As we prepare to go into the long weekend, take a tour through downtown Williams Lake to 40 businesses to the over 40 participating artists taking part in the 2019 Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk.
This year the Tribune has been featuring the works and stories of all 40 of these artists as Art Walk progresses. Now, last but certainly not least, we invite you to learn a little more about the following artists.
For those looking to do a little baking while quoting the raven nevermore, the tag team of the Bank of Montreal and Georgia Lesley have you covered. A collection of paintings of colourful ravens have been installed within the BMO, seeming almost like a murder of the familiar birds.
Lesley moved to the Cariboo three years ago from Lytton B.C. to be close to her many grandchildren and to focus more on her artwork, which has been a lifelong passion of hers.
“I don’t know that I specialize in any particular kind of art. I would say it is more like over the years, particular images, thoughts, and mediums inspire me to paint in a certain vein, sometimes for years, until something different and intriguing begins to take its place,” Lesley said.
In recent years her focus has been on the creation of trees, crows and ravens which she brings to life with gels, acrylic paints, tin foil and the like. Lesley said that beautiful whimsical sizes and natural negative spaces our endless food for inspiration to her.
Read More: Art Walk 2019 features artists old and new
“This is the first year I have taken part in Art Walk, so it’s very exciting. I put in approximately 12 assorted pieces of trees of all shapes and sizes, ravens and more blackbirds,” Lesley said.
Not far down the street at Kit and Kanoodle a riot of colours are on display courtesy of Kathleen MacDonald. Born and raised in the lakecity, MacDonald works at the Cariboo Regional District and can be often seen acting in one of the Williams Lake Studio Theatre’s latest plays.
“I’ve recently started mixing photography with acrylic pour painting. I’ve been doing photography since I was a teen and began trying out acrylic pour painting in early 2018.” MacDonald said. “I love pour painting because it’s chaotic and messy and unpredictable, though it takes a bit of science to get the mixing right, and photography because of the needed precision, planning and focus.”
MacDonald admits it is an odd couple of styles to mix together and something she hasn’t seen anyone else try this far. While it’s a new art style, she’s sure it will become more popular as pour painting catches on in the community.
She ‘s contributed an even dozen pieces to the Art Walk this year, many of which feature photos of places she’s visited in her travels. MacDonald was especially excited to show off the results of her combing these two art styles into this new technique and is eager to hear what people think of it.
“Williams Lake has a plethora of amazing artists and I think it’s important to let the community, as well as more of BC, know that,” MacDonald said. “Williams Lake is known for its mountain biking and awesome western culture and it’d be great to have it also famous for the incredible art created here.”
She advises everyone to give Art Walk a try this year, even if you’re only able to get to a few places as the art that is featured this year is incredible.
Meanwhile at Frame Creations by Bruce the breathtaking works of painter George Boyce, an old friend of the business. Boyce specializes in landscape and outdoor scenes that capture brilliant natural light and beauty. An experienced artist, Boyce’s work can be often be found in the store year-round.
When stopping by the Bean Counter Bistro and Coffee Bar for some morning coffee, residents can take a look at the colourful creations of Avikali Lomavatu. Lomavatu was born in Williams Lake and said that she cannot remember a time where she was not drawing. For her its always been a part of the way she discovers and interacts with the world, meaning that she sketches constantly.
Now based out of Langley, her craft has developed to include paintings, murals and art installations, all with a focus on vibrancy, colour and life in her various works. Lomavatu creates art to shine a light on the things worth taking notice of and cherishing and hopes that she’ll inspire the same thrill of discovery in others.
Right next door in the Cariboo Regional District Library on a bookshelf you can grab your next stamp as you view the collective works of the Interpretations Artist Collective. Three different artists from Quesnel united to build complex layers of personality into a collection of collaborative pieces. The result is very eye-pleasing and well worth a quick tour of our wonderful library.
Speaking of eyes, at Williams Lake Optometry be sure to take a look at the beautiful photography of Brian Thorsteinson. He was raised in a small community just south of 100 Mile House just as the time of horse-drawn haying, log cabins and barns were ending.
As a young man, Thorsteinson backpacked through Europe and ended up visiting more than 35 countries and trekked across the Alps, the Himalayas, the Andes and the Rockies. Eventually, he returned to 100 Mile House and became a massage therapist, which he has done since 1983.
Ever since on his weekends he can often be found, camera in hand, out in the wilds of B.C. capturing the bygone era of Russell fences, incredible landscapes, beautiful wildlife and a wide range of native flor and fauna. He does this so that those who take the time to look at his photos can take a piece of this incredible beauty into your own home to enjoy every day.
In the waiting room of the Cariboo Dental Clinic while waiting to get your teeth checked you can take in the art of a veteran Art Walk artist of eight years, Suzie Ambrose. Ambrose first came to the Cariboo in 1976 when her husband was transferred here from Ontario and eventually ended up settling in the Williams Lake area thanks to its proximity to fly fishing spots.
Ambrose uses photographs to inform her quilting work by transposing its contents into the fabric of her quilts. She’s been using this technique for the last six years, though she said that her love of photography began far earlier with an old brownie box camera. When she was in her teens Ambrose went to England with her mother where she took a collection of black and white photos, that she has kept to this day.
“The way you can express your inner self and also get other people to realize they don’t have to go far to find beauty in their surroundings. A lot of people drive back and forth all the time and don’t take the time to look at where they are and if you look at the rest of the world you can see that this is the best place to be,” Ambrose said.
In the clinic, Ambrose has four photographs on display, framed by her husband, that primarily consist of birds and nature-related images. She has another two images on canvas, one of Farwell Canyon that she loves and one of a juvenile bald eagle, and two art quilts one of her dog in puddles and one of the Canadian flag.
Lynn Capling, meanwhile, enjoys beautifying city hall with a diverse range of beautiful paintings of nature and scenes from throughout the Cariboo. Capling has been living in the Cariboo since 1978, ever since her husband “thought he might have a job here” while she taught math and science at the high school.
While raising her family, Capling began painting, quilting and jewelling until she started teaching, where she found time be a bit of a constraint. After retiring four years ago, Capling got back into art and has really enjoyed it as a new creative outlet as opposed to teaching.
“The challenge (attracts me) sometimes with painting is it’s a picture of a scene and sometimes it’s a humourous idea I want to try and share, sometimes it’s a political idea,” Capling said.
“I’m one of those people who can’t see things in my mind. If you ask me to visualize something it’s just blank so I work from photographs and things in front of me.”
In addition to landscapes and scenes from nature, Capling said she enjoys painting portraits of people and enjoys taking photos of people while she’s out travelling to use as references.
“When you make art, part of it is to share. Most of the time I do art for myself but sometimes I just like to share it,” Capling said, when asked why she took part in Art Walk.
Capling sees Art Walk as a great way to discover previously unknown businesses while seeing what the artists of the lakecity community are up to.