City Of Saints Art Show Inspired by Montreal Saint Streets

Montreal’s art community is on the rise with a constant influx of amazing art exhibits, new artists and street murals popping up all over our fair city. So comes “City of Saints,” where sixteen local artists will showcase paintings based on Saints with Montreal streets named after them. The mission? To show Montreal’s neighborhoods, culture and creativity to the world. Each artist picked a street named after a Saint, such as Rue Sainte Catherine, and merged the Saint with the culture and landmarks of the street. 

We caught up with Peter Farmer, curator and co-organizer, to get a little more insight into “City of Saints” and Montreal’s art community.

How was the idea of City of Saints born?
A fellow artist, Jono Doiron, came to me with this idea; a group art show that discovers Montreal culture using the religious street names as a theme. As soon as I heard it I thought this was a real winner.

Why did you choose Saints as the theme?
Quebec’s island metropolis of Montreal has many nicknames. One in particular stands out: City of Saints. A large number of streets in Montreal are named after Saints and document the city’s religious and cultural heritage. But what do these Saints have in common with the streets named after them? Some of Montreal’s finest painters, illustrators and mural artists were sought out and given a mission: to show the world our neighborhoods, our culture and our creative impact on it. Each painter picked a street named after a Saint and merged a historical Saint with the culture and landmarks of the street itself.

How did you choose the artists participating?
We were picky with the artists we chose. All the art submissions had to be paintings. Paintings reflect the handed down traditions of religious art, which was important to the show’s theme. So we tracked down modern and extremely talented painters to put their twist on the idea. The results were incredible. The artists and the artworks can be seen at here or here (French). 

Can guests purchase the paintings at the vernissage or online?
All the paintings will be for sale at City of Saints Art Show on Wednesday, November 20th at Galerie 203 (203 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal) from 6pm-12am. Galerie 203 throws the best arts events in the city, they go all out making sure their visitors have a lot to talk about. We are excited to be working with them.

What’s your take on the current state of the art community in Montreal?
Street muralists seem to me the lifeblood of this city as far as the spirit of art. The art is for people like you and me. It’s a visual voice that addresses social topics and concerns while enriching the city environment and experience. We are lucky to have so many of them incorporated in this show.

The public can also view one new work on the official website each day leading up to the show on November 20th.