The Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk, organized by Downtown Williams Lake Business Improvement Association, is set to make its grand return this year from Aug. 11 to Sep. 6.
Originally introduced to the Williams Lake area by Laurie Walters in 1999, this family-friendly event has become an annual tradition, bringing together artists and locations for a self-guided art tour throughout the downtown each year. Amanda Fuller, the event coordinator of the Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk, is excitedly gearing up to showcase a wide variety of art mediums from exceptionally talented Williams Lake and Cariboo artists.
Works from a total of 36 artists will be displayed this year across 30 locations, aiming to promote and support not only local artists but also businesses, organizations, and non-profit agencies in Downtown Williams Lake, Fuller mentioned.
“This year’s event will feature a wide range of mediums including fibre and tapestry, photography, acrylic, watercolour, oil paintings, mixed media art work, digital art, beadwork and other traditional Indigenous art, wood carving, pottery, and sewing.”
To ensure a diverse representation of artists and art styles, Downtown Williams Lake BIA has extended invitations to artists through various community organizations and groups, including Williams Lake First Nation and Central Cariboo Arts & Culture Society. They hope to increase the diversity of participants and showcase the rich artistic talent found in the region, Fuller said.
The opening day of Art Walk 2023 on Aug. 11 will be celebrated with a Grand Opening event at the Williams Lake Farmers’ Market from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., located at 525 Proctor St.
“The event will include a participatory community art project, a ‘chalk the park’ initiative aimed at covering all the concrete in Kiwanis Park with children’s chalk art, an art demonstration by local artist Dwayne Davis, and more. It will also be an opportunity for Art Walk participants to pick up Art Walk guide books and complete the Art Walk on day one,” Fuller said.
Participants, affectionately known as Art Walkers, can pick up a free guide book at any of the Art Walk locations, Downtown Williams Lake BIA, the Tourism Discovery Centre, and the Station House Gallery. As they collect stamps at each location, they can earn a chance to win a $500 Art Walk credit, which can be used to purchase art from any of the participating artists. Art Walkers can explore local businesses and support the artists while enjoying the diverse range of art pieces on display.
“A brilliant mix of new and returning artists await them! They will experience true Williams Lake hospitality at each of the 30 locations, finding a new favourite shop or just enjoying their ‘old faithful’. All locations are equally as brilliant and worth visiting! With each location showcasing a different talent and medium, it is best to try and see them all,” Fuller said.
“We are grateful to have had the unwavering support of the community. Recently, we have been fortunate to receive financial support from the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society. In addition, the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake and Area have been a great support and connection for the Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk… One of the beautiful things about Art Walk is that it is constantly changing and evolving from year to year. Each year we collect feedback from participants, artists, and location representatives, and then put that feedback into practice for the coming years.”