Branscombe House Previous Artists
Thank-you, Rhonda Weppler, 2016 Branscombe House Artist-in-Residence
Rhonda Weppler, the celebrated visual artist whose work represents the everyday objects that make up the background of our lives, has ended her year-long residency at Branscombe House and will be moving to New York City on December 30. During 2016, her free public programs attracted an estimated 1,300 visits to the treasured restored heritage building, one of the earliest homes built in the Steveston area.
All year long, Ms. Weppler sparked the creativity of Richmond residents with workshops and exhibitions as well as monthly drop-in activities, typically revolving around the theme of food or using sculptural food materials such as cookie dough, marzipan or fondant, as a medium. Through these weekend making sessions, residents of all ages generated hundreds of sculptural delights for a quartet of murals now on display in the Richmond Cultural Centre. Moreover, she shared her talents to facilitate the creative exploration of Richmond’s ever-evolving identity: its culinary and architectural heritage, gardens and museum artifacts. Through workshops to create little artworks of fungus, flowers, foliage and faces, she invited and enabled anyone to develop new skills to paint, sculpt or make prints. Her workshops developed a following of avid makers who relished the opportunity to take time to slow down, look carefully, and discover the beauty in the details of what surrounds us. From her first “cookie self-portraits” activity to her most recent temporary community collaborative installation at Britannia Heritage Shipyards (comprised of miniature illuminated stilt houses meticulously crafted by community members out of reclaimed cardboard food packaging) her public programs have encouraged creative expression and participation for a wide range of ages, abilities and interests.
The artist is generously donating a new bronze artwork, The Gathering, as her legacy: a life-size picnic basket of small food items sculpted by dozens of community members. This work will be installed near Branscombe House in 2017
Full details about Rhonda Weppler’s residency can be found on her blog and website.
Branscombe House is located at 4900 Steveston Highway and is one of the earliest homes built in the area; as such it is significant for its historical association to Steveston and for reflecting the pattern of commercial and related residential development that occurred in Steveston’s early history.
The Branscombe House Artist-in-Residence is selected annually via an Open Call.