The Maple Ridge leisure centre is in the process of getting an artistic mosaic makeover, and the City wants help from the community.
Local residents and visitors are invited to join the creativity by inspiring colours and patterns for the mosaic by submitting landscape photos of Maple Ridge.
Artists and spouses Rebecca Bayer and David Gregory are the driving force behind the city’s Leisure Centre public art project.
“I’ve had an interest in working with public space for a long time. It’s trying to allow the public to have input into their own surroundings,” said Bayer.
Engaging local residents is a key component to the project, since the theme is ‘interconnections between people and places.’
“One of the themes is interconnections so we’re interested in the way the public is interacting with their surroundings. It gives the sense of ownership over these locations. If you are participating in the project, then later on when it’s up you can look at it and find the patterns you made,” said Bayer.
Yvonne Chui, Maple Ridge recreation manager and community connections, said the City and the artists are hosting community workshops where people can stop by and assist with the pattern-making of the mosaic.
The workshops will run from Nov. 10-17 at various locations including the ACT Centre, the library, the Leisure Centre and the seniors society.
Bayer explained the mosaic project stemmed from the idea of creating a greater whole.
“The mosaic itself is a collection of small parts that make a greater whole. That thematically works with the idea of each person contributing to the greater whole. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
The two artists’ are in the beginning steps of designing and installing community mosaics for the main gathering space, the welcome reception area, and the pool deck at the Leisure Centre.
Bayer said she’s done similar projects in different places, including a current project in Toronto.
She is excited to return to Vancouver and work in Maple Ridge.
“We saw the beautiful landscape around Maple Ridge and how the colors are parts of everyday lives.”
In Maple Ridge, Bayer said she’s unsure of what she predicts the Maple Ridge mosaic will look like once finished.
“Definitely themes with blues of the mountains in the distant and gorgeous lakes. I think it’s too early to tell, but there will likely be a rainbow of colours because there is such a vibrancy in the colours and landscape.”
Bayer and her husband are the founders of a Vancouver-based art and design studio called ‘spacemakeplace’ which also creates community-focused art works.
Bayer has a background in arts and architecture and her husband has a background in arts and business.
Bayer’s architectural background led her to an interest in working with public spaces.
“It’s thinking in what way do people interact with their surroundings each day. We are affected by the services we pass by each day, so the idea of working with public spaces is interesting to me.
The idea that people can actually get close to and touch their surroundings at places like leisure centres. It’s the physicality to it,” said Bayer.
Exact times and locations for public workshops will be announced on the Facebook page: facebook.com/MapleRidgeCommunityMosaic.
Photos can be submitted via Instagram with the hashtag #mapleridgecommunitymosaic.
The installation is scheduled to be unveiled when the leisure centre renovations are complete in 2019.