Youth public artwork to unveil this weekend in Richmond

This weekend, Richmond’s Minoru Park pond will feature panorama photo lanterns created by students of the Youth Summer Art Intensive Program, which doubles as an unveiling event for BC Cultures Day.

Richmond Art Gallery (RAG) hosted the three-week art intensive program for students who are inspired by nature and the environment, while focusing on the topic of public art.

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Students created major projects including a herbarium, a scrapbook-like project with pressed plants, as well as the panorama photo lanterns that are to be displayed.

Emily Neufeld, an artist who currently has an exhibition at the RAG, led the students in a “hybrid-model” of Zoom calls, pre-recorded lecture videos and in-person meetings with guest artists.

“I would introduce artists doing similar (public artworks) and those who I want (the students) to think and learn about,” said Neufeld, adding that they often discussed “what makes something human-made and if (people) are really separate from a natural world.”

 “I’d love the public to see the evidence of visual art being a thinking process. Thinking through visual media can show how valuable things are in times of crisis like a pandemic or a climate change.”

Samantha Lu, an art student of Lord Byng Secondary, was one of many who felt the program helped her “learned a lot” about public art.

“I felt satisfied after coming out of the program and while it wasn’t too intense considering it is a long program … I felt really good having finished all the projects,” said Lu, adding that she met many “amazing people.”

“What intrigued me about the program was the public art piece aspect and it felt like it gave me a glimpse of having something that I created put into a public space.”

Lu told the Richmond News that she is pursuing architecture after graduation and the public art aspect of the program is “basically what architecture is about.”

The public art unveiling will take place at Minoru Park pond on Sept. 26 from 3 to 4 p.m.

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