For this month, the Winnipeg River Arts Council features quilter Grace Kost. Originally from Milner Ridge, Kost moved to Lac du Bonnet for her grade nine. She has lived there ever since, including fifty-one years in the same house.
In the 1980’s, Kost discovered her passion for quilting. Although she’s mostly self-taught, she has attended workshops in Winnipeg, Minneapolis, and various nearby American cities. After years of getting together with local quilters and learning complicated sewing methods, she started to design her own patterns. In collaboration with Anne Longston, Kost created “Sugar Maple Quilts” and soon various outlets began to sell their original motifs across Canada. Examples of their design projects include “Canadian Kids at Play” and another one called “Provincial Floral Emblems,” donated to raise money for breast cancer.
Kost says, “I like playing with colour. I love trying new techniques and styles.”
Her deceased husband, the acclaimed visual artist Robert Kost, influenced her a great deal. She says, “I learned about composition and colour. He constantly studied famous artists and read books about art. We shared many hours talking about art and design.”
Now retired, Kost previously worked as a realtor for Century 21. She wanted a career with a flexible schedule so she could accompany Robert on his travels to locate new scenery and subjects. On August 19 and 20, she will welcome the public to her Lac du Bonnet home, as part of the Boreal Shores Art Tour. She will be showing and selling selected items from her collection of Robert’s paintings and silk screen prints. Also, Pinawa’s Stu Iverson plans to use his photography skills and ink-jet printer to create giclee fine art prints from specially chosen examples of Robert’s work.
Kost has taken creative writing sessions with local author Donna Besel, enjoys musical gatherings, looks forward to classes with talented wood carvers Cathy and Rick Brereton, and loves “making messes and planning concerts” with her grandchildren.
She says, “Here’s my advice. Jump in. Expect surprises. As the old saying goes – your hand will please your eye.”