Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Séminarts at the Musée
We are lucky here in Montreal to have available to us Canada's premier museum dedicated to contemporary art. Founded in 1964, the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal owns more than 8000 works, almost all from 1939 or later.
And I am lucky to have enrolled in Séminarts, the Museum's program of five biweekly sessions designed to educate the general public about contemporary art.
There are twenty of us in our mixed group, and we are the twentieth group to go through this program, which is offered in both French and English. Véronique Lefebvre, the coordinator of the program, greeted us on our arrival to Session 1, and guided us through two of the museum's current shows. That evening, we met John Zeppetelli, chief curator and director of the museum. Relatively new to the job, John is quick to identify himself as being from one of Quebec's "cultural communities", and looks forward to forging more links between the museum and its counterparts around the world.
I'm looking forward to the next four sessions. In session 2, we will meet with Mr. Maurice Forget of the distinguished law firm, Fasken Martineau. Mr. Forget will lead us on a tour of the firm's corporate collection, and will explain to us how the works in the collection have been acquired, how they are maintained, who decides on the acquisitions, and the role of the collection in the corporation's identity.
Later sessions this spring will include visits to the studio of painter Janet Werner, to the Parisian Laundry art gallery (which represents Werner), and finally to the home of a private collector. We have been given a small handbook which outlines the topics to be discussed at each of our meetings and provides a few supplementary readings.
I will report on the highlights of this experience, so please check back!