Retired goalie-turned-artist to fill Station House Gallery for show in Williams Lake

Richard ‘The King’ Brodeur gets started on a plein air painting of Williams Lake, one of the pieces which will be included in the hockey-player-turned-artist’s show in July at the Station House Gallery. (Anne Brown photo)Richard ‘The King’ Brodeur gets started on a plein air painting of Williams Lake, one of the pieces which will be included in the hockey-player-turned-artist’s show in July at the Station House Gallery. (Anne Brown photo)
Richard ‘The King’ Brodeur delivers some of his folk art paintings to the Station House Gallery in preparation for a show the hockey-player-turned-artist will present in July. (Anne Brown photo)Richard ‘The King’ Brodeur delivers some of his folk art paintings to the Station House Gallery in preparation for a show the hockey-player-turned-artist will present in July. (Anne Brown photo)

Many Canadians know the name Richard ‘The King’ Brodeur as the hockey goaltender who led the Canucks to the finals in 1982.

But Karen Frey, a Station House Gallery director who also loves hockey and has followed “The King’s” career is bringing Brodeur to Williams Lake, as an internationally acclaimed artist.

“I was always a Canucks fan — big hockey fan,” said Frey, who in time came to realize an artist she followed named Richard Brodeur was the same person she had appreciated as a hockey fan.

Brodeur has two distinct styles of art, one is a folk art style which often includes images of hockey. The other is what Frey describes as “post-impressionistic” landscapes.

“I just loved it so much,” said Frey of his art, and especially his hockey vignettes.

She said the folk art hockey scenes just give her the “small-town feeling of everybody going to the outdoor rink to watch the kids play” and evoke a strong sense of community.

Frey became friends with Brodeur on Facebook and when chatting with him about art one day she asked him if he’d be interested in bringing his art for a show in the local gallery and Brodeur said yes.

“We were absolutely ecstatic,” recounted Frey.

The show had been in the works when Covid hit, and so it was postponed for two years, but is now back on, with the show going to be on display from July 8 to August 27.

Brodeur will be at the opening June 7 and will help kick off the exhibition shinny game the gallery is hosting for guests to watch.

“He will drop the puck but he will not be in the net,” joked Frey.

Fans can stop by in advance at the gallery to enter a free draw to win Brodeur-autographed white towels, but must be at the opening to receive their prize.

The reception will take place starting at 5:30 p.m. on July 7.

Some Williams Lake artists already had a chance to get to know Richard Brodeur as an internationally-acclaimed artist in May.

Brodeur visited the lakecity as the Station House Gallery Society artist in residence from May 21-30, accompanied by his trusted dog Tony.

“He felt right at home,” explained Frey, who said Brodeur told her the Cariboo reminded him a lot of where he grew up in Quebec. He felt welcome and enjoyed his time exploring and painting.

While he was here, Brodeur led a casual plein air painting day with local Cariboo Art Society artists.

The free session was open to all and shared out by the Station House Gallery.

“I was very glad we went,” said Anne Brown, one of the artists.

Brodeur had scouted out a location off of Prosperity Way with a view overlooking the lake.

The artists set up alongside the famous goalie, paint brushes in hand, and painted as he did.

“I kept watching those purple coloured clouds and thought it was an undercoat,” recalled Brown, of some of the new techniques she learned from both watching and taking in tips from the hockey-player-turned-artist.

As the rest of the artists worked, Brown said Brodeur would give some direction and ask questions of the artists to help them, remarking it was casual but very helpful.

She described Brodeur as “typical French Canadian —so friendly and wanted everyone to really enjoy themselves.”

She said Brodeur’s version of the Williams Lake scene turned out really well. The painting will be a part of the upcoming show at the Station House Gallery.

“Richard is a delightful person,” said Frey. “Everyone at the gallery, we’re just so happy to be part of his artistic journey.”

“We feel honoured to be able to present his work.”

The Station House Gallery is located at #1 Mackenzie Avenue in downtown Williams Lake and is open Tuesday to Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The gallery is free to visit.

Read more: Wind, Wings & Distractions art show opened at Station House Gallery in Williams Lake



ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com

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