Tag Archives: art

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.


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

Maple Ridge Culture Walk: Exploring our nature

On Sunday, June 4 from 1 – 4 pm, join me and fellow City of Maple Ridge Artist-in-Residence Kat Wahamaa in creating a nature mandala in near Cliff Falls in Kanaka Creek Regional Park.


Kat and I will have all the materials on hand, from rocks and leaves to colourful wildflowers. We’ll be inviting passers-by to help us place the materials to form a large circular mandala. We’ll be improvising, so bring your sense of play and imagination!

The ephemeral artwork is part of the City of Maple Ridge’s Culture Walk: Exploring our Nature event, which links art, culture and nature at the following sites: Kanaka Creek Regional Park (at both the Cliff Falls trails and at the waterfront), the Maple Ridge Museum, Haney House, and the Bell Irving Fish Hatchery. A free shuttle bus will connect the parks, the museum and Haney House.

Schedule for the day and locations

251 Street at 116 Avenue

1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Nature Mandala with Artists-in-Residence Robi Smith and Kat Wahamaa ● Launch of new history geocaches developed by Maple Ridge Heritage Commission

23272 River Road (off Lougheed Hwy at Tamarack Lane)
1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Launch of new history geocaches developed by Maple Ridge Heritage Commission
1:00 & 2:30 pm ● Culture walking tours with Fern Gabriel from the Kwantlen First Nation (approx. 1 hour each; meet at River Road parking lot)
1:30 & 2:45 pm ● Nature walking tours with David Cook from Nature Vancouver (approx. 1 hour each; meet at River Road parking lot)

22520 116 Avenue
1:00 – 4:00pm ● Exhibits and tours including Canada 150 colouring craft
● Dewdney Alouette Railway display
● Shuttle bus stop is at the entrance of the museum driveway on 116 Avenue

11612 224 Street
1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Visit the historic home of the Haney family
● Exhibits and tours

11450 256 Street
1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Learn about the local environment and find out about the work done by KEEPS
● This location is not a shuttle bus stop but can be accessed by vehicle or on foot via trail
from Cliff Park

Art Studio Tour: Mother’s Day weekend!

On Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14, nearly 40 artists in 27 studios will open their doors to the public for the 19th annual Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Art Studio Tour. I love the tour because it’s such a great opportunity for art lovers and the art curious alike to check out what artists in our communities are up to.

You’re invited to drop by my studio (23740 Fern Crescent) between 10 am and 4 pm on both days to learn how you can participate in my residency projects for 2017. I’ll also be sharing my own art work, including a new series about the mysterious glass sponge reefs in Hecate Strait. I’ll have art postcards and other small items for sale.

For more information about the tour and to invite your friends, check out the Facebook event page.



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: 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.