Nest-work: Art and Science

  • Discussion
  • July 15, 2023

    Location: In the gallery

    Above: Western Sandpiper, Photo Credit: Mick Thompson

    Join us for an afternoon on nests!  Artists and scientists, and Indigenous Peoples present  on the fascinating topic of nest habitat  and nest-making, here in the Fraser River Estuary, and beyond.  We look at local kinds of nests and bird habitat, and see where migratory shorebirds who travel through the Fraser River Key Biodiversity Area—a key “stopover site” for migratory birds—go to nest. Join David Bradley, director of Birds Canada in BC, as he looks at local kinds of nests and bird habitat in the Key Biodiversity Area of the Estuary.  And visiting from Alaska, River Gates, Pacific Shorebird Conservation Initiative Coordinator for Audubon, presents her fascinating research on Western Sandpiper nests in the arctic.  

    Artists Isabelle Groc, Christopher Pavsek, Amy-Claire Huestis and Omar Zubair share works and research on shorebirds, biodiversity loss, and sensitive river ecologies.  Chief Jim Hornbrook of Hwlitsum First Nation, shares his perspective on the incredible ecological diversity of the Salish Sea and its importance to Indigenous Peoples.  Live footage of a barn owl nest camera from Richmond Parks Nestbox Program will be shown in the gallery, where we will gather in a “Nest-work” installation.  

    All ages welcome.  Refreshments will be served.

    About the presenters: 

    David Bradley, Director of Birds Canada (BC)
    David Bradley has been interested in birds and their conservation for as long as he can remember. Prior to his current role as Program Director for BC, David completed a postdoc at our Birds Canada head office in Ontario and the University of Guelph on migration and breeding phenology in Tree Swallows. His Ph.D. was conducted in New Zealand on the ecology and conservation of an endangered endemic bird, the North Island Kokako. David has also been involved in behavioral studies of Neotropical birds in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. Two of his current projects include an invasive mammalian predator study in Haida Gwaii and a Long-billed Curlew migration tracking study in the Kootenay Mountains.

    River Gates, Pacific Shorebird Conservation Initiative Coordinator, Audubon Society
    River joined Audubon in 2017 and currently coordinates the Pacific Shorebird Conservation Initiative, which engages conservationists and communities around the most pressing conservation issues that threaten shorebirds throughout their annual cycles. She has more than 20 years of experience leading international shorebird conservation and research projects in the Pacific and East Asian-Australasian flyways.

    Isabelle Groc is an award-winning writer, conservation photographer, book author, documentary filmmaker and speaker, focusing on wildlife conservation and the relationships between people and the natural world. Isabelle has earned master degrees in Journalism from Columbia University and Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and brings a unique perspective in documenting the impacts of human activities on threatened species and habitats, with a deep level of journalistic integrity. Her photography and stories have been published in magazines and news outlets all over the world. She is the author of three books: Conservation Canines: How Dogs Work for the Environment; Sea Otters: A Survival Story; and  Gone is Gone: Wildlife Under Threat. Isabelle has written and directed over a dozen films on wildlife and nature. With her filmmaking, she creates character-based stories that increase our understanding and awareness of conservation issues and inspire community-driven

    Chief Jim Hornbrook, Elected Chief of the Hwlitsum First Nation
    Jim has spent a good part of his life fishing and plying the waters of the Fraser Estuary and the Salish Sea. Born and raised in the area he has gained a lifetime of experience through oral histories passed down for generations. Following in the steps of those before him, he is honoured and humbled to continue to lead the Hwlitsum People in upholding their custodial duties to the Creator in accordance with their Indigenous laws and culture.

    Amy-Claire Huestis, Artist
    Amy-Claire Huestis’s work responds to biodiversity loss with complex collaborative, communal, and personal works made in kinship with the more-than-human world. She has completed residencies in the Bothy Project in Scotland, Gray’s Cottage on Sechelt Inlet, and the UCLA Art/Science Center. She has performed at the Baryshnikov Art Center in NYC, the Broad Art Centre in Los Angeles, and in the Glasgow International Art Festival. She teaches drawing and painting at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. In 2021, as artist-in-residence at Richmond Art Gallery, Huestis created an art/science educational program at Henry Anderson Elementary School in Richmond with Birds Canada, and co-curated a guided walk project at Hwlhits’um (Canoe Pass / Brunswick Point) called walk quietly / ts’ekw’unshun kws qututhun.

    Christopher Pavsek, Filmmaker
    Christopher Pavsek is a filmmaker and film scholar living in Vancouver, BC. He is an associate professor of film in Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts. His most recent work includes “Wanderings through the delta,” a 2-channel video installation about the Fraser River estuary, and “The Evening News”, an experimental documentary about the setting of the sun in a remote valley in Montana, USA. His book, “The Utopia of Film,” explores the utopian dimenions of the work of Jean-Luc Godard, Alexander Kluge, and Kidlat Tahimik.

    Omar Zubair, Composer
    Omar Zubair
    is a Pakistani American composer based in New York City. He has helped found composer collectives across the country in order to promote radical empathy and empower active listening. He is engaged in the process of integrating a pan-cultural musical sensibility with his work, to peer deeply into foundational empathetic resonances. Until 2020, Omar was a member of the experimental theatre company, The Wooster Group.  His work has been shown in the Pompidou Centre, Paris; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Disney Concert Hall, LA; World Stage Festival, Toronto; and National Theatre of Norway, Oslo.



    Sunday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Monday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Tuesday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Wednesday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Thursday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Friday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Saturday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

    Closed on statutory holidays.

    Current Exhibitions


    By donation


    Richmond Cultural Centre
    7700 Minoru Gate
    Richmond, BC  V6Y 1R8
    Canada Line Station: Richmond-Brighouse


    Google Map

    Sign Up for Our Newsletter

    Find us on Social Media

    Richmond Art Gallery on Facebook Richmond Art Gallery on Twitter Richmond Art Gallery on YouTube Richmond Art Gallery on Instagram