Artist: Dwayne Davis, 2012
Funded by: Downtown Williams Lake BIA, Cariboo Friendship Society and support of the Cariboo Regional District and City of Williams Lake through the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society
The “What a Boy Wants” sign above the bike for sale is Dwayne’s tip-of-the-hat to the biking community that was just starting to take off at the mural’s painting in 2012. General Mercantile & Tack did not really exist, but it is the kind of store that would have been the hub of each community during the 1890’s. Featured in the mural are the real historical figures Judge Begbie (1819 – 1894), standing beside the entry to the store, and Lloyd Cyclone Smith (1895 – 1932), standing in the doorway holding a saddle. The Dry Goods salesman, sitting with a cat, was painted from a photo of the property owner’s grandfather.
Dwayne chose to paint in sepia tones to give the mural a 19th century feel. The only detail not in sepia tones are the flowers in the window boxes, which Dwayne added to bring colour to the mural. Dwayne wanted to make this mural approachable and he capitalized on the empty space in front of the mural wall by creating a design that lends itself to interaction. His goal was to make the viewer feel they are part of the mural. The many people who pose in front of this mural, with vintage cars and clothing, or just for fun, are a testament to Dwayne’s success. Two amateur artists, Miranda Fontaine (staff at Friendship Society) and Jamie Moore (summer student at Downtown Williams Lake BIA) helped to paint this mural. Dwayne likes to mentor amateur mural artists. Typically, he creates the mural design and then shows the artists how to paint rough work, or specific details. On this mural, the young artists had the opportunity to paint quite a bit, and Dwayne spent as much time mentoring as he did painting himself.