November 25th, 2008
We may not have season tickets to the opera and ballet, but we have found our own way to support les beaux arts.
Our latest gift-giving go-to spot is Artistri on Parc Avenue. Inspired by her work as a women’s historian at the Museum of Civilization, Jennifer Lonergan has filled her new shop with delightful pieces by Canadian and international artists.
We fell for Eloise Marchand-Duchesneau’s periwinkle-blue table wear ($12-$115), hand-felted and hand-dyed silk and wool scarves from Newfoundland ($120) and silver, pearl and paper jewellery by Albertan metalsmith Gillian Hillerud (from $148).
So inspired, we ran home to knit a scarf (though we suspect it won’t fetch top dollar).
Artistri Atelier Boutique, 5319 Parc Ave., 514-461-4437, www.artistri.ca
September 6th, 2008
Need to channel your kids’ creative energy? Have them paint on someone else’s walls for a change at the 4Cats Arts Academy (now with 10 locations).
Its Jackson Pollack birthday parties get the kids splattering stylishly on massive canvases, and this fall’s Georgia O’Keefe classes will have them turning up roses.
Think your kid really has talent? Before you stick a $3,000 price tag on their chef d’oeuvre and send it to Monte Clark, watch the fantastic documentary, My Kid Could Paint That about the rise and fall of a 4-year-old New York artist.
Ah, fleeting fame.
View art classes and locations at www.4catsartsacademy.com
August 27th, 2008
We’ll subscribe to pretty much anything that has Phyllis Lambert’s stamp of approval. So when this grand doyenne of Canadian architecture (and 70-something fashionista) brings an exhibit to the CCA, we go, we learn, and we love.
Some Ideas on Living in London and Tokyo offers new approaches to finding privacy in the world’s most space-challenged cities and features large scale models by architects Stephen Taylor and Ryue Nishizawa.
Design geeks (like us) will also love the website with video of the exhibit being installed and podcast lectures by Taylor and Nishizawa.
Some Ideas on Living in London and Tokyo by Stephen Taylor and Ryue Nishizawa, until October 26th at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1920 Baile St., 514-939-7000, www.cca.qc.ca
May 14th, 2008
If you’re experiencing mass-production overload, find sweet inspiration at Commissaires.
Owner Pierre Laramée trolls design blogs in search of “the rarest and most interesting” objets for his gallery-boutique, and he only orders small quantities (even the business cards are numbered).
Pick up Rotterdam perfume ($75/15ml), infused with Rhine water and hashish, by architects Herzog & de Meuron (designers of Beijing’s Olympic Stadium), Christopher Brosius’ I Hate Perfume ($60-$85) line of scents based on memory (At The Beach, In The Library, Russian Caravan Tea) , or electrical wire lighting installations by Korean artist Kwangho Lee (from $305).
Now you’ll always feel one of a kind (or at least one of 150).
Commissaires, 5226 St-Laurent Blvd., Montreal, 514-274-4888, www.commissairesonline.com
February 13th, 2008
Behind the gorgeous masterpieces we see hanging at the Louvre and the Met is a dirty underbelly of crime.
Or so says world art-crime expert Noah Charney. The 27-year-old has just published his first novel, reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code (without all the religion). The Art Thief follows police and art investigators through a world of forgers and obsessive collectors as they hunt priceless works stolen from Paris, London and Rome.
You’ll never look at a Caravaggio the same way again.
The Art Thief by Noah Charney ($19.79) at www.chapters.ca
January 23rd, 2008
You’re longing for warmer climes but the closest you’re getting to sun is that stock shot of a blue lagoon on your screen saver.
While your toes may not be touching sandy beaches anytime soon, a new exhibit at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts will bring a bit of the Caribbean right to you. ¡Cuba! features paintings, sculptures, photos and music that reflect the country’s colourful political history.
Now if only you could mambo at the museum.
¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today is showing Jan. 31-June 8th, 2008, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1380 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, 514-285-2000, www.mbam.qc.ca
November 7th, 2007
Puppet shows aren’t just for kids anymore.
Master of the marionette, Ronnie Burkett was inspired as a kid by the puppet show in The Sound of Music. Since then, his tender, erotic and often funny shows have touched on topics such as prostitution, sexuality and obsession.
His is latest oeuvre is called 10 Days on Earth, a spellbinding tale about loneliness and isolation. As always, the elaborate characters are designed and performed by Burkett himself.
Ronnie Burkett, 10 Days on Earth, November 8-17, Cinquième Salle, Place des arts, tickets $25, www.pda.qc.ca
October 10th, 2007
The next time you’re jet setting your way though Trudeau airport you’ll find more than just long lines and luggage.
Montreal in Motion: 20 Portraits is a 9X16 foot video installation by local arts collective iLU. The moving paintings feature 20 notable Montrealers who contribute something to the life of our sexy city. Among those making an appearance are choreographer Marie Chouinard, Alouettes president Larry King and fashion designer Renata Morales.
The film is on display for the next year at the international arrivals terminal.
With this kind of distraction, YUL be through that long customs line in a flash.
September 26th, 2007
We like to stretch our artistic sensibilities once in a while, and we’re mesmerized by the works of young Winnipeg artist Karel Funk.
His hyper-realistic paintings are so life-like you might mistake them for photographs. Painted in acrylic on wood panels, the portraits remind us of the Flemish masters, and yet they depict young men dressed in high-tech jackets and hooded parkas.
Is he the next big thing? Decide for yourself with a visit to the Musée d’art contemporain.
Karel Funk at the MAC until January 6, 2008. 185 St-Catherine W., 514-847-6226, www.macm.org
September 12th, 2007
If you’re still using “too expensive” as a reason to avoid the museum, that excuse won’t cut it anymore.
For the rest of 2007, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is offering patrons free admission to all their exhibitions, both temporary and permanent.
Make a day of it by perusing the paintings of the Montréal Sulpicians followed by a guided tour of the latest Emily Carr retrospective.
If you’re feeling nosey, sign up for a behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s ultra-modern storage areas and conservation labs.
Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, 1379 & 1380 Sherbrooke St. West, Montréal, 514-285-2000, www.mmfa.qc.ca