On the walls: the art you need to see this week

Art Pop continues, plus a primer on the metric shit-tonne of free arts activities and workshop on offer at Journées de la culture this weekend.

Whoop De Doo

Whoop De Doo.

Sigh. If only there were something to DO this week in Montreal.

Pop Montreal is raging all over the city. If you missed the packed launch party last night, make sure to pass by Quartiers Pop (3450 St-Urbain) to check out the Art Pop exhibition installed there through Sunday, Sept. 29.

Kansas City’s Whoop De Doo make their debut appearance in Montreal, brought to you by Pop Montreal, Head & Hands and DHC/ART. Jaimie and Matt, the trippy, kid-friendly faux public access variety show’s co-hosts, collaborate with Josh Dolgin (Socalled) and Ruby Kato Attwood (Yamantaka // Sonic Titan) to produce two live installation/performances. Sept. 28, Quartiers Pop (3450 St-Urbain), 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., PWYC

Journées de la culture is an annual Quebec-wide “arts marathon,” offering three days of free interactive arts and cultural events and activities at every venue you can imagine, from hospital waiting rooms to the MAC. This weekend, there are more than 500 art classes, concerts, readings, plays, dance performances, workshops, open houses, demonstrations, talks and tours planned in Montreal alone.

You can pick up a class in pretty much any arts-related skill you can imagine, from stamp-making to silk-painting, origami to calligraphy, belly dance to singing gospel. Some are a little odd (ever wondered how to make slippers out of an old sweater? There’s a workshop for that!), but if you’ve been looking to pick up a new hobby for winter hibernation, a free afternoon workshop between concerts isn’t a bad start, so it’s worth your time to fish around in their extensive listings.

The fest’s offerings are so diverse that it really depends what you’re into, but there is no shortage of promising options: order a made-to-measure play from National Theatre School students (5040 St-Denis, Sat. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.), or get a crash course in a European language at the Goethe-Institut (1626 St-Laurent, Sat. 2–4 p.m.). If you’ve got the French chops to follow, you can learn more about chocolate at a history lecture and tasting (Fri–Sun, SDC Pignons de St-Denis, 4439 St-Denis, hours vary).

There are free dance classes in almost any genre. One studio offers mini 30–45-minute primers on world dance styles for those interested in a general introduction (Studio Caravane, 903 St-Zotique E., Sat. 1–5 p.m.), and classes in circus arts are also available (Studio Bizz Iberville, 2488 Mont-Royal E., Sat. 12–5 p.m.).

The festival offers workshops to learn or hone your skills in numerous traditional artistic media like drawing, painting, pottery and sculpting, plus a few unusual ones like a guerilla knitting workshop led by les Ville-laines (Bibliothèque Père-Amboise, 2093 de la Visitation, Sat. 1:30–3:30 p.m.), a demo and intro to Letterpress (Atelier de reliure Cécile Côté, 10090 St-Laurent, Sat. 9:30 a.m.–12 p.m.) or the truly adventurous can tackle turning and lathing a slick DIY pen (Édifice Grover, 2025 Parthenais, Fri 1–5 p.m. & 6–8 p.m., Sat and Sun, 12–5 p.m.).

Many private galleries invite the public to meet their artists, while numerous studios open their doors for public demonstrations. Exhibit-wise, there’s a collection of gorgeous ikebana, sculptural Japanese flower arrangements, on display at Château Ramezay (280 Notre-Dame E., Sat.–Sun., open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.), and the CCA is offering guided tours of The Archaeology of the Digital (1920 Baile, Sun., 2–4:30 p.m.). For a visual overview of the last year in local politics, check out the best in photojournalism at Quebec Press Photos (Usine C, 1345 Lalonde, Sat. 12–7 p.m., Sun. 1–6 p.m.). ■

Journées de la culture runs Sept. 27–29, all activities free.

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