The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership (“Partnership”) is calling for applications from artists and collectives working in the visual arts for the revitalization of a vacant lot in Montreal’s Chinatown, with design starting this spring. The project is part of a new initiative aimed at enhancing and reclaiming the strategic site located at the corner of René-Lévesque and Saint-Laurent boulevards.
Artists and collectives are invited to submit their applications to create a new large-scale artwork from this space, which will be designed in collaboration with La Pépinière | Espaces Collectifs. In 2021, as part of the Aventures du cœur de l’île initiative, the Partnership commissioned artist Karen Tam to co-create the Place des souhaits Oasis, which included the work Arbre à souhaits (Wishing Tree).
With ongoing repercussions from COVID-19, summer in Montreal will have to be refocused on outdoor space, continuing the direction taken in the last two summers.
In that context, the Partnership has been mandated with revitalizing Montreal’s economic heart with sustained cultural programming and the creation of high-quality public spaces. The goal is to revive Montrealers’ and visitors’ interest in spending time downtown – a place where it’s great to live, explore and have fun.
To increase the district’s attractiveness, temporary initiatives including public spaces and new artworks will be implemented in strategic areas in collaboration with talented designers, architects and artists. Their mandate: to create poetic urban moments.
Working in collaboration with La Pépinière | Espaces Collectifs, the goal is to create an inclusive gathering place that will feature an Asian market and a community space for performances and activities. The Partnership will take charge of art direction, including scenography, for the entire site and collaborate in producing the cultural program for the space.
At the heart of the space there is a mature tree, which will be the focal point of the scenography. Last year, artist Karen Tam created Arbre à souhaits (Wishing Tree) with the tree at its centre; the large-scale work was a reference to wishing trees found in Asia, particularly in the vicinity of some Buddhist temples.
With artistic renewal in mind, the Partnership wishes to provide a similar platform to another artist in the summer of 2022. The artist’s role will be to create a new large-scale work focused on the same tree, with the support of the Partnership, based on a new concept developed entirely by the artist to be selected through this call.
The Partnership is seeking a contemporary artist or artists’ collective that dedicates all or a significant portion of their practice to visual art.
In addition, the Partnership is committed to supporting the participation of creators from minority backgrounds and local communities in order to ensure better representation in its projects. For this specific commission, the Partnership particularly wishes to encourage submissions from members of local Asian communities.
The artist selected through this call for application must provide a turnkey service, i.e. the design of the work, plans for installing and removing it (including the required labour) and site supervision. The artist or collective must also provide a detailed budget for its intended use of the total budget envelope.
That said, throughout the process the artist selected will be able to count on the support and advice of members of the Partnership. This project can only succeed through close collaboration among all parties involved.
The work must be completed and installed when the site opens, currently expected to be mid-June (to be confirmed). The removal of the work is planned for late September 2022.
The chosen artist must therefore be available to work on this commission very soon. A more detailed schedule will be provided to the artist as soon as possible.
The budget for the entire project is $49,500 plus taxes. This budget envelope includes everything: the artists’ honoraria, production, materials, installation and removal.
Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of members of the Partnership, La Pépinière | Espaces Collectifs and Montreal’s Chinese community.
The selection of the artist or collective will be based on an evaluation grid that includes the following criteria:
Capacity to meet the objectives and requirements outlined above;
Quality of the artist’s or collective’s portfolio, demonstrating their ability to successfully complete the project;
Consistency of the profile with the site and type of work sought.
Works must meet the following criteria:
Give members of the public, of all ages, an astonishing experience that can make them smile or think;
Contribute to the distinctive character of Chinatown and increase its appeal;
Be tangible (not digital, such as projections);
Use materials suitable for the outdoor site (rain, wind…) to ensure the work’s integrity throughout the entire summer;
Be an entirely original proposal that has never been presented previously.
The jury will select three finalists who will be invited to an interview. The interview will allow the artists to introduce themselves and explain their artistic vision for the work. Only those selected for the interview phase will be contacted.
To apply, please complete our application form.
Deadline for submitting applications: APRIL 18, 2022, AT NOON.
The finalists will be selected a few days after the close of submissions.
Required elements in two steps:
- Fill out the application form with the artist’s or collective’s full contact information, including place of residence and website link;
- Send by email to firstname.lastname@example.org :
- A professional biography;
- A portfolio relevant to the type of work sought by the Partnership (see GOALS and SELECTION CRITERIA).
Please ensure that files are not too large.
Please identify the subject line of the email as follows:
Call for applications - Artwork in Chinatown (NAME OF ARTIST OR COLLECTIVE)
Do you have any questions?
Contact Marc-André Carignan: email@example.com