Artist in Residence

The City of Port Coquitlam Artist-in-Residence program is a self-directed residency offering artists the opportunity to research, develop and produce new or ongoing bodies of work, with dedicated studio time. The Artist-in-Residence program offers opportunities for artists to work in the community, develop arts-based engagement activities, and deliver creative projects that generate meaningful connections. The program sees artists work collaboratively with community members in initiatives where the participants take a central role as creators, producers, and performers or as active audiences for the project. With a goal of contributing to the growing vibrancy of our neighbourhoods, the Artist-in-Residence program seeks to inspire participation and relationship-building where art (the process of creating together) acts as a catalyst for individual and community engagement. Residencies are for artists or artist collectives working in the visual, performance, literary, and musical arts.

Artist-in-Residence | Dolores Altin & Elvira Monteforte

Dolores Altin

Meet Port Coquitlam’s new Artist in Residence in Lions Park, Dolores Altin. Dolores is an emerging public artist with a deep appreciation for placemaking and environmental art. For over 20 years, her career has covered various facets of landscape design, community planning, and public participation. Geography, history, and learning through nature have inspired her to explore our human relationship to the natural world and our perceived reality of it. “I like to reveal the hidden processes in nature and to communicates messages of environmental responsibility through narrative and environmental art.”


Elvira Monteforte

Meet Port Coquitlam’s new Artist in Residence in Lions Park, Elvira Monteforte. Elvira is a happy ‘Canexican” multi-media visual artist who was born, and raised in Mexico City and is now living in Canada since 2006. Since the 1990s, she has been transforming a variety of objects into art expressions, from murals to clothes, sculptures, and pianos. “I’m curious about how recycled and discarded materials can be combined and up-cycled into ‘trash art’ treasures; original artworks of infinite possibility.” Throughout her work, she has inferred various messages that challenge our cultural notions of purpose, dispensability, beauty, and time.


“The Social Connection” is an artistic installation inspired by scientific discoveries popularized in recent years through the book “The Secret Life of Trees” and most recently released NYT Bestseller “Finding the Mother Tree; Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest”. The latter describes the lifelong work of UBC Forestry researcher Suzanne Simard who has been key to scientific discovery. Her work reveals that the forest is a social network that functions as a cohesive society of individual trees who communicate with each other through chemical signals in their root systems. Over the summer of 2021, Lions Park will become an enchanted forest where the trees reveal their secret social society to us by drawing attention to themselves. Their new costumes bring to life their individual personalities, making us even more aware of their majestic beauty and unique structures.

The forest is now seen as having fun, celebrating their friendships and symbiotic relationships. Through this art piece, we celebrate the beauty of the forest and the invaluable benefits that trees provide us with. The message makes us think of the notion that social connectivity and collaboration are the keys to both a thriving forest and a resilient community of citizens. After all, we are all “a Part of Nature”.

Within this residency, a certain number of trees will be selected to have their trunks adorned with colourful materials. The intention is to attract visitors towards the picnic area of the park, where the trees take center stage and become highly visible. Members of the community are invited to participate in the making of the colourful “dresses” under the guidance of the artists. Several mesh panels would be woven with colourful materials; assembled into lightweight sculptures and installed onto the tree trunks by the artists.


Click here to watch an inspiring virtual artist talk with Dolores Altin & Elvira Monteforte where they walk us through a visual tour of their art practice and residency project.


Community members are invited to work with the artists to create the “costumes” that the trees will be wearing this summer. In this 3 hour workshop, you will learn how to weave and apply colourful fabrics, ribbons, and up-cycled plastics to a mesh that will be installed as costumes on a selection of trees within Lions Park. The costumes bring to life each tree’s individual personality, making us even more aware of their majestic beauty and unique structures. Bring your creativity and interest in celebrating our local forest ecology. Supplies provided. Pre-Registration is required.

  1. Saturday June 26, 2021 @ 1-4pm #54218
  2. Wednesday July 14, 2021 @ 1-4pm #54220
  3. Wednesday July 21, 2021 @ 5:30-8:30pm #54221
  4. Wednesday August 4, 2021 @ 1-4pm #55394 
  5. Wednesday August 18, 2021 @ 5:30-8:30pm #55395


Artist-in-Residence | Ratna Gandhi

Ratna Gandhi was the City of Port Coquitlam Artist-in-Residence at the Outlet in Leigh Square from October 2020 to June 2021.

Ratna is a visual artist with a BFA and MFA in Creative Sculpture from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India. She was amply distinguished by the National and State Academy of Arts with awards for her Sculptures in India, and has displayed her works in numerous international exhibitions. Ratna offers 20 years of hands-on experience working with various materials including clay, plaster, metal, wood, fiberglass, paper mache, stone, and fabric. A portfolio of her work is available at


Read more about Ratna and her practice: Indian sculptor is the new artist-in-residence for Port Coquitlam


For her project ‘Wall of Interactions’, Ratna further explored clay as a material while using the interaction and involvement of the local community to give a new dimension to her work. Based on personal encounters with nature, and under the artist’s guidance, community members created individual ceramic tiles which were attached and installed as a wall mural at Hyde Creek Recreation Centre.


Lesley Perrie 
Public Art & Engagement Specialist
Tel 604.927.8442