Fern Crescent Residency

Artist Robi Smith at Fern Residence

Location: 23740 Fern Crescent, Maple Ridge (below the Maple Ridge Lapidary Club)

Robi Smith is a mixed media and installation artist working with environmental themes and materials. Her art reflects her passion for coastal ecosystems and her interest in our changing relationships with nature over time. Maple Ridge welcomed Robi Smith to the Artist in Residence Program at the Fern Crescent location (Silver Valley and Alouette River area) in October 2014 for a three year term.

Smith’s interest during her residency is to engage with the local community to explore the connections between the people and history of Maple Ridge to the natural environment, and vice versa. Join her in her studio for free art making workshops, nature walks, and lantern-based installations. You’ll also find her sharing her work at local events in Maple Ridge including Earth Day, the Art Studio Tour, summer farmers’ markets, and more.

Follow her blog or contact her by Email Robi Smith.

Residency Projects 2018:

For this culminating year of her residency, Robi will be working with community groups and interested individuals to create illuminated sculptural installations to add to the growing collection of community-made lanterns that make up the River of Light installation. All the lanterns and illuminated creations will be hung from trees and arranged along the paths in Cross’ Cabins Park (at Davidson’s Pool) in September as part of a large community celebration of our connection with local river systems. This celebration, co-hosted with Artist-in-Residence Kat Wahamaa, will include music, spoken word, performance and visual art.

Residency Projects 2017:

In spring 2017, Robi and fellow Artist-in-Residence Kat Wahamaa contributed to the City of Maple Ridge’s Canada 150 projects, including:
  • Working with students at three local elementary schools to design new artwork for street banners
  • Engaging community members in creating a nature mandala in Kanaka Creek Park as part of Culture Walk: Exploring our Nature
Through the summer, Robi hosted outdoor lantern-making workshops at the studio. Building on 2016’s very successful ‘River of Light’ installation, participants created larger lanterns including a heron, a gigantic collaborative crayfish, as well as salmon and mushrooms. All the lanterns were installed in Cross’ Cabins Park next to Davidson’s Pool on two Friday evenings at the end of September. The finale included a celebration of our relationship with local waterways through music and spoken word, entitled River Songs & Stories, coordinated and hosted by Kat Wahamaa.

Residency Projects 2016:

In 2016, Robi and Kat started a Meet-Up group for locals to join their popular free drop-in workshops. Robi's workshops included outdoor nature sketching, mixed media collage and lantern-making. In summer and early fall 2016, Robi hosted lantern-making workshops outdoors at the studio. More than 70 community members created lanterns over three months. Reflecting the theme of `A River of Light's'; they installed the lanterns in Cross Cabins Park over the Rivers Day and Culture Days weekends in late September. About 200 neighbors and friends enjoyed the magical evening installations

Throughout the year Robi offered free mixed media collage workshops exploring and celebrating places within Maple Ridge. The workshops followed the theme of ‘This Place’ and combined sharing stories, memories, journaling, map-making, collage and painting. These fun workshops were designed for everyone, with no art experience necessary.

Residency Projects 2015:

In summer and fall 2015, Robi worked with community members to create a lantern installation on the theme of ‘The River’ in Cross’ Cabins Park. Over the period of three months, the public was invited to open studio times to help Smith create lanterns in the shapes of local wildlife. The lanterns were installed and lighted in the wooded area hugging the Alouette River in Cross’ Cabins Park over the Culture Days weekend, September 25-27, 2015.

"Art Can Change” Video featuring Robi Smith, Kat Wahamaa and Brandon Gabriel

Art Can Change