Category Archives: Workshops

Last chance to make a lantern for this year’s River of Light!

Over the past couple of months, people from all walks of life have dropped by the studio to help make the lanterns for this year’s River of Light community lantern installation.

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In addition to myriad glass jar and globe lanterns, as well as salmon, stars and dragonflies from previous years, we now have a gorgeous multi-coloured duck, a heron about to catch a fish, two salmon showing off their vibrant spawning colours, and a giant crayfish created by five people (to date).

If you would like to make a lantern for this year’s event, you still have time:

  • Sun Sept 17: 1 – 4 pm
  • Tues Sept 19: 4 – 6 pm
  • Wed Sept 20: 4 – 6 pm

All workshops are at the Artist-in-Residence studio at 23740 Fern Crescent (map). If the weather is clear, we’ll work outside on the lawn; if raining, we’ll move inside.


Photo: Keith Jardine

Join us Fridays Sept 22 and 29 for the big event!

This year’s River of Light: Community Lantern Installation takes place over two Fridays, September 22 and 29 from 6 – 9 pm. If raining, we’ll shift to Saturday, Sept 30. On Fri Sept 29, in addition to the lanterns, City of Maple Ridge Artist-in-Residence Kat Wahamaa will host an evening of river songs and stories in the park.

On both Fridays, we’ll start installing the lanterns around 4 pm. It takes about two hours to place all the lanterns and light them (this year using LED lights). If you can spare some time to help with the installation, please let me know. All hands appreciated!

If you have any questions, please send me a note. Look forward to seeing you soon!

Photo: Keith Jardine
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Let’s make magic together!

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Photo: Janet Dwillies

It’s that time of the summer! Drop by the studio to help create this year’s lantern installation. Be part of dreaming up our theme, designing and/or building the lanterns, or simply come and help out. We can always use an extra pair of hands!

Here are the upcoming workshop dates and times. All are drop-in, so come for an hour or join in multiple days. Feel free to bring friends and family members (note: children need to bring an adult along to help with the tricky bits).

All workshops are at the Artist-in-Residence studio at 23740 Fern Crescent (map). If the weather is clear, we’ll work outside on the lawn; if raining, we’ll move inside.

August

  • Tues Aug 29: 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Wed Aug 30: 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Thurs Aug 31: 1 pm – 4 pm

September

  • Fri Sept 1: 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Wed Sept 6: 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Fri Sept 8: 3 pm – 5 pm
  • Fri Sept 15: 3 pm – 5 pm
  • Sun Sept 17: 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Tues Sept 19: 4 pm – 6 pm
  • Wed Sept 20: 4 pm – 6 pm

This year, we’ll install the lanterns for public viewing on two Fridays, September 22 and 29 from 6 – 9 pm. If raining, we’ll shift to Saturday, Sept 30.

If you have any questions, please send me a note or call (604) 928-4284. Look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

Getting ready for A River of Light

September is here, which means the River of Light lantern installation is coming up in just a few short weeks!

This year’s installation will reflect the joy of many hands working together. Over July and August, nearly 50 people dropped by the studio for workshops to help make and repair lanterns, and many people came back more than once. I’m thoroughly enjoying meeting everyone and watching the beautiful lanterns take shape.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be offering free drop-in workshops on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. There’s still time to make a lantern from scratch, or to finish a lantern you started in the summer, or just to come and help repair some of the older lanterns. We can keep it simple or make it as complex as you’d like!

September drop-in workshops 

  • Sept 8 (Thurs): 6 – 8 pm
  • Sept 11 (Sun): 2 – 4 pm
  • Sept 15 (Thurs): 6 – 8 pm
  • Sept 18 (Sun): 2 – 4 pm
  • Oct 1 (Sat): 2 – 4 pm

All workshops are free and take place at the Artist-in-Residence studio (23740 Fern Crescent). All ages and skill levels welcome. Children under 12, please bring an adult along. RSVPs appreciated to robi@robismith.com or through the Community Art and Nature Meet-up Group.

Make your own lantern at home

If you aren’t able to come to any of the workshops, but would still like to make your own lantern to add to the installation, please do! My main inspiration for the lanterns comes from celebration artist Paula Jardine (who I’m so lucky to call sister-in-law!). Paula welcomes you to use the easy to follow lantern-making instructions on her website.

Volunteers for installing, lighting and stewarding the lanterns

The lanterns will be lit over the BC Rivers Day and Culture Days weekends, September 23/24 and Sept 30/Oct 1, starting at 6 pm (to 9 pm) adjacent to Davidson’s Pool. I’m looking for a few volunteers to help install and light the lanterns each day and then be on hand to make sure the candles stay lit and fire safe. If you are interested in helping out, let me know. Shifts can be anywhere from  one to 4 hours. I’ll provide tea and snacks!

If you have any questions, or would like to join in any of the workshops, please let me know by email at robi@robismith.com. You can also RSVP through the Community Art and Nature Meet-up Group. Feel free to share with others who may be interested.

Here’s to creating a magical River of Light together!

A River of Light: Help Create a Community Lantern Installation

This summer, join me in creating a magical lantern installation in the park next to Davidson’s Pool.

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Throughout the summer, I’ll be hosting free workshops at the studio where you’ll learn how to make handmade lanterns that reflect different elements of the river ecosystem. We’ll make the lanterns out of simple materials such as chicken wire, bamboo, glass jars, aluminum cans and tissue paper.

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In late September, we’ll install lanterns among the trees adjacent to Davidson’s Pool and float them on the water. At dusk, we’ll light the candles inside the lanterns to create a river of light meandering through the trees and sparkling on the water.

For more information on upcoming workshops, click here.

To watch a video of last year’s lantern-making workshops and installation, click here.

Create a collage about your favourite place

This Sunday, join me for a fun afternoon creating a collage about your favourite place in Maple Ridge. Maybe it’s a particular spot in nature, a historical landmark, a place you spent time as a child or where you love to hang out with your friends or family. Wherever it is, bring something that reminds you of your favourite place to the workshop—a photograph, a feather, a drawing , some writing, it’s up to you.

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During the workshop, you’ll have a chance to share about your favourite place and listen to other’s stories. Then we’ll break out the art supplies and create our collages. I’ll also have copies of local historical photographs and maps care of the Maple Ridge Historical Society that you can incorporate into your piece.

You don’t need any particular art experience or knowledge to take part. The workshop is designed to be fun for everyone, and I’ll be on hand to help you with composition and techniques  if you’re feeling lost or uncertain.

Details:

  • Cost: Free
  • Date/time: Sun Feb 28: 1 – 4 pm
  • Location: 23740 Fern Crescent (below the Maple Ridge Lapidary Club) – map
  • Bring: Photo or other item that reminds you of your favourite place, to incorporate into your collage
  • RSVP/Questions: email robi [at] robismith.com or fill out this contact form:  

This Place

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Maple Ridge has a rich and varied history, from the traditions and culture of the Katzie First Nation, to the expansion of the railway, early logging, brickworks, and hard-working pioneer families, through to the creation of Golden Ears Park and the development of our neighbourhoods, community organizations and businesses.

And then there are the people who come from all parts of BC, Canada, and the world to live and work here. Some arrived generations ago and have stayed, others are newly arrived. We all bring our stories and histories with us as we create community together.

Over the coming months, I’m looking forward to exploring our individual and collective histories with neighbours and community-members through art.

Specifically, we’ll be working with photos, maps and writing to create collages that speak to our own experiences of “This Place”.  For historical photos and stories, we’ll be able to access the on-line collections of the  Maple Ridge Museum and Archives. You’re also invited to bring your own to add to the mix.

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No art experience is necessary to take part in these free workshops. All ages are welcome (adult support is required for children under the age of 12).

For dates and details on upcoming workshops, click here. I look forward to you joining me!

The art of lantern-making

Making your own lanterns is a simple way to create functional art pieces that literally light up your life.

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The materials for making lanterns are basic (thin strips of wood, wire, tissue paper and glue), but the possible forms you can make are endless.

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Join me for a week of exploring the art of lantern-making at the Fern Crescent Artist-in-Residence studio in Maple Ridge. We’ll start with simple sphere and box lanterns and then move on to more complex shapes. You’ll be invited to incorporate personal photos and writing into your lanterns to create more meaningful pieces that you can use in your home or give as gifts. The finished lanterns can be lit with tea light candles or LED lights.

The workshop runs Monday to Friday, July 27 – 31, from 10 am – 3 pm out of the Artist in Residence studio at 23740 Fern Crescent. Ages 12 and up welcome! (Those younger than 12 may participate with a registered adult who will work with them 1 on 1, but please send me a note to confirm.) The workshop fee is $135 and includes all materials.

To register for the The Art of Lantern-Making visit the Parks and Leisure registration site and search for code: 203106 (July 27-31). You can also register by phone at 604-465-2470.