A series of socially engaged, pop-up art events that took place around Abbotsford during the summer of 2018. The Reach worked with skilled, professional artists and arts educators to develop art projects that created spectacle and engaged our community in diverse and creative ways. Each of the three projects created a temporary, interactive art destination and culminated in a collaborative work of art.
Inspired by Abbotsford’s natural and cultural history, puppet artist Randi Edmundson and her team of puppet makers created a 16’ illuminated sturgeon puppet, affectionately named “Barb.” On August 9th Barb made her debut during a stunning performance by the Calvin Dyck Youth Orchestra. The luminous puppet was accompanied by hundreds of children who formed a glittering imaginary river from the small lanterns they made at community workshops hosted by The Reach throughout the summer.
Shannon Thiesen and Chelaine Froese are artists and educators at ASIA North Poplar in Abbotsford. Human Loomin’ took place at Highstreet Shopping Centre over the course of a weekend in August. Using vibrant material blooms, the artists invited the public to “colour in” large-scale chicken wire sculptures. Each colour was assigned to a particular piece of statistical information about our community. For example, the colours used in the human form represent the languages spoken in Abbotsford. These brightly coloured sculptures are visual representations of our community composition.
Jay White grew up in Abbotsford and attended Robert Bateman Secondary School as a teenager. Working with students, local residents, scientists, and others Jay traversed Stoney Creek, which runs past Bateman School to the Fraser River, collecting knowledge, stories, and memories about the steam and the surrounding area. This information has been added to a twenty foot map hand-drawn map as a collaborative record of interactions between humans, wildlife, and the natural environment.