Créer des ponts, MBAM Crescent Photo by Thierry D

60 Montreal artists are occupying 30 vacant downtown retail spaces

The public studio/exhibition project runs through Oct. 15.

The City of Montreal is partnering with Art Souterrain and commercial real estate owners to turn 30 vacant retail spaces downtown into art studios and exhibition spaces for 60 local emerging artists. The three-month art workshop initiative, entitled Créer des Ponts (Building Bridges), is spread across 22 buildings, including Alexis-Nihon, Place Montreal Trust, Places des Arts, Centre de Commerce Mondial and a number of street-level storefronts.

Créer des Ponts emerging Montreal artists downtown
Créer des Ponts showcases the work of 60 emerging Montreal artists in 30 vacant downtown retail spaces

“These two sectors of the economy have experienced turbulence linked to the pandemic and Art Souterrain wanted to propose a networking project that could meet both the continual need for vacant premises by emerging artists and support the revitalization of commercial spaces in Downtown Montreal.”

—Art Souterrain director general Frédéric Loury
Créer des Ponts emerging Montreal artists downtown
Work by emerging artists is also being displayed in 10 glass cubes across downtown Montreal.

Two artists are sharing each open-concept space, using the front for exhibition and the back for a studio, both open to the public. Their ephemeral works will be produced and exhibited through Aug. 15.

In addition to being able to see ephemeral visual art from creation to its finished form, Montrealers will be able to take part in about 25 activities, and see even more art displayed in 10 glass cubes across the downtown area.

Créer des Ponts emerging Montreal artists downtown
L’atelier à la salle Georges-Émile-Lapalme, Place des-Arts, art by Andrew Oliver and Brett Barmby. Photo by Thierry du Bois

“This alliance between the cultural community and that of the real estate industry is exactly what is needed to ensure the diversity that will allow Montreal to recover quickly and differentiate itself on the international scene.”

—Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante

For more about the Créer des Ponts project, please visit the Art Souterrain website.

For more on the Montreal arts scene, please visit the Arts & Life section.