AiR provides an opportunity for artists to create arts-based community engagement through projects and activities that have a meaningful impact to residents of all ages and abilities in exchange for live-work studio housing or work only studio space. The program’s purpose is to enhance community cultural development and pride of place by activating and animating neighbourhoods, public facilities and parks through programming and community engagement activities focusing on topics of interest to our community.
Established in 2000 with one live work space, the Artist in Residence Program in Maple Ridge has evolved and expanded to include three locations. Previous Artists in Residence include Colin Southwell (first Artist in Residence), Darlene Allison, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Nigel Harvey, Kjaer Pedersen, Rebecca Fisher (South Bonson with City of Pitt Meadows), Kat Wahamaa and Robi Smith.
The residencies are based on terms of one or three years (houses are generally three years and the work only studio is one year). In exchange for a minimum number of hours of community engagement programs and activities in approved project(s), artists are offered a lease for the space at no charge to be used as an active live-work studio and house or studio only. The Artist in Residence Program is supported through the Maple Ridge Public Art Steering Committee and operated by Parks, Recreation & Culture.
There are currently four Artists in Residence with the City of Maple Ridge. In the summer of 2019, Natali Leduc began a three-year residency at the Fern Crescent location and Manuel Axel Strain began a one year studio residency at the Greg Moore Youth Centre Studio; in 2020 Aaron S. Moran and Taryn Hubbard began “Double Take” - their collaborative residency at the Haney location. Artists in Residence develop a body of work to engage the public on themes and topics of interest to our community which includes leading activities in the residency location, as well as in public facilities, parks and schools.