The Art Actuel Centre Ville Map of Contemporary Art in Montreal


I’ve seen some banners on lampposts over town advertising I kept trying to remember to see what it was about, but somehow it took me a good year (at least) before I came across one of their maps at Vox, and stuck it in my pocket as a mnemonic aid – note to self, banners on lampposts are not a very good way to publicize websites.

I think it was something started by Artexte, and professes to be, In their own words, an “essential tool for locating downtown Montreal’s many contemporary art venues…

Can you say, in my words, “No,” “Major Fail,” and “Embarrassingly Bad”?

Art Actuel Centre Ville Montreal Map
Art Actuel Centre Ville Montreal Map

Yup, that’s right, according to Artexte (who should know better) and GreenCopper, the folk who designed it, there are only eight (8), yes that’s right, two more than half-a-dozen, places and 24 art venues exhibiting contemporary art in downtown Montreal (and they’ve even gone so far as to include one place in Old Montreal, too)

Somehow, they think that Galerie A. B., Galerie Lilian Rodriguez, Maison Kasini, Espace Robert Poulin, Galerie Pangée, Galerie [sas], Galerie Luz, Galerie d’art contemporain Visual Voice, Arprim, Galerie Roger Bellemare, Le 514, Galerie Piccini da Todi, Galerie Nicolas Robert and Les Territoires do not exhibit contemporary art.

I won’t even mention that somehow they believe that downtown Montreal starts at Saint Alexandre street and only goes as far east as Berri. But to make things even more egregious, they do include a bookstore and a cinema, and administrative offices for a Cultural NGO, none of which (as far as I know) have ever shown any contemporary art ever. For a place that has as a mandate “the advancement of the visual arts through reliable information sources” this is a gross abdication of their responsibilities, made worse because they used public money to make it. Public money for the arts from the Federal Government for which I am certain there are many, if not tons of other organizations and artists that could have used it, and put it to much better use.