An Artgang Montreal party
Local favourite event venue, gallery and pop-up shop space Artgang Montreal is undergoing a major identity change. In its place, Ausgang Plaza — same venue, same ownership, same mandate for bringing together and celebrating the local arts and culture community, this time with a renewed drive to reflect the principles and practices central to the organization.
Although no drastic physical renovations are planned to alter the interior, director of Ausgang Malick Touré said there will be one significant change: cutting ties with Artgang Montreal, the local brand that previously operated out of the venue. “They’ve moved to the St.-Laurent location,” says Touré. “We’re going to reuse the space. Half of the space will become part of the venue and the other half will be used as a pop-up gallery and boutique.”
Touré said they still plan to sell art and other curated merchandise, “but in a very different way. It’s more focused on promoting local artists, so we’re not going to have Nike shoes in our boutique,” he says. “Ideally every month we change the focus, so it would be like a vernissage or a pop-up, or something new every month.”
The commitment to local artists and the Montreal community has now moved to the forefront of the organization, reflected in the new name. According to Touré, Ausgang is a German word synonymous with ‘output,’ that can be interpreted to represent inclusiveness and collectivity in production and exhibition. “When you say ‘Ausgang,’ like, ‘aus,’ it means us, the people around us and everyone that is supporting us.”
Touré explains that the name change was an effort to reinforce the organization’s new identity. “We wanted our name to reflect our activities. We’re a non-profit organization and we wanted to humanize our approach and our branding, so that’s why our new logo is now a written font.” The new logo was designed by local artist and ongoing collaborator (and sometimes Cult MTL cover illustrator) Nik Brovkin, who was inspired by the the old marquees that lined the streets of St-Hubert back in the 1960s.
“The other thing is that we wanted to disassociate ourselves from the Artgang boutique, which is actually a company,” Touré adds. “So now we can focus all of our energy on the non-profit activities that support art and culture.”
The first official vernissage in what is projected to be a series of monthly Ausgang artist residencies will feature local artist and fashion designer Marc Antoine. The event is set to take place this September and, Touré added, “we’ve got a couple artists lined up for the rest of the year.”
In the meantime, Ausgang is laying the groundwork to become “less commercial and more about supporting local up-and-coming brands that need visibility,” Touré says. “We have a lot of artists that are around us and we’re trying to work with them as much as possible, which is why we have Nik with us.” ■
The venue will stay open during the renovations at 6524 St-Hubert. You can find more information about Ausgang on their new website.