Art Souterrain – 4km into the underground city (2010)

I forgot about this video! One of my first “art documentaries” –  it gets funnier but not easier. Description below:

Two goofballs from Toronto decide to travel to Montreal and keep a video diary of their exploration of Nuit Blanche 2010, following the “Art Souterrain” route of contemporary art in the subway tunnels and public halls underneath Montreal.

A visit to 10 Montreal Galleries, in Photos

I was at a cottage in the Gatineau Hills last week. Surprisingly cool and misty weather, so I decided to “pop” into Montreal for a few days and check in on some of my favourite galleries and artists. I was sure glad I did, not only to be able to hang out with my friend, artist Andreanne Hudon but got to meet and eat Taiwanese food with artist and curator Edwin Janzen. I also happened upon many exhibits for the “Extreme Painting Festival 2” – during my time at CA I discovered this school of work and saw some amazingly lush and layered surfaces. This stuff was a bit more street art styles I think, more figurative in a way.  See what you think below.

The Franco Follies were going on when I was there - look at this beautiful pedestrian only downtown street. They open it to cars in the winter, then hold many festivals because there is no more hockey.

The Franco Follies were going on when I was there – look at this beautiful pedestrian only downtown street. They open it to cars in the winter, then hold many festivals because there is no more hockey.

I was told this is a changing, curated space with projections at night. I was also told the text was poetic, confusing and sexual. Ah, Montreal.

I was told this is a changing, curated space with projections at night. I was also told the text was poetic, confusing and sexual. Ah, Montreal.

I was super glad to have seen this, the second installment of an amazing exhibit at UQAM Gallery. However, it was one of those rare spaces I was not allowed to take photos for posting, but rather could request "Peer reviewed documentation." Fair enough, and that's why I ask. They had a policy, it was fair and clear and had options.

I was super glad to have seen this, the second installment of an amazing exhibit at UQAM Gallery. However, it was one of those rare spaces I was not allowed to take photos for posting, but rather could request “Peer reviewed documentation.” Fair enough, and that’s why I ask when composing a post. They had a policy, it was fair and clear and had options. So, no photos of this particular exhibit, though I’ve seen great photos online since. Just google it – it’s worth it.

This is a rather iconic building in downtown building because it's so small and isolated - and has some popular clubs and seedy shops surrounding it. Trust me, this was a common kind of landscape when I was living in Montreal in the 90's.

This is a rather iconic building in downtown building because it’s so small and isolated – and has some popular clubs and seedy shops surrounding it. Trust me, this was a common kind of landscape when I was living in Montreal in the 90’s.

Aside from art, the other half of Montreal loves car racing. And this is their artwork about it.

Aside from art, the other half of Montreal loves car racing. And this is their artwork about it.

3D printing and the north! This was a great exhibit to wander into at 372, rue Sainte-Catherine O., where a good mix of arts and culture industry and most of the good galleries seem concentrated these days.  Many have never left.  suite 507  SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art Curator: Sarah Watson Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

3D printing and the north! This was a great exhibit to wander into at 372, rue Sainte-Catherine O., where a good mix of arts and culture industry and most of the good galleries seem concentrated these days. Many have never left.
suite 507
SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art
Curator: Sarah Watson
Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

LANDINGS // Sovereignty and the North

LANDINGS // Sovereignty and the North
http://wp.me/p22MS4-1oY
SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art
Curator: Sarah Watson
Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

LANDINGS // Sovereignty and the North http://wp.me/p22MS4-1oY SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art Curator: Sarah Watson Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

LANDINGS // Sovereignty and the North
http://wp.me/p22MS4-1oY
SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art
Curator: Sarah Watson
Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

LANDINGS // Sovereignty and the North http://wp.me/p22MS4-1oY SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art Curator: Sarah Watson Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

LANDINGS // Sovereignty and the North
http://wp.me/p22MS4-1oY
SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art
Curator: Sarah Watson
Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

LANDINGS // Sovereignty and the North http://wp.me/p22MS4-1oY SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art Curator: Sarah Watson Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

LANDINGS // Sovereignty and the North
http://wp.me/p22MS4-1oY
SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art
Curator: Sarah Watson
Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

LANDINGS // Sovereignty and the North http://wp.me/p22MS4-1oY SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art Curator: Sarah Watson Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

LANDINGS // Sovereignty and the North
http://wp.me/p22MS4-1oY
SBC | Gallery of Contemporary Art
Curator: Sarah Watson
Artists: DUSTIN WILSON, ZACHARIAS KUNUK, PETER PITSEOLAK, JOANASIE SALAMONIE

What an drawing! Amazing find while browsing through La Galerie Trois Points at Unit 500

What an drawing! Amazing find while browsing through La Galerie Trois Points at Unit 520 – not sure who did this but I posted the signature below… any ideas what the name is? Love to tumblr this one. UPDATE: The Gallery got in touch with me and confirmed the info for this work is:
Natalie Reis
Crawl Space
2009
Acrylic on paper
56 x 76 cm | 22 x 30 in

Another Galerie Trois Points open storage score - beautiful cloud painting. Again, not exactly sure the artist name but below is the signature.

Another Galerie Trois Points open storage score – beautiful cloud painting. Again, not exactly sure the artist name but below is the signature.
UPDATE:
David Gillanders
Floating #5
2010
Oil on canvas
35,5 x 46 cm | 14 x 18 in

Pudlo Pudlat (1916 - 1992): glad I discovered this important inuit artist's work. He'll be rediscovered again and again I'm sure.

Pudlo Pudlat (1916 – 1992): glad I discovered this important inuit artist’s work. He’ll be rediscovered again and again I’m sure.

Fantastic drawings.

Fantastic drawings.

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Mario Côté - a remarkable hard edge pop painting with censored text.

Mario Côté – a remarkable hard edge pop painting with censored text. UPDATE: Received a clarification from GTP about my comment and Mario’s painting. Here it is – “Mario Côté’s paintings do not include “censored text” : I know there is a similarity in the way he paints it, but the black lines represents the interval of indeterminate sounds that he is not able to identify. Mario Côté is interested in transposing sounds and music with painting to make them visible for the eyes. “

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La Galerie Trois Points is by far one of my favourtite galleries, both by email newsletter and in person. Always worth a visit to at 372, rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, Espace 520

La Galerie Trois Points is by far one of my favourtite galleries, both by email newsletter and in person. Always worth a visit to at 372, rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, Espace 520
http://galerietroispoints.com/

Vicky Sabourin at CIRCA

Vicky Sabourin at CIRCA: For me, this gallery has been a cornerstone of the Montreal art scene since I attended Concordia University in the 90’s. Still showing some of the best contemporary artists in Canada too – I always feel like I’m getting a sneak peek at future art history here.
http://www.circa-art.com/En_cours_files/depliant-VSabourin.pdf
372 Ste-Catherine Ouest. Espace 444 – Montréal.Québec H3B 1A2

You can't see it with this photo, but this is a small dark room with a platform and objects like stones, papers, cups and fronds. I think this was the artist, and she walked about a bit and wrapped what appeared to be a loaf of bread into her apron. I could of watched this all day but there were many shows to see, including the rest of this one.

You can’t see it with this photo, but this is a small dark room with a platform and objects like stones, papers, cups and fronds. I think this was the artist, and she walked about a bit and wrapped what appeared to be a loaf of bread into her apron. I could of watched this all day but there were many shows to see, including the rest of this one.

A view of Montreal from CIRCA's corner window.

A view of Montreal from CIRCA’s corner window.

Paryse Martin exhibit at CIRCA Really nice feel with these works, with an explorer / surveyist meets steam punk feel to them, but with far more yarn. In the background stand artist Andreanne Hudon, kinda making this a league of extraordinary artists.

Paryse Martin exhibit at CIRCA Really nice feel with these works, with an explorer / surveyist meets steam punk feel to them, but with far more yarn. In the background stands my friend & artist Andreanne Hudon, kinda making this a league of extraordinary artists.

Detail of this crazy art - organic or industrial references? Both? This is such good work..

Detail of this crazy art – organic or industrial references? Both? This is such good work..

Paryse Martin exhibit at CIRCA

I repeat: This is such a good show. Every bit of this form and surface is considered.
Paryse Martin exhibit at CIRCA
http://www.circa-art.com/Circa/MARTIN___SABOURIN.html

Gabrielle Laforest

This work is by -not clear on the gallery website – Gabrielle Laforest and it was one of my favorites on the entire trip. This one work is a successful painting and sculpture.
http://www.galerielilianrodriguez.com/

Gabrielle Laforest

This drawing / collage / installation is breath taking and successful close up and far away. Gabrielle Laforest
http://www.galerielilianrodriguez.com/

Gabrielle Laforest

I could probably earn some sort of grad degree on researching this remarkable installation. A fleeting crush via a blog post will have to suffice.
Gabrielle Laforest
http://www.galerielilianrodriguez.com/

Carlos Ste-Marie

Carlos Ste-Marie’s painting – “Extreme Painting”? I’m not sure because I am still learning what that means, but it’s a brilliant work no matter how you look at. My friend Andreanne has some similar work, probably because she’s brilliant too.
This composition is so fantastic – look how there is so much energy as you are drawn in and stopped by the hands, which draws you in again. A successful composition in painting is often considered to be a circle of some sort. The best ones I think extend the circle of the composition beyond the surface.

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montreal lac sam 111Carlos Ste-Marie Another terrific painting. Maybe I l just ike this entire Extreme Painting thing.
Carlos Ste-Marie
http://www.galerielilianrodriguez.com/

Carlos Ste-Marie

Carlos Ste-Marie

Laroche/Joncas

Laroche/Joncas – Terrifically approachable gallery and one of the best in Canada with an alternate slate of Canadian and international contemporary artists.
http://www.larochejoncas.com/

Laroche Joncas

EXTREME PAINTING  June 19 - August 31, 2013  Adam Bergeron Jean-Philippe Harvey Sean Montgomery Manuel Ocampo Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING
June 19 – August 31, 2013
Adam Bergeron
Jean-Philippe Harvey
Sean Montgomery
Manuel Ocampo
Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING June 19 - August 31, 2013 Adam Bergeron Jean-Philippe Harvey Sean Montgomery Manuel Ocampo Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING
June 19 – August 31, 2013
Adam Bergeron
Jean-Philippe Harvey
Sean Montgomery
Manuel Ocampo
Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING June 19 - August 31, 2013 Adam Bergeron Jean-Philippe Harvey Sean Montgomery Manuel Ocampo Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING
June 19 – August 31, 2013
Adam Bergeron
Jean-Philippe Harvey
Sean Montgomery
Manuel Ocampo
Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING June 19 - August 31, 2013 Adam Bergeron Jean-Philippe Harvey Sean Montgomery Manuel Ocampo Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING
June 19 – August 31, 2013
Adam Bergeron
Jean-Philippe Harvey
Sean Montgomery
Manuel Ocampo
Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING June 19 - August 31, 2013 Adam Bergeron Jean-Philippe Harvey Sean Montgomery Manuel Ocampo Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING
June 19 – August 31, 2013
Adam Bergeron
Jean-Philippe Harvey
Sean Montgomery
Manuel Ocampo
Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING June 19 - August 31, 2013 Adam Bergeron Jean-Philippe Harvey Sean Montgomery Manuel Ocampo Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING
June 19 – August 31, 2013
Adam Bergeron
Jean-Philippe Harvey
Sean Montgomery
Manuel Ocampo
Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING June 19 - August 31, 2013 Adam Bergeron Jean-Philippe Harvey Sean Montgomery Manuel Ocampo Jayson Oliveria

Laroche/Joncas: EXTREME PAINTING
June 19 – August 31, 2013
Adam Bergeron
Jean-Philippe Harvey
Sean Montgomery
Manuel Ocampo
Jayson Oliveria

Étienne «NIXON» Chartrand @  Espace Robert Poulin www.espacerobertpoulin.com Ceux qui arpentent les rues de Montréal

Wow … very confident. I like this work more everytime I look at again.
«NIXON» @
Espace Robert Poulin
http://www.espacerobertpoulin.com
Ceux qui arpentent les rues de Montréal

Étienne «NIXON» Chartrand @  Espace Robert Poulin www.espacerobertpoulin.com Ceux qui arpentent les rues de Montréal

«NIXON» @
Espace Robert Poulin
http://www.espacerobertpoulin.com
Ceux qui arpentent les rues de Montréal

Nathalie Savoie

Nathalie Savoie @ Galerie Luz http://www.galerieluz.com

Nathalie Savoie @ Galerie Luz http://www.galerieluz.com

A really good painting exhibit by Nathalie Savoie @ Galerie Luz http://www.galerieluz.com

Nathalie Savoie @ Galerie Luz http://www.galerieluz.com

Nathalie Savoie @ Galerie Luz http://www.galerieluz.com

Nathalie Savoie @ Galerie Luz http://www.galerieluz.com

Nathalie Savoie @ Galerie Luz http://www.galerieluz.com

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John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain

Very happy I discovered this artist during this visit – superb paintings both formally and for relevance to media + right wing political + military day and age.
John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain
http://www.pfoac.com

John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain www.pfoac.com

John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain
http://www.pfoac.com

John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain www.pfoac.com

John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain
http://www.pfoac.com

John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain www.pfoac.com

John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain
http://www.pfoac.com

John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain www.pfoac.com

John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain
http://www.pfoac.com

John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain www.pfoac.com

John Player at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain
http://www.pfoac.com

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That concludes our visit to 372 St. Catherine in Montreal - this is a shot of the empty store next to it.

That concludes our visit to 372 St. Catherine in Montreal – this is a shot of the empty store next to it.

Still some grit and run-downess in downtown Montreal... someday, for better or for worse, somebody will sell this dirt lot to a condo developer.

Still some grit and run-downess in downtown Montreal… someday, for better or for worse, somebody will sell this dirt lot to a condo developer.

Next we headed off to the Parisian Laundry in Montreal's west-end St.Henri neighbourhood.

Next we headed off to the Parisian Laundry in Montreal’s west-end St.Henri neighbourhood.
http://www.parisianlaundry.com/fr

Fabienne Lassarre http://www.parisianlaundry.com/fr

Fabienne Lassarre – love the idea of this work and why it’s here. Just not so sure about it though… just not sure.
http://www.parisianlaundry.com/fr

Area shot of the 2nd floor. http://www.parisianlaundry.com/fr

Area shot of the 2nd floor. http://www.parisianlaundry.com/fr

Projection installation in the basement - confusing and dark down there! Loved this space.

Projection installation in the basement – confusing and dark down there! Loved this space.

Olivia Boudreau

Olivia Boudreau was the artist in the basement space. Worked really well – very quiet.

We were guessing this industrial building, and it's basement, is about a hundred years old

We were guessing this industrial building, and it’s basement, is about a hundred years old

Back to the main floor of the Parisian Laundry. Look at this terrific drawing / sculpture! By Fabienne Lasserre. This I am sure about.

Back to the main floor of the Parisian Laundry. Look at this terrific drawing / sculpture! By Fabienne Lasserre. This I am sure about.

Fabienne Lasserre

Fabienne Lasserre

Derrick Piens

Derrick Piens

Derrick Piens

Derrick Piens

Celia Perrin Sidarous - I really, really dig this work. Another favourite artist added to my list...

Celia Perrin Sidarous – I really, really dig this work. I feel like I can learn alot from this series. Another favourite artist added to my list…

Area shot of the 1st floor. http://www.parisianlaundry.com/fr

Area shot of the 1st floor. http://www.parisianlaundry.com/fr

Parisian Laundry always has great shows. They know it too ;)

Parisian Laundry always has great shows. They know it too 😉

Found this gem of a public art dedicated to Dino Bravo in St. Henri.

Found this gem of a public art dedicated to Dino Bravo in St. Henri.

This old warehouse building is really interesting visually as it undergoes restoration. Hamilton could learn from Montreal that you can be corrupt and still keep your heritage buildings.

This old warehouse building is really interesting visually as it undergoes restoration. Hamilton could learn from Montreal that you can be corrupt and still keep your heritage buildings.

Andreanne has it easy - back when I was her age, we had to locate galleries by using a piece of wood and some chewing gum.

Andreanne has it easy – back when I was her age, we had to locate galleries by using a piece of wood and some chewing gum.

Back to the tree-lined streets of the NDG neighbourhood.

Back to the tree-lined streets of the NDG neighbourhood.

              Well, that was the big art day in Montreal. Was it worth the almost 2,000 kilometers and 20 hours of driving? Absolutely. It’s Montreal. I can’t think of many people who have lived there and wouldn’t want to again. Many of the artists are very inspiring and I really lucked out seeing much of the extreme painting festival. When I am able to paint again in the studio for a sustained period, I know this trip will affect my work.

The last days of Sanford Avenue School – a raw video walk around

It was a cold and windy evening…

This heritage worthy building we fought for is now in mid-demolition and I am not sure how much longer there will be any structure left. It really was suddenly cold and windy, but I felt the urgency to document this last stand of one of the last of the great Barton Village classic buildings.

This is pretty raw footage of me walking around the building. I do make a brief statement at the beginning, but this is for reference for … future use. Hopefully, we’ve made a difference overall in Hamilton for other communities going forward.

Sanford Avenue School was a very special heritage building, built in 1932 during the great depression. One of the gems of a notoriously poor neighbourhood, this is the sort of structure that is attractive for a very wide range of opportunities including a college, a community centre or health facility. Despite well documented flaws in the public consultation process and the demolition / heritage process, the HWDSB, the City of Hamilton and then the Government of Ontario failed the future interests of  the Barton Village community and allowed the first 100% steel framed building in Canada to be sold as scrap. No public interest from developers was allowed to be entertained.

For the record, below is a list of  trustees who voted to allow Sanford Avenue School to be demolished, and not to allow any alternatives to be presented by private or non-governmental organizational interest. Also included on this list of “Heritage & Community Shame” are the City and Provincial elected officials without whose express support and approval this tragedy could not have happened.

At the time of this posting, there is no secured funding or concrete plans for any development of the site into a park, soccer field or Recreation Complex expansion.  The most frustrating part for most of us? There would of been enough room for all of this if they had agreed to re-arrange parking instead of demolishing this beautiful structure that would have served nicely economic tool for revitalization. There is a need for new leadership in Hamilton, and the following elected officials should not trusted with public office again:

Ward 3 Councilor 

Bernie Morelli

Hamilton Wentworth District School Board Chair

Tim Simmons

HWDSB Trustees:

Bob Barlow

Todd White

Lillian Orban

Wes Hicks

Jessica Brennan

Karen Turkstra

Ray Mulholland

(Former) Liberal Education Minister

Laurel Broten

sanford last video 023

friend, fellow heritage activist and Photographer Joanna St. Jacques

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See also http://hamiltonsusualsuspects.blogspot.ca/?m=1 for more photos and discussion

ALP VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: A search for art in one of Canada’s “worst” neighbourhoods

A walk through in photos and audio commentary of Hamilton’s Barton Village, where I live. Looking for art and at derelict storefronts, one realizes there is a lot of potential for this to be an area where galleries / studios could thrive. Amazed that one of the most widely acknowledged poor neighbourhoods of any major Canadian city is only 45 minutes away from downtown Toronto.

For me as an artist living in the area, this slideshow is a record of a time and place to refer back to as the neighbourhood changes.

Commentary by Chris and Jen (dumb critics) as we discuss the state of the area, the local BIA and artists working in the community.