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

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Small group rallies with pro-immigration message

Group wanted to counter misinformation on United Nations migration agreement

Trump says ‘things are going very well’ with North Korea

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very… Continue reading

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Kriechmayr edges Swiss favourite Feuz to win WCup downhill

WENGEN, Switzerland — It takes a special run to beat Switzerland’s best… Continue reading

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Most Read