Worth his weight
Babineau, which features his
work as well as works by more Clay-relief artist Richard Gill
than 40 of his contemporaries, sells his unique pieces at a
ranging from paintings to pot- gallery next to his studio.
tery to jewelry.
NESTLED IN BURNSTOWN, a
village located less than an hour
from Ottawa, you’ll find clay-relief artist Richard Gill toiling
away at his Fog Run Studio.
Adjacent to the studio lies
Bittersweet Fine Craft & Art, a
gallery run by Gill’s wife, Cheryl
The joint venture, known as are fishing boats and outdoor
Bittersweet Fine Craft & Art at scenes from places he’s trav-Fog Run Studio (www.burns elled; Newfoundland was a
town.ca), is a dream come true recent inspiration.
for the duo. Gill starts with a pencil
“If we like their work, we sketch and also does two kiln
take it on,” Gill says of their firings at 1200°C (2200°F)—and
selection process. “It has to be ends up with 300 one-of-a-kind
accessible in terms of price and pieces per year. His work is dis-appeal to our small town.” played internationally in
An architect and an artist by churches, restaurants and pri-training, Gill transitioned from vate and public collections.
pottery to sculpture and finally to “A customer once said I
relief murals, producing custom came in on budget, on time and
work for businesses and individ- it looks like it’s worth more than
uals on any subject matter. he paid for it,” says the 62-year-
His most popular requests old Gill, a Costco member at
are for murals of people’s houses Kanata. “Now that’s not a bad
and for achievement awards, epitaph for an artist.”
but his favourite pieces to create —Shana McNally
BLACK BOX MERSEYSIDE LTD.
The Black Box Theatre Company’s award-winning duo of
Ian Karl Moore and Gillian Stokes have found business and
personal happiness both on and off the stage.
Enter, stage left
TAKING ITS NAME from the fact that a theatre is considered a
black box until you add the lights, seats and so on, the Black Box
Theatre Company was launched by founder Ian Karl Moore in 1994.
But when administrative director Gillian Stokes joined the troupe
in 1998, the theatre company broke out of its box, so to speak.
Known today as Black Box Merseyside Ltd. (www.blackbox
merseyside.co.uk/index.php?page=home), the Costco UK member
employs a stable of actors who bring a unique brand of theatre to
corporations and schools.
One program, Black Box Corporate, provides trainers, writers
and actors to produce small-scale performances, role-playing scenarios and interactive scenes highlighting corporate issues and
corporate videos. It’s the company’s largest area of growth.
Their Theatre-in-Education program reaches 40,000 schoolchildren a year. In conjunction, Black Box Education delivers educational arts workshops on topics ranging from Shakespeare to
bullying to drug awareness, while Black Box Bespoke performs at
summer arts festivals, college residencies and drama programs.
“There was a demand for theatre in the schools, especially
Shakespeare, and we went on from there,” Stokes says.
The most rewarding component for the company might be
Black Box Theatre School, available to aspiring thespians age 7
and older, regardless of ability or level of experience. Designed to
develop drama and performing-arts skills, and to increase theatre
knowledge, it draws more than 100 students every weekend.—SM
Casey Ehrlich is making quilt
panels to draw attention to
kids’ concerns about the
environment. So far she’s
sewn 400 12-by-12-inch
squares into six
84 The Costco Connection MARCH/APRIL 2008
3CASEY EHRLICH KNEW she
wanted to do something for
Earth Day 2007—she just wasn’t
sure what. After exploring the
possibilities and tapping into her
creative side, the 15-year-old
decided to make a quilt to help
kids express their concerns
about the environment.
Following that thread of an
idea, Ehrlich launched Blanket
the Globe (www.blanketthe
globe.com). The Marblehead,
Massachusetts, teen made the
first square, but she’s relying on
kids from her school—along with
anyone 18 years and younger
from around the world—for more
squares to sew together.
Ehrlich’s hopes for Blanket
the Globe are that the panels will
be displayed around the world
and eventually at the United
Nations as a way to bring awareness to environmental issues.
She explains that kids in
particular feel powerless when
it comes to global warming and
other issues. “A lot of [kids] are
scared and don’t know what to
do,” says Ehrlich, whose parents, Lori and Bruce Ehrlich, are
Costco members. “They see my
project and they get excited. It
gives them a voice.”
—Stephanie E. Ponder
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