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Montreal both inspires and is inspired by a wide range of art and creativity. Not limited to the city’s world-class galleries, visual arts spill out onto the streets in the form of inventive architecture, murals, and street art, adding both color and texture to the city’s neighborhoods. Here are 10 local artists whose creative work you must see.
Celia Perrin Sidarous lives and works in Montreal. While pursuing an MFA at Concordia University, focusing on photography, she also did an exchange at Kunsthøgskolen, in Oslo, Norway. Her work, combining images and objects, has appeared in solo and group exhibitions at venues such as Parisian Laundry in Montreal (2013); the Banff Centre (2013); FOFA Gallery, Montreal (2012); and others in Montreal and Toronto. She has had her images published in Canada and abroad as well.
Josée Pedneault received her MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University, where she has also taught in the photography program. She has shown her multi-media work, which incorporates paintings, sculptures, photographs, and large-scale public installations, across Canada as well as abroad. In 2016–17, her show Naevus combined different materials in order to grapple with questions of fate, identity, and uncertainty, reflecting her overall artistic mission to explore “notions of fate, chance, utopia and dystopia, and the construction of personal mythologies.”
Lynne Marsh studied art in Montreal and London, has operated out of Berlin and is currently living in Los Angeles. Her art—featuring moving image, performance, and installation—emphasizes the “camera’s performance as a means to reconfigure social space, presenting the mechanics that create an experience as a type of theatre or performance in its own right.”
Montreal-born Isabelle Hayeur holds degrees in fine arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Focused on creating image-based art, she is known for her photographs as well as her experimental videos. She’s also created site-specific installations, along with public art commissions. The main themes of her work revolve around the environment, urban development, and social conditions connected to feelings of alienation and uprooting.
Michel de Broin is a sculptor whose interdisciplinary work also incorporates video, performance, drawing, photography, and found objects. National and international venues have exhibited his work, which focuses on exploring and interrogating everyday objects and appliances.
Manon de Pauw lives and works in Montreal. She has presented her work, which encompasses a range of artistic media, at Galerie Optica, Expression (2005), and DARE-DARE (2003), among others. Her art has also been a part of numerous group exhibitions, events, and festivals across Canada, Europe, and Latin America.
One of the most celebrated street artists on the Montreal scene, Five Eight is a self-taught graffiti writer, painter, and muralist whose work adorns walls across the city. He is not only a member of the En Masse collective, but he has also worked with Heavyweight Production House. His portfolio also includes various projects headed by the city council of the southwest borough of Montreal.
Born in Taiwan, Chih-Chien Wang has lived in Montreal since 2002. He has exhibited his work extensively in Canada and abroad. Combining photography and video, Wang examines “texture, smell or existence of life” and “with sensibility” explores the “urban environments and cultural differentiation.”
Known for her vibrant portraits of women, in particular, MC Baldassari was born in France and moved to Montreal in 2007 in order to study industrial design. She is currently working as a freelance artist, illustrator, and muralist, creating a diverse body of work that continues to expand as she creates editorial illustrations, advertising, custom work, and more.
Valérie Blass is a Canadian artist renowned for her work with sculpture. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in visual and media arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and her work has featured at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the National Gallery of Canada, as well as international art establishments.