In the weeks leading up to the Williams Lake Stampede, one local father and son duo make it their mission to paint dozens of western-themed scenes onto the windows of local businesses.
“I just hope it helps everyone get into the spirit of Stampede,” says professional artist Dwayne Davis.
“It’s our culture here. When you really look at Williams Lake, we’re actually really friendly people. I’m proud to say I’m from here.”
Davis got his start in Stampede window art in the 1980s when Shields Brake and Muffler’s late owner Alvin Shields came up with the idea and commissioned Davis to paint a piece on his window. The rest, as they say, is history.
“That’s a long time ago,” he says.
Since then, Davis’ western art, featuring cartoon-style horses and western characters and even caricatures of business owners has been gracing store fronts.
“We do whatever the customer wants.”
In more recent years, Davis’ son Steven has come on board to help his father and work as an apprentice artist.
“I’ve been helping him since I was 12 and I’m 25 now,” says Steven.
The two live and work together and enjoy an easy, jovial banter back and forth as they paint, often teasing each other and making each other laugh.
“I can honestly say my dad’s my best friend,” Steven says, stopping his work to put an arm around his dad before his dad replies, “I’m your only friend” and the two break into laughter.
When he’s not painting window art, Davis is also well-known for his work creating large, historical murals which can be seen throughout the lakecity.
He also works with carver artist Ken Sheen of Pine River Chainsaw Carving.