The Bee Kingdom is Setting a Sweet Example…
Things are heating up at one of Calgary’s most unique and successful artist collectives! Whether its joining the elite ranks of Avenue Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40”, their current retrospective “Iconoclasts in Glass” at the Glenbow Museum, or hanging out in their studio with Mayor Nenshi, the Bee Kingdom are proving that creativity is the foundation for our city’s vitality.
We’ve had a love-in for ‘The Bees’ for a while now – they were showcased in our original feature video that launched the King Edward project in 2013. cSPACE was recently invited to the Bee Kingdom workshop to observe the creation of a series of glass artworks commissioned for “Spring Reveal”, a pair of donor cultivation events held at the King Edward in May. From start to finish, the process of blowing a hundred unique vases played out like a ballet, as the golden molten glass was rolled, blown and flamed into shape.
The Bee Kingdom demonstrates that today’s successful artists need to be able to maximize a combination of passion, skills and entrepreneurial savvy. They are exceptional collaborators both within their creative group and outside of it. Relationships with key arts organizations like the Alberta Craft Council, Calgary Arts Development and Pilchuck Glass School have demonstrated the importance of building a network of supporters and collaborators to accelerate their practice.
The Bees are doing everything right by setting a valuable precedent of success for new and emerging artists in Calgary. Through corporate commissions, international shows, live workshops and classes, they demonstrate how an artist can be successful in a challenging environment. They have proven that the power of collaboration, an entrepreneurial mind-set, and artistic skill are key factors for creative practitioners in helping to build a more culturally and economically vibrant Calgary. These communities of artists, designers, and makers can shape our city for the future – one bee at a time.