Patrick Davies photo Sugarcane Band Elder Mary Thomas (right) of the Shuswap Nation leads a drum circle to commemorate the Art Walk’s latest mural unveiling Saturday.

PHOTO GALLERY; New town mural unveiled on the corner of Oliver St. and First Avenue

Honouring the rich history of the First Nations people of Williams Lake, Art Walk opens new mural.

The latest downtown mural held its grand unveiling on Sept. 8 alongside the end of the Art Walk program.

Dwayne Davis, a local artist and muralist, has been the lead muralist of the mural project since its inception in 2000. He said that Art Walk and downtown mural projects originally started as private endeavours until the projects were eventually taken over and sponsored by the Williams Lake Downtown Business Improvement Association (BIA) and co-funded by the City of Williams Lake.

With the BIA in charge, Art Walk and the downtown mural project have become driving forces in their efforts to attract people to Williams Lake’s downtown core. After Arty the Artwalker, also known as Willie Dye, became involved, Davis said the project then blossomed into a true community event.

“I think we’re at around 18 or 19 murals now,” Davis said, adding that he’s worked on or painted all of them.

For this most recent mural, he was the facilitator and worked closely with another artist, Al-Lisa Tressiera-Mckay, who designed and did most of the painting.

“She had never painted a mural this size so my job really was to help her get through the mural,” Davis explained. “We worked through it and the piece turned out really good.”

Davis said he thinks both the Art Walk and the downtown murals as a whole are great ways to show the talent present in Williams Lake. In addition, he said, it provides a cultural spirit for the town that would otherwise be absent.

Next summer, Davis said he foresees BIA organizers being able to expand the Art Walk and the downtown murals project a little bit, through creating more murals and featuring more artists’ work in local businesses.

Read more: Art Walk and Sale kicks off in Williams Lake Aug. 10

At the unveiling, Sugarcane Band Elder Mary Thomas of the Shuswap nation led a prayer to the Creator and a drum circle with representatives from the BIA in attendance.

Mckay then shared a few words about the mural and the process of bringing it to life, for which she extended a big thank you to Dwayne and his son Steven. The trio had their trials throughout the process but Mckay joked she was happy to have completed it right on the deadline day.

Originally based off one of her paintings, Mckay said she was impressed with how it evolved and grew through the collaborative effort.

“When you get different artists working together on a concept that comes from another artist, that art is going to change. It’s going to take on other energies and for this mural, it was a really beautiful combination,” Mckay said. “I am so pleased with how it turned out. It’s more beautiful than the original.”

The mural’s name is Backbone, and for Mckay represents femininity, representation and getting back to the natural world. This is all while honouring the First Nations and the spirits of this land; something that Mckay said was her key focus throughout the project.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Williams Lake Indian Band getting fast internet in 2020

The provincial government announced Monday it is contributing $177,000 of the $345,000 project costs

Big Creek meeting attracts 50 residents impacted by recent flooding

Representatives from various agencies were on hand to field questions and concerns

Dasiqox Tribal Park management plan development eyed

Proponents hope to have management approach and action plan completed in next three to five years

CASUAL COUNTRY 2019: Young Cariboo athlete shines on world stage

Triathlete Danika Robson is making her dreams come true

CASUAL COUNTRY 2019: Tatlayoko Valley post office remains community cornerstone

Through the years, different locations and postmasters this post office has served the community

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

GoFundMe set up after 100 Mile House search finds missing young man deceased

More than $2,500 has been donated to the Allan Faulkner Jr. family through the GoFundMe page

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read