, the event is being organized by the new events co-ordinator Jasmine Alexander.
Alexander is an artist herself and has been working for the BIA for three years now, though this marks her first year as the event co-ordinator. After helping organize the Winter Lights Festival and the new Spring Into Downtown Festival, Alexander said Downtown Williams Lake is now going “full sprint” to prepare for the 2019 Art Walk.
“I love working for the BIA (Downtown Williams Lake) it’s a very relational position. I get to meet and develop relationships with business owners, with people who have been in this community and supported it for a really long time,” Alexander said. “It’s been a great team to work with as well.”
For this year, Alexander said she is interested in maintaining the legacy established by the previous Art Walk events because she feels it’s something the community has loved and supported through the years. With this, however, Alexander and the organization are happy to announce a few new additions intended to enhance this year’s experience.
The main addition, thus far, is the new adjudicated stream for artist submissions, Alexander said.
To get into this stream artists had to apply for entry early with the understanding their work would be critiqued and given feedback by judges.
Currently, Alexander said they have three judges confirmed for this stream including Bruce Charbonneau, Leah Selk and Venta Rutkauskas.
Together they are working to put on a showcase exhibit that will feature the works of 12 artists who submitted their art for adjudication.
The location of this showcase will be the Mint and Lime Catering Space on Oliver Street, Alexander said.
“It’s a very diverse show and highlights a mix of local scenery with abstract art, we have some photography and we’re really excited to launch it,” Alexander said.
The regular Art Walk stream is proceeding apace and will give businesses and artists a chance to cross-promote one another as they have in previous years during peak tourism season in the Cariboo.
This year they have over 40 artists participating in the event with Alexander adding that they’re always open for more submissions, late or otherwise.
What excites her the most about the submissions this year is the sheer diversity of the entries on all fronts from the backgrounds of the artists to the art itself.
They have everything from paintings and drawings to ceramic work and sculptures, Alexander said, with the inclusion of digital art and felt works.
“We really wanted to keep this Art Walk open and very representative of different walks of life,” Alexander said.
“When we put a call out for artists, we want to see new artists and that’s another thing we’ve been really excited about this year. We have quite a few younger artists and first-timers, as well as our Art Walk veterans.”
Looking to the future, Alexander hopes to see a trend of more young people taking part in Art Walk on both the art walking and the artists’ side.
She hopes this year and the years to follow really inspire the next generation of artists and artisans to create work and contribute to the event.
“There’s no shortage of talent and skill in the Cariboo so this is our opportunity to showcase that,” Alexander said.
A grand opening for the 2019 Art Walk will be held on August 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gibraltar Room that will include live music, art performances, refreshments and a chance to meet many of the participating artists.
The opening should be a fun way to celebrate all Art Walk offers the community, Alexander said, at its beginning rather than its end. Tickets will be limited for this event.
As in previous years, a guidebook with a complete list and map of all the participating businesses will be published about a month in advance online and physically at the Downtown Williams Lake office.
Alexander said the passports and the stamps for going to each business will also be carried over.
For updated information, Alexander encourages people to check with their partners at the Station House or online via the event’s Facebook page entitled Williams Lake Art Walk 2019.