Imagine, on a tour of southwest Québec, a drive, bike ride, or a hike north of Wakefield, up chemin Shouldice and west to Masham, passing the picturesque farms and landscapes on your way north. As you approach a farm, you notice on one of its buildings a stunning large scale art piece. It illuminates something special about the area, its characteristics, its history and that which lies behind what we can see. As you you continue your journey, you encounter more artworks. What is the narrative that unfolds?
La Galerie. Art in Nature.
What is it?
Canadian artists—creators of stunning public artworkfrom Toronto to India to Kinngait (Cape Dorset, Nunavut)—will research, respond to, and create artwork for La Galerie. Alexa Hatanaka (Toronto) and Patrick Thompson (Chelsea native)—collectively known as PA System—together create artwork in a variety of media: painting, scultpure, textile, printmaking, and video. Their ongoing project, Embassy of Imagination, based in Kinngait, mentors and engages community youth in contemporary art practice, including public murals in Canada’s urban centres, including the St. Laurent OC Transpo Station and in the ByWard Market in Ottawa, Ontario. PA System exhibits in institutions internationally, including Canada House in London, UK; the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto.
Initial project design and feasibility for La Galerie has begun: the owners of the farms have agreed to the general project specs.
The artists describe the creative process and the result as follows: “concepts and visuals will come from dedicated time in the community, in the environment, at the barns.Things to consider: deep time, history of place, current community, future, values, intentions of community, natural world including microscopic, local stories, movement of light, rhythms and shapes naturally occurring, rhythms and shapes made by residents.”
The artistic creation will begin with a six-week residency in the fall of 2019 at Place des Artistes, Farrellton (PAF), QC, where the two artists will research, explore concepts and structural designs. Members of the local artistic community will be invited to participate in that exploration and to provide insights about the area.
In the spring of 2020 the artists will return to La Pêche and spend two months developing the work specific to each farm. The project will culminate with the installation of work along the route. A launch celebration will follow in the summer of 2020, along with community art events at the various locations.
La Galerie (working title) is a public art collection on a country road, complementing the breathtaking beauty of the Gatineau Hills. Artwork on farms and their buildings will start on chemin Shouldice in La Pêche, just outside Wakefield, Québec and then La Galerie will connect by way of this stunning route along des Erables and de Beurrerie to the town of Masham.
ArtiCulture (articulture.ca), will create La Galerie to embrace the natural beauty, reimagine our farms, and celebrate the arts in La Pêche. It will be an ambitious celebration of who we are, and create a new tourist landmark for the Outaouais region.
Fundamental to La Galerie is the inclusion and exhibition of work from the large community of visual artists in La PÍche. ArtiCulture is eager to highlight the artists in the region. The first stage of La Galerie is the creation of six art pieces. To this will be added local artists' exhibitions, both permanent and temporary. ArtiCulture will be inviting local artists to bring their ideas for different kinds of exhibits and happening for all seasons. We also hope in time La Galerie will attract international artists also for similar permanent or temporary exhibitions.
Temporary sculpture installed at Burl's Creek during the Wayhome Festival, 2015, Photo Jeff Bierk
Detail: temporary sculpture installed at Burl's Creek during Wayhome Festival, 2015, Photo Jeff Bierk
View along chemin Shouldice, Photo Julie Le Gal