Lulu Speaker Series

Lulu Series hero bannerThe Lulu Series is an annual spring series of talks about Art in the City and its importance to establishing connections between citizens and their communities.

Since 2003, the City of Richmond has presented regional, national and international speakers including acclaimed artists, architects, urban planners and other cultural leaders. Previous lecture topics have included planning and placemaking, public and environmental art, art as community development, art as urban revitalization, architecture, artists’ live/work spaces and sculpture parks.

Free with registration required. Lectures are preceded by a short performance or presentation by a local artist.

About the Lulu Series: Art in the City

From urban planning and place-making to art as community development and urban revitalization, the relationship between art and our urban environment is a rich and lively topic for guest speakers and audiences alike.

The objectives of The Lulu Series are:

  • to educate participants on the importance of art as a means for citizens to establish connections with their communities;
  • establish evidence that as people connect with their communities and the spaces and businesses in them, there will be an enhancement in commerce;
  • create benefits for business leaders and design professionals to proactively incorporate artistic expressions into their places of business and building designs and for politicians to promote and support this; and
  • lay challenges and establish goals for the growth of art in Richmond and other Lower Mainland communities.

2024 Speaker Series

Puya Khalili and Charlotte Wall - Typha: Placemaking Through Public Art

Thu, Mar 28 - 7:00pm

In this presentation, Puya Khalili and Charlotte Wall will delve into the story of Typha from its conceptualization to its impact on public spaces. The talk will cover the artists’ initial approach and concept, design and fabrication process, and the role that projects such as Typha can play in placemaking and influencing community engagement.

Over the last several decades, Charlotte Wall has established an art practice that ranges from large public art sculptures to installations and art pieces presented in private art galleries. These works have been shown and exist in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond and Toronto. She works with many different materials and her sources for examination are multi-faceted. She is represented by the Paul Kyle Gallery in Vancouver.

Puya Khalili is a designer and artist from Vancouver. With a focus on enhancing outdoor spaces, his international work showcases a commitment to an experiential understanding to evoke happiness, wonder and inspiration. In his approach to public spaces, Puya emphasizes the importance of beauty in shaping social and interactive environments.

This talk will be preceded by a short performance by Elisa Thorn.

Register for Puya Khalili and Charlotte Wall

Alanna Quock - Remembering Home, Finding Ground: Reflections on creating a practice of healing through emergent process, direct engagement and embodied experience

Thu, Apr 25 - 7:00pm

This presentation is an invitation to consider your own experiences and how they relate to the broader predicament that the human world faces today. The complexity of our global challenge is mirrored in that of The Indian Act’s legacy in Canada. In addressing that legacy, Alanna begins with the essential question of what it means to dwell: in a place and in a body. In relationship with other bodies, she will share the stories of her ancestors, her journey, and the projects and places she has been invited into along the way. Learn what it means to practice our knowing in a good way and become the ancestors our future is calling for.

Alanna Quock is principal of Regenative Design, an interdisciplinary practice working within the realms that support living well in the world. Their work engages with planning, architecture, design, social change, and pattern disruption in the service of healing at, and across, all scales of life. Alanna brings her embodied experience in a multitude of contradictory contexts with people, in community, with all levels of government in Canada, and on the land into constant dialogue with her formal education. Her education spans myriad disciplines including geography, psychology, anthropology, economics, ecology, biology, architecture and planning. Her bones have Tahltan, Tlingit, Celtic, northern, and coastal roots.

This talk will be preceded by a short performance by Sam Davidson.

Register for Alanna Quock

Charo Neville - Expanding the White Cube: The Kamloops Art Gallery’s outdoor video projection biennale

Thu, May 30 - 7:00pm

Presented every two years, Luminocity is a week-long, new media, art exhibition that showcases video projects by local, national and international artists in unexpected public spaces throughout the downtown core of Kamloops. As an off-site Kamloops Art Gallery initiative, the projects embraces new creative concepts and modes of expression in the media arts field and brings recent video projects that have previously shown primarily in gallery settings to the outdoors.

Charo Neville is Curator at the Kamloops Art Gallery, where she has developed exhibitions and publications since 2011. She has held positions as Curatorial Assistant at the Vancouver Art Gallery; Associate Director at Catriona Jeffries Gallery and Interim Curator/Director at Artspeak. Charo also served on the Board of Directors at the Western Front artist run centre from 2006 to 2010. Her curatorial practice supports artists who engage with the social and political potential of art. Through projects like Luminocity, which she launched in Kamloops in 2014, Charo is interested in creating opportunities for public art that shifts our relationship with urban spaces and expands access to contemporary art.

This talk will be preceded by a short performance by Lindi Nolte.

Register for Charo Neville

Previous Speakers
  • Michael Audain, BC developer, art collector, foundation founder, public art supporter and benefactor
  • Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces, New York
  • William Cleveland, founder and director, Centre for the Study of Art and Community, Washington
  • Erling O. Mork, former CAO, City of Tacoma and urban revitalization expert, Washington
  • Architects Johanna Hurme (5468796 architecture, Winnipeg) William Browne (Ratio Architects, Indiana), Arthur Andersson (Adersson-Wise Architects, Texas) and Chris Doray (Bing Thom, Vancouver), Mark West (Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology (C.A.S.T.), University of Manitoba) and Bing Thom.
  • Milenko Matanovic, executive director of the Pomegranate Centre, Washington
  • Lister Sinclair and Mavor Moore, Canadian cultural icons
  • Artists Patrick Dougherty (North Carolina), Konstantin Dimopoulos (Melbourne), Buster Simpson (Seattle), Stephanie Robb and Bill Pechet (Vancouver), Dennis Oppenheim (New York), Hema Upadhyay (Mumbai), Instant Coffee Collective (Vancouver) and Connie Watts (Port Alberni)
  • Joanna Sykes, project manager, Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Washington
  • Tim Jones, CEO, Artscape, Toronto
  • Chris Rogers, project manager, Olympic Sculpture Park and Director of Capital Projects and Government Affairs, Seattle Art Museum
  • Barbara Lueke, 4Culture and Sound Transit, Seattle
  • Max Wyman, chair, Metro Vancouver Regional Cultural Task Force
  • Jan Gehl, urban planning expert, Gehl Architects, Copenhagen
  • Cameron Cartiere, Dean of Graduate Studies, Emily Carr University of Art+Design
  • Leanne Prain, yard bombing guru, Vancouver
  • Charles Blanc and Tristan Surtees, Sans facon, Calgary/U.K.
  • Paula Jardine, Community Artist, Victoria
  • Andrew Pask, Vancouver Public Space Network founder, Vancouver
  • Cath Brunner, Director of 4Culture, King County, WA
  • Richard Tetrault, muralist, Vancouver
  • Charles Montgomery, author of Happy City: Transforming our Lives Through Urban Design
  • Norman Armour, artistic and executive director, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
  • Brian Wakelin, PUBLIC Architecture + Communication
  • Michael Rohd, Center for Performance and Civic Practice
  • Norie Sato, Visual Artist
  • David Vertesi, Founding Executive Director, Vancouver Mural Festival
  • John Patkau, Patkau Architects, Vancouver
  • Eric and Mia, Interdisciplinary Community Artists
  • Michael Henderson, Architect at HCMA Architecture + Design
  • Darren O'Donnell, Mammalian Diving Reflex (Toronto)
  • Germaine Koh, Visual Artist
  • Debra Sparrow, Indigenous knowledge keeper and weaver
  • Justin Langlois, artist, educator and writer
  • Vance Harris, Principal, Architecture, DIALOG
What's in a name? The Lulu Story Richmond is comprised of 17 separate islands located in the mouth of the mighty Fraser River on the traditional lands of the hǝn̓q̓ǝmin̓ǝm̓ speaking peoples, who fished the river ways and gathered plants and berries from its fertile shores. While Richmond’s physical landscape is shaped by its location in the river estuary, the city’s cultural landscape continues to be shaped by its inhabitants.

In the early years of European settlement, Royal Engineers surveying British Columbia’s wilderness erected a theatre in the New Westminster district. The playhouse hosted a variety of visiting entertainers, none of whom was more beloved than Miss Lulu Sweet of San Francisco, California, whose dancing, singing and acting were revered by newspapers of the day as “chaste and beautiful.” One of her most ardent admirers was Head Engineer, Colonel Richard Moody, who accompanied the young actress on her departure voyage from New Westminster to Victoria.

The story goes that, as the two stood on deck, gazing at passing landmarks, Miss Sweet inquired as to the name of one large island. After replying absent-mindedly that the island, as yet, had no name, Moody—seized by a flash of inspiration—suddenly exclaimed, “By Jove! I’ll name it after you!”

Today, Richmond is celebrated as a cosmopolitan, “edge city” with a vibrant, ethnically diverse population and a rich mix of residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial areas.

The Lulu Series, a collection of dialogues initiated by leading artists, architects and economic developers, hopes to spark conversations about the nature of our changing physical, social and cultural landscape.