2019-2022 Artists in Residence Named


Residencies to begin June – August 2019

Three new artists were awarded residencies as part of The City of Maple Ridge’s Artist in Residence Program.

Selected by a panel including The ACT Arts Centre’s Executive Director Curtis Pendleton, they will move into their spaces between June and August, followed by formal introductions in September at the City of Maple Ridge’s Cultural Network meeting.


Gerry Sheena (Vancouver), Coast Salish carver and painter for the Port Haney location, 2019-2022

Sheena is an established Coast Salish carver who has been a full-time artist for the past 30 years. He recently completed a project for the Collingwood Neighborhood House in Vancouver, which culminated in the raising of the 20-foot red cedar totem pole named “Ancient Cedars Journey Home”. This totem pole was carved outside of the community centre with the help of three youth apprentice carvers over ten weeks. He has facilitated community level carving classes, drawing and painting classes and discussion sessions alongside these projects. Sheena is excited to bring his skills, experience and commitment to help build a better understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in our community. He looks forward to working with the community, engaging in meaningful conversations on reconciliation, learning more about the local Indigenous peoples and engaging residents and visitors in exploring creative processes and projects that will not only enhance the beauty of the area but tell stories of its history. As part of his proposal for the residency, Sheena plans to provide painting, designing and carving workshops and to continue his work of designing and carving large sculptures.

Natali Leduc (Saanich), sculpture and writer for the Fern Crescent location, 2019-2022

Leduc has an academic background in Sculpture, French Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and the University of Ottawa. She has taught sculpture, French language, literature and creative writing at the college level, as well as bookbinding and art bicycle workshops for at-risk teenagers. Natali creates objects and situations as solutions to real and imaginary problems, with a fondness for interactive contraptions, performances, and experimental puppet shows. Her proposal for the residency includes the “The Little Museum of What?” which will turn part of the residence into a little museum and a hub of creativity. She sees the studio space at the Fern Crescent residence as a learning laboratory and a place for the community to meet and share their experience, knowledge, and ideas. Workshops will be offered to the community, aimed at different ages and interests, and may include bicycle contraptions, costumes, poetry, bookmaking, interactive installations, assemblages, puppets, sculpture, performance, weird repairs and much more.

Manual Strain (Maple Ridge), inter-disciplinary artist of Coast Salish, Secwepemc, and Okanagan descent for the Greg Moore Youth Centre studio, 2019-2020

Strain is an interdisciplinary artist of Musqueam, Simpcw and Syilx descent. Strain works with painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, textiles and video installations. Strain seeks to use lived experiences to inspire social and political change in Canada and deconstruct colonialism. Strain was raised in the suburban neighbourhood of Maple Ridge with little knowledge of what it meant to be a person of First Nations descent. This upbringing leads them to examine the construction of First Nations identities – in particular, the internal conflicts that arise from imposed identity constructs. Their practice confronts the legacies of colonization that have been left upon the identities of the First Nations people of Canada. Strain plans to use this opportunity to celebrate and recognize the Indigenous lands, knowledge and language, and its relationship and interconnectedness to the people of Maple Ridge, non-indigenous and indigenous alike. In addition, their vision for this residency is to create a body of work that is centred on a unique intersection of Indigenous arts, language and knowledge, diversity and environmental issues while simultaneously touching upon themes of storytelling and heritage.

Completing their terms this year are Kat Wahamaa, Haney Residency, and Robi Smith, Fern Crescent Residency.

The Artist in Residence Program is supported through the Maple Ridge Public Art Steering Committee and operated by Parks, Recreation & Culture.

Alexis Russell