Magic Inside the Box

Elaine Weryshko is an artist who loves thinking inside the box – not just one, but many boxes.

In fact, she’s built an entire children’s theatre production – including the theme, set and props – out of cardboard boxes. And she’s doing it right here in East Village. Since September 2010, Weryshko has been working and rehearsing in the Seafood Market, a large building that’s found a new life as a studio home for some 47 artists in EV.

“A lot of the work is physical development of the show, so to have a space that’s big enough to play is fantastic,” says Weryshko, who’s a regular performer at the Calgary Children’s Festival.

Since graduating from the drama program at the University of Calgary in 2007, Weryshko has worked with various local theatre companies. A lack of rehearsal space has been an on-going challenge. “It’s so great to not have to freak out about finding rehearsal space for the next three months,” she says. “Now, we have a home.”

Artist Tyler Los Jones knows exactly what Weyshko’s talking about. The 25 year-old illustrator, painter and sculptor worked in two different unheated garages over the past year. “I was bundled up in three jackets, snow pants and a blanket,” says Los Jones. “It’s really hard using some of those saws for sculpting when it’s minus 30 outside.” And your fingers are freezing.

Los Jones, who graduated from ACAD in 2007 and begins an artist-in-residence with Epcor this summer, secured a space in the Seafood Market this spring. He’s grateful for both the workplace and the camaraderie. “It’s a space that allows dialogue with your peers, which is most difficult to access when you’re on your own. Having that community there is so important.”