For years local business owner George Terwiel has had his eyes on the artwork of renowned Kamloops artist David Langevin. It was the landscapes that drew his attention the most. Mountains, lakes and trees combine in realistic but somehow whimsical paintings.
In December Terwiel finally got the chance to hang Langevin’s work in Lone Wolf Gallery for the first time.
“I’m just thrilled to pieces to have his work, even if it’s smaller,” Terwiel said. He added he especially loved Langevin’s tree portraits which remind him of trees he sees while spending time outdoors.
When the opportunity came to purchase the store Terwiel jumped in head first.
He had moved to Sun Peaks five years earlier with his family, wife Anne and children Elli and Justin, as a ski instructor.
“I plunged in,” he said. “The business was already established but it was nothing like this. But the shelving was there.”
In March 1998 Terwiel opened the doors to his gallery, selling artwork and souvenirs.
With no formal business education Terwiel learned what he could from community courses, family and friends.
A few years later he saw another opportunity to open a second location in the village.
“I commited everything again. I built that store from scratch, drywall and everything. I worked my tail off to get it done and got it set up and there was two rolling stores. And it was going well, we we’re starting to turn a little bit of a profit and the economy crashed.”
In 2008 Terwiel took a job out of Sun Peaks to support the shops while Justin stayed to manage them. But despite the extra work the second location closed six months later.
“Since then everything I learned in that store I’ve utilized here,” he said.
Ten years later the business has recovered and this season is looking better than the last.
Through the ups and downs of the shop Terwiel has earned his place in the community, and the community has supported him and his family.
Elli competed in the 2014 Olympics with the help of local fundraising to send both her and her family to Sochi.
Terwiel fondly remembered banners strung high across the village and the excitement throughout town.
He still skis 135 days a year himself, teaching lessons and instructor courses when he’s not spending the summer mountain biking. His passion for the outdoors is reflected in the artwork he chooses for the shop.
Langevin shares that passion. He spends hours hiking and taking hundreds of photos to be used as reference for his paintings.
Painting full time for more than 25 years, he moved from Montreal, Que., to Kamloops with a dream of living in the mountains and painting his surroundings.
After taking a photo it can be more than a year before he chooses to paint a certain landscape.
“More often than not I work on several paintings at a time and that works for me,” he said. “And because I paint in oils and acrylics I kind of flip between the two.”
Some of the pieces are finished with a high shine resin, something Langevin said he rarely does but likes the look of. Some of those glossy paintings are available in Lone Wolf and other similar resort galleries.
“I like the idea (of Sun Peaks) because it’s a really great destination and resort type of place so it’s a good fit for my art,” Langevin said. “And because it’s got its own little economy that’s sort of seperate from the rest of the world really, it’s not the same market as the Kamloops market because it has a whole category of people that go there, and lots of tourism and foreign currency.
“Sun Peaks is a really cool spot and the village has become a really unique destination.”