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.
Read More: Art Walk 2019 features artists old and new
Artists taking part in Art Walk come from all different backgrounds, as is the case with Don Gesinger an architect and woodworker. Gesinger, in recent years, has actively been encouraging local businesses to follow what he sees as the growing trend of upgrading their storefronts with timber frame facades. He feels that Williams Lake and the surrounding region have a wide range of log and timber craftsmen and craftswomen, whose brilliant work should be showcased more locally.
“I mostly do acrylic paintings and drawings. I still hand draw my architectural plans which is also an art form in my opinion,” Gesinger said.
This love of architecture and geometry shine in the 27 pieces he’s installed in Alexander on Second Ave. Seven of them are acrylic paintings of building and scenes based off of his travels and 20 are new previously unseen drawings he’s created. They are all Mandala themed and study the influence of geometry, math and patterns inherent within art.
“Art is basic to a creative life and a creative life is a satisfying life,” Gesinger said. “The more art we have in our lives the more balanced life is.”
Gesinger said he feels that everyone has a creative talent that should be used as there are few better feelings than making something up in your mind and then making them a reality. Art Walk, he feels, is a great way to share these newly realized creations with the community.
If you prefer to take a look at fibre artists be sure to make your way to the Williams Lake Indian Band’s new office across from Kornack and Hamm’s Pharmacy for the work of Maureen Lebourdais. Her love affair with fibre began at the age of nine while she learned to knit at her grandmother’s knee.
From there, it was only natural Lebourdais’ love knitting led her to learn how to spin her own yarn and how to weave. Later on in life, she learned the process of felting to give her a unique way to integrate images into the fabric of her creations.
Today, Lebourdais focuses primarily on working on tapestries and waves on a 60” LeClerc Tissart drawing inspiration from the natural world that surrounds her. She also uses experiences with unique textile histories and traditions from travelling to inform and grow her own unique art style.
If you’re looking for an artist with a diversity of work on display, look no further then Katja Kovanen at Poppy Home. Based out of Quesnel, Kovanen studied at the Kootenay School of Arts in B.C. up in Nelson for jewellery design. She’s been painting as well since 2014.
A collection of large portraits make up the first part of Kovanen’s offerings, with a unique semi-exaggerated but an ultimately realistic style that breathes life. Meanwhile, behind the counter, a collection of beautiful intricate jewellery can be found for sale and admiration.
If jewellery is your passion, however, look no forward then the lakecity’s own resident jeweller and established businessman Geoff Bourdon of Woodland Jewellers Limited. In addition to Bourdon’s usual quality work lining the store’s shelves, a selection of his best rings, necklaces and lockets are on display, including this year’s Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust raffle item.
Bourdon is a fourth-generation jeweller who has been making jewellery for his family’s company for the last seven years. Every piece he does sees a combination of skilled technique paired with artistic creativity.
S.A.G.E. Trainers meanwhile is a double feature of the work of Linda Sampson and the collective works of the Esk’etemc Artists Group. These indigenous artists have been paired perfectly with S.A.G.E. and its ongoing mission to S.O.A.R. or Strengthen Our Aboriginal Roots.
Linda was born in Williams Lake and raised in Alkali Lake (Esk’et) B.C. and did cake decorating for seven years. Her love of painting was inspired when she saw her cousin paint Kurt Cobain.
A self-taught artist, Linda started with acrylics but has since fallen in love with watercolours in recent days.
The Esk’etemc Artists Group meanwhile consists of Jacinta Sampson, Leona Belleau, Rosarie Dick and Jahpa Balleau, who are all from Alkali Lake. As proud Esk’etemc of the Secwepemc Nation, it is their value of traditional teachings, heritage and culture that forms the basis of their collective artistic expression.