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New Stone hunter studio opens with Solid Ground show



What: Solid Ground show and opening

Where: Stone Hunter Studio, 7331 Old Mill Road, Pemberton Industrial Park

When: Sept. 8, noon to 6 p.m.

The new Stone Hunter Studio in Mount Currie opens its doors for the first time this Sunday at a show titled Solid Ground.

Builder and stone sculptor Robert Proulx, dubbed "the Stone Hunter," has been working on his dream project of an arts venue in Pemberton for the past six years.

This week, he opens the doors to interested visitors.

"It’s wonderful, it’s been a long road," says Proulx, "…and my daughter has really inspired me to provide a space for the young and their art."

Proulx’s previous art credits in Whistler include the large stone fireplace in the former Hard Rock Café, as well as a steel and stone coffee table which sits in a Bayshores house. He has completed some 400 projects in stone, in addition to several artwork commissions for homeowners.

The studio complex, which has on site pottery services, will also showcase artists, have a small theatre and stage area (on the second floor), and a large arts table for children’s crafts.

In the near future, Proulx plans to have studio space available for rent by local artists, based on a time scale.

The building is located in the Pemberton industrial park, amid a welding shop and other businesses, but in keeping with the sustainable groove it boasts 80 per cent recycled materials in its structure.

Old growth timber from the old shipyard in North Vancouver is featured in the mainframe, while all of the 40 windows have also been collected from other building sites.

Proulx says he completed most of the work himself, with assistance from friends here and there who gave two to three weeks of their time.

The studio has a large a deck facing Mount Currie for spectacular mountain views.

Kathleen Wilson, who has been promoting the new 1,000 square foot gallery, says the look and feel will be "the arts show meets the home show." There will be arts as well as armoires and tables on display.

Formerly employed in the Vancouver film industry, Wilson says she is enjoying a chance to be creative in her new line of work.

"Because it’s such a fabulous building, we hope to book workshops and meetings here in the future," adds Wilson.

Additional features include a common area inside the studio, measuring 650 square feet, that boasts a wood-over-rubber dance floor.

Financing for the building has been mainly private.