Lightly, Lightly: An Online Workshop

June 12 2021 / 10:00am - 4:00pm

Join us on Saturday, June 12 for an all-day virtual workshop facilitated by Deborah Dumka and Julian Rendell / hosted by the Comox Valley Art Gallery. The workshop will run from 10 am – 4 pm with a break at noon. Participants can join virtually or participate onsite at the gallery (as space permits).
We are pleased to be offering an introduction to the fundamentals of light-based animation using colour-changing NeoPixel LEDs and motion sensors, as well as working with felt fibre and form, in a merging of grassroots electrical engineering and fibre art practices. Participants will experiment and explore creative possibilities as they build and program their own LED animated sculptures. No experience necessary.

This workshop is part of CVAG’s digital pivot, which supports collaborations between art and technology. CVAG values your contribution by participating in this workshop. The gallery is committed to fostering access, safe learning spaces, skill-sharing and relationship building. The gallery supports intergenerational learning and sharing. Individual and Pod participation is welcome.
Participants are asked to commit to the full day; to document their process and outcomes, and to contribute to a discussion and feedback session at the end of the workshop. This is an inclusive gathering, aimed at exploration and experimentation across practices. We welcome diversity of experience, ideas, perspectives – think incubator + laboratory of curiosity!

If you are interested in attending the workshop, please email with “Lightly, Lightly workshop” in the subject line. Space is limited. You will receive a reply within 24 hours with more information.



10-12: In the morning, we will learn the fundamentals of electronics with Julian.
12-1: Lunch
1-3: In the afternoon, Deborah Dumka will teach us to integrate fibre, form and LEDs for communicating and expressing.
3-4: community gathering to share creative outcomes and ideas.
Kits for this workshop cost $25 (this covers the cost of materials). The kits can be picked up starting on June 4 at the Comox Valley Art Gallery (580 Duncan Avenue, Courtenay). To take part in this workshop and to arrange to pick up a kit, please email with “Lightly Lightly workshop” in the subject line. The workshop is limited to 15 participants and is being offered for free as part of the digital learning and sharing research underway at CVAG.


  • Kit (available from CVAG for $25) (contains wool wadding, cardboard figure, Neopixel LEDs, Raspberry Pi Pico)
  • PC/Mac/Linux Computer with the latest Chrome browser (this is required for reliable WebUSB). The computer must have a USB A port (or adapter) for the included USB A to USB micro cable. (Note: the supplied USB A to Micro cable is only 8cm long. We recommend using the supplied cable to start with, as many USB micro cables are now charging-only cables).
  • a stable connection to the Internet
  • administrative permissions / rights to install programs on the computer. We will be using Mu ( .
  • crafting tools, such as scissors / x-acto knife, a cutting and gluing surface, a hot glue gun and a camera for documenting
  • Nice to have: a text editor. Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) will suffice.


Deborah Dumka and Julian Rendell:

Prior to the installation and presentation of the exhibition Visible Labour, CVAG supported a collaboration between interdisciplinary artist Deborah Dumka and MakeItZone founder Julian Rendell to explore the relationship between contemporary art practice and electronics.

Deborah learned to write code and develop electronic parts to support interactive installation projects incorporating colour, light, digital programming and fibre. Julian, who is deeply rooted in engineering, digital technologies, and software coding, had the opportunity to extend his focus into art applications.

Their collaboration is a hybridization of the hand-made and the technology-driven. The resulting work – Deborah Dumka’s interactive installation Our Young Girls – is currently on display in the Window Gallery at CVAG.

Claire Sanford’s multichannel video installation Violet Gave Willingly and mixed media/sensor-activated collaboration Addendum with Deborah Dumka were also presented concurrently as part of the exhibition Visible Labour.

Free Community Make Art pop up events (T shirt printing of Girl Power and graphics from Our Young Girls) will take place on the plaza (May 28, 29 + June 16, 23 and 30).

These projects are tied through a commitment to supporting the exploration of gender + digital empowerment + access + technology + safe spaces + art.


The Comox Valley Art Gallery is located upon the Unceded Traditional Territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. CVAG recognizes the enduring presence of First Nations people on this land.

The gallery is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with artists, writers, guest curators, community partners, our volunteers, donors + members.

CVAG’s annual programming is made possible through the support of our funders: Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, Government of Canada, Province of BC, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, Comox Valley Regional District, BC Gaming. This convergent project is locally supported by: SD71 Print Shop, Hitec Printing, Sherwin-Williams Paint Store, ABC Printing, MakeItZone, Muir Engineering Ltd. / community collaborators: MakeItZone – Julian Rendell (digital/interactive consultation + production for exhibitions), Muir Engineering Ltd. – Brian Muir (consultation + lighting design), Wachiay Studios (screen printing suppliers)