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2016 News and Information

Candy cherry blossoms to bloom at Branscombe House

02 March 2016

Budding artists can celebrate spring by sculpting cherry blossoms crafted from candy, fruit leather and icing to hang on a chocolate branch.  It’s one of a number of unique, hands-on activities planned by 2016 Branscombe House Artist-in-Residence Rhonda Weppler as part of her year-long program of free artful fun.

On Sunday, March 13 and Sunday, April 10, from noon to 4:00 p.m., visitors are invited to Open Studio days to get a “behind the scenes” look at Weppler’s creative process while working on a public sculpture commission. While there, they can celebrate the cherry tree, one of Richmond’s iconic harbingers of spring, by creating their own imaginative and edible cherry blossoms. Before taking the sculpture home to eat, Rhonda will photograph it and digitally combine it with other images to create a fantasy cherry tree forest mural to be installed for public viewing at a later date. This is a drop-in event but budding artists are invited to RSVP to ensure there are enough materials by calling 604-276-4300 or visiting (course # 1409022 and indicate March 13 or April 10 date.)

Rhonda’s Open Studio day on Sunday, May 8, will feature a different hands-on activity to be announced soon.

For adults (and children aged 12–15 with an adult) looking for a more intensive experience, the artist offers a repeat of her fully-booked Tiny Paintings of Tiny Things, a three-part beginner acrylic painting workshop offered over three Thursday evenings (March 10, 17 and 24, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.). All materials will be provided for this mini-course where participants will learn how to paint a miniature still life as they learn about the history of the genre. Pre-registration is required (only eight spots available); call
604-276-4300 or (course #1407876.)

Weppler was born in Winnipeg and holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and fine art from the University of Toronto, and an MFA degree from the University of British Columbia. She makes both collaborative work with Trevor Mahovsky (Toronto) and solo work, and has run community art programs in Canada, England, Scotland, and San Francisco. She has exhibited extensively, both nationally and internationally and her work is represented in public collections including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Hamilton Art Gallery, Musée d’art Contemporain de Montreal, and the National Gallery of Canada. The TransLink-commissioned sculpture Watch Seller (collaborative with Trevor Mahovsky) was recently installed at the Main Street Skytrain station.

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 early in Steveston’s history.

For updated information about the Branscombe House Artist-in-Residence program including upcoming free events and activities, visit