A River of Light this weekend!

Two magical evenings ahead

Join neighbours, friends and lantern-makers as we create a River of Light among the trees by Davidson’s Pool (Crosses Cabins Park) this weekend:

  • Friday, September 30: 6- 9 pm
  • Saturday, October 1: Drop in 2 – 4 pm to make your own glass jar lantern to light your way during the evening / 6 – 9 pm enjoy the light of the lanterns as the sun sets and darkness falls

Location: Among the trees and on the rocks between Davidson’s Pool and the Artist-in-Residence studio. Limited parking available at Cross’ Cabins Park (small parking lot for Davidson’s Pool). Street parking along 236th Street or 130th Avenue. (map)


photo: Keith Jardine

What happened last weekend?

After postponing last Friday’s installation due to rain, we forged ahead on Saturday, placing the lanterns in among the trees and lighting the candles. What ensued was a magical evening of light and a celebration in honour of the salmon who will be arriving home to spawn in the coming weeks.

So far, the feedback I’ve received from last weekend’s installation has been incredibly positive. I heard over and over again how moved people were by the beauty of the glowing lanterns, especially against the meditative sound of the river. Many neighbours are inspired to join in the fun next year to make their own lantern to add to the installation.


photo: Keith Jardine

As with last weekend, I’ll be watching the forecast to make sure the weather cooperates. At this point, Friday evening is looking 100% clear and Saturday cloudy. If it’s raining or looking like rain, check ferncrescent.ca before heading over to make sure the event is going ahead.

Feel free to invite friends and family to experience the installation. You can either share this post or invite them via Facebook.


A River of Light begins…


photo: Keith Jardine

Many thanks to everyone who made Saturday evening’s A River of Light so spectacular, from the dozens of people who made the lanterns this summer, to the volunteers who set up and took down the installation to the nearly 100 people who came to wander through the trees and exclaim over how beautiful and magical the lanterns looked in candlelight.


photo: Liliana Rincon Tami

We will be lighting the lanterns again next Friday (Sept 30) and Saturday (Oct 1) from 6 – 9 pm. On Saturday afternoon from 2 – 4 pm, all are invited to drop by the studio to make a glass jar lantern to light your path as you take in the lanterns in the evening.


photo: Keith Jardine

For more information or if you have any questions, please email robi@ robismith.com


photo: Keith Jardine



photo: Liliana Rincon Tami

A River of Light: Community Lantern Installation

Experience a magical evening walk through a river of lighted lanterns among the trees adjacent to Davidson’s Pool in Crosses Cabins Park (map).


Over the past three months, more than 50 community members have been working with Maple Ridge Artist-in-Residence Robi Smith to create the lanterns in the shapes of salmon, stars, dragonflies, butterflies and more. The lanterns are made from simple materials such as bamboo, chicken wire, glass jars, tissue paper and glue.


All are welcome to view the lanterns over the BC Rivers Day and Culture Days weekends (weather permitting):

  • Fri Sept 23: 6 – 9 pm
  • Sat Sept 24: 6 – 9 pm
  • Fri Sept 30: 6 – 9 pm
  • Sat Oct 1: From 2  – 4 pm, drop by the studio to make a glass jar lantern to carry in the evening; lanterns lit from 6 – 9 pm

The lanterns will illuminate a path among the trees and on the rocks between Davidson’s Pool and the Artist-in-Residence studio.


Here’s to a magical River of Light!

Note: Limited parking available at Cross’ Cabins Park (small parking lot for Davidson’s Pool). Street parking along 236th Street or 130th Avenue. Carpool or walk if possible! map

RSVP / share this event on Facebook

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.


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.


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.

Art Studio Tour: A behind-the-scenes view

What better way to spend the Mother’s Day weekend, May 7 & 8, than by taking in some local art? The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Art Studio Tour is a wonderful way to visit artists working in their studios, see how they make their art, what materials they use, what inspires them, and to ask questions.

My studio will be open both days from 10 am – 4 pm and is located at 23740 Fern Crescent, on the same property as the Maple Ridge Lapidary Club (also open for the tour). Here’s a map.

one fish 2015

I’ll be showing a preview of three new installations I’m creating for an exhibition that opens at The ACT Art Gallery on June 11. The exhibition, Confluence, features the work of all three Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Artists-in-Residence—myself, Kat Wahamaa and Rebecca Fisher. My installations respond to my observations about how our local community interacts with the Alouette River watershed. The installations are a combination of paintings, sculptures and found materials.

Metal fish two

Over the two days of the studio tour, I’ll also be giving the following demonstrations and artist talks:

Saturday, May 7

  • 11 am: Making salmon sculptures out of aluminum cans (demonstration)
  • 3 pm: Making lanterns out of chicken wire and tissue paper (demonstration)
  • 8 – 9 pm: Lighting the lanterns – come by and experience the magic of The River lantern installation by candlelight

Sunday, May 8

  • 11 am: Making salmon sculptures out of aluminum cans (demonstration)
  • 2 pm: Artist talk: “An Unnatural History Collection” – observations on creating an installation out of found materials for the Confluence exhibition at the ACT Art Gallery (opens June 11)

I’ll also be sharing my current residency projects and how you can get involved in making art about nature in community.


For more information on the Art Studio Tour, including artist listings and a map, check out the tour website.

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