by Hannah Nashman
It is end-of-term crunch time! Everyone is scrambling to get their final essays and projects done before beginning the daunting task of exam prep. However, we still need to take the occasional break during this busy time of year or maybe offer ourselves a reward for completing an assignment or exam. You can unwind and marvel at exquisite beauty by visiting a number of art galleries within walking-distance from McGill’s downtown campus.
Here are my top 5 picks to explore in the Montréal area:
Gallery La Guilde is located just minutes away from McGill, at 1460-B Rue Sherbrooke O. It is a historic gallery and museum of Canadian art. It has been around for over one hundred years, displaying some of Canada’s finest works. The gallery specializes in unique, contemporary Indigenous fine art and is a non-profit organization funded by local collectors in Canada.
One of my personal favourites in Montreal! Station 16 is a contemporary, pop art and graffiti gallery located at 3523 Boul. Saint-Laurent. The gallery features an international selection of artists working in the street art and graffiti scenes. This gallery is always changing their displays, with frequent new exhibitions on display. Station 16 was founded in 2008 as a silkscreen print shop working with textiles. Although it still maintains the silkscreen shop, it expanded in 2013 to highlight contemporary art as well.
If you find yourself wanting to escape the McGill bubble, check out Galerie Le Royer | GLR60 Old Montreal. Located at: 60 Rue Saint-Paul O. This gallery displays both well-established artists as well as local names, curated to enable talented and inspiring artists to be displayed together in a harmonious balance of the old and the new. The gallery displays a range of art mediums, such as paintings, sculptures and photography. This place is definitely worth checking out!
The graffiti artists Seaz and Flow founded this gallery in 2001. The gallery was developed from an annual festival called Under Pressure, which gathered local and interactional artists to collectively display their art. Located at 221 Rue Saint-Catherine E, the spacious gallery hosts events, educational conferences and of course, exhibitions. Through the gallery’s active events, Fresh Paint allows the art community to come together and learn about new local artists.
Also known as ‘The Factory’, Usine 106U is a hip and grunge self-managed art gallery that focuses on non-standardized art. Their display changes monthly and usually represents around thirty artists. The gallery tries to break down the traditional boundaries between artists and the general public, by creating an interactive space. The gallery was founded in 2006 and was originally supposed to be a pop-up exhibition that was to last a week. Through its popularity, a permanent gallery was opened at 160 Rue Roy E. The gallery encourages local participation through its low costs for the display of artists’ work. Usine 106U is a very unique space and definitely worth checking out!