People who walked by Robin Lambert’s art installation were invited to take home one of the 3

Kissed by public support

Sending little “kisses” home with gallery visitors landed Red Deer’s Robin Lambert a $10,000 national emerging artist prize.

Sending little “kisses” home with gallery visitors landed Red Deer’s Robin Lambert a $10,000 national emerging artist prize.

Lambert, a Red Deer College visual arts instructor, amassed the most viewer votes out of five finalists in a people’s choice art contest sponsored by the RBC and Gardiner Museum of ceramics in Toronto.

His work, I Should Like to Give You a Kiss, is made up of 3,000 white porcelain thimbles, and was named for a quotation from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan story. When Peter tells Wendy that he doesn’t know what a kiss is, the flustered girl places a thimble in his hand and calls it a kiss.

Lambert ordered the thimbles from England, signed each of them, and lined them up on small shelves in the Gardiner Museum. People who walked by the installation were invited to take a thimble home.

The interactive exhibit “is every curator’s dream,” said Rachel Gotlieb, the chief curator. “It attempts to break down those metaphorical and physical walls that make museums seem so forbidding to the public.”

By inviting viewers to take a piece of art away with them, the installation also encourages people to become art collectors, Gotlieb added. “Lambert’s work very much reflects key issues in current artistic practice,” in that it engages museum visitors and presents an intriguing artistic concept in a post-disciplinary world.

Lambert, who just returned from the award ceremony in Toronto, said “it was extremely overwhelming” to win out of a strong field of contenders. “I can’t imagine what it’s like to win an Oscar, when I was sitting there and my heart was just racing. …”

The B.C. native, who studied art at RDC and the Alberta College of Art and Design before getting a master’s of fine art degree from the University of Regina, strives to include social engagement and interaction with viewers in his practice.

He was, therefore, pleased to hear from gallery volunteers that his exhibit particularly appealed to children.

One young man, who was brought in by his mother, read about the contest and placed his vote. He later took one of Lambert’s thimbles, left the gallery, and apparently reconsidered his choice.

“He came back into the museum and his mom said, ‘He wants to change his vote,’ ” said Lambert, with a chuckle. “I was told there was some mystery and maybe a little bit of magic to the piece.”

The RDC community and other Alberta artists rallied around Lambert and participated in the online voting. The local artist, who grew up in High Prairie, said he’s very grateful for their support.

Lambert is still considering how to make use of the prize money, noting some will be used to repay his student loan, while some will go towards a future art project he’s planning.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Man arrested in connection with violent home invasion

RCMP Emergency Response Team deployed

Gesundheit! Stifling a sneeze can cause injuries in rare cases, experts say

TORONTO — With cases of flu continuing to rise in Canada, there’s… Continue reading

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

WASHINGTON — In what’s almost certainly a first in the lengthy history… Continue reading

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

TOKYO — Japan’s public broadcaster mistakenly sent an alert warning citizens of… Continue reading

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

WINNIPEG — A former chair of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce says… Continue reading

Replay Red Deer Jan. 14: Watch news highlights in pictures

Stories mentioned: Red Deer RCMP seize large quantity of cocaine: Read more… Continue reading

Advocate poll takers oppose plastic bag ban

Red Deer Advocate readers like their plastic bags. In an Advocate poll,… Continue reading

Photo: Chilly work in Veterans’ Park

What a chilly job but somebody has to do it.… Continue reading

Boy, 15, one of three hit in Vancouver shooting

Police believe a man in his 20s was the target of the shooting

UBCO psychology professor placed under supervision with focus on “boundary issues”

Dr. Stephen Porter has stepped aside from his teaching duties

Alberta elementary school teacher arrested on child porn charges

Investigators charged a 44-year-old Pincher Creek man with possessing, accessing, and distributing child pornography

Report: Health problems could arise as Alaska warms

Climate change in Alaska has the potential to create serious physical and… Continue reading

U.S. cold snap was a freak of nature, quick analysis finds

Consider this cold comfort: A quick study of the brutal American cold… Continue reading

Canadian Kennel Club seeking to add 12 more dogs to its pack

2018’s incoming class could include the Portuguese sheepdog, Tibetan mastiff, rat terrier and Spanish water dog

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month