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2016 News and Information

Stilt House Island installation on display at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site

05 December 2016

Stilt HouseArt and heritage enthusiasts are invited to the unveiling of the Stilt House Island art installation, located in the Chinese Bunkhouse at Richmond’s Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. This is a community collaboration comprised of participant-built models inspired by stilt houses that once stood in the Steveston area.

From 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 10, visitors are encouraged to make their own illuminated mini house (with a salmon can label design) to take home or contribute to the display, as well as meet the celebrated visual artist and Richmond’s first Artist-in-Residence at Branscombe House, Rhonda Weppler.

“My inspiration for Stilt House Island began when I visited Britannia Shipyards and explored the boatyards, canneries and workers’ homes and began to consider how Richmond’s community and architecture has changed over time,” said Rhonda Weppler. “The design of the houses was based on traditional architectural designs of early stilt homes that once lined the shores of the Fraser River.”

With this inspiration and design, Rhonda then utilized international packaging materials to construct the houses framework to reflect the current city’s diverse cultural community. A series of workshops were offered to community members to make other imaginative homemade houses that symbolize Richmond’s multi-ethnic community past and present. This collective community art installation invites the viewer to consider the ways the city has changed over time.

Rhonda Weppler holds an undergraduate degree in fine art from the University of Toronto, and an MFA degree from the University of British Columbia. 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. Internationally she has facilitated community art programs in England, Scotland and the United States.

The installation will remain on display until Sunday, December 18.

The Chinese Bunkhouse building is located at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, 5180 Westwater Drive.

Visit or call 604-238-8050 for event details.