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September 05, 2013

Exploring the Wonder and Fun of Nature with Rebecca Graham


Last weekend, environmental artist Rebecca Graham led fascinating workshops for kids at the ArtStarts Gallery in Vancouver and at River Market in New Westminster. She helped families engage with nature — and at the same time be inspired by locally sourced materials.

Rebecca led workshops on three-dimensional weaving and rubbings, using materials such as cedar bark and iris leaves. Excited participants had the chance to build impressive eco art forms by discovering hands-on techniques such as braiding, cordage and weaving.

To further connect participants with the concept of environmental art, Rebecca encouraged children to think of birds and spiders, who build wondrous nests and weave/spin intricate webs in an orderly fashion. 

Rebecca explained how she harvests materials and re-purposes green waste such as corn husks and clippings. Connecting families with nature, Rebecca passed on her appreciation and knowledge of the valuable potential of green waste to inspire sustainable and environmental art projects.

Rebecca also shared her knowledge of First Nations use of plants to create baskets. She encouraged participants to visit the Museum of Anthropology to see examples of baskets and weaving made from local and indigenous materials. She explained the intricate process of collecting and harvesting and processing plants such as bark, and bulrush.

In addition to making three dimentional art forms, participants also had a chance to explore the various textures and impressions found in nature by using paint and natural found objects such as leaves, pine cones, and tree bark to make rubbings on paper. Applying paint to natural objects, and then using rubbing techniques, participants had the opportunity to document natural textures on paper.

Thanks to Rebecca, participants ended the workshop with a set of new skills and an appreciation for creating environmental art.

Check out lots more photos on Facebook from ArtStarts on Saturdays and at ArtStarts at River Market.

We hope to see you at next month's events with  multi-instrumentalist Boris Sichon, who will explore the love, joy and fun that music can bring. Boris will be at ArtStarts on Saturdays in Vancouver on Saturday, September 28 and at ArtStarts at River Market in New Westminster on Sunday, September 29. Read more details here.

ArtStarts thanks Boeing for their generous support of the ArtStarts on Saturday series. ArtStarts also thanks River Market at New Westminster Quay and Donald''s Market ONE prize for making the ArtStarts at River Market series possible.  

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