Art Matters! (And So Does My Soul): Get Artistically Charged at This Year’s Art Matters Festival

I’ve soaked up a lot of things since moving to Montreal in September. Primarily wine and caffeine, both readily available a short three minute trot from my abode, but I’ve also taken in and absorbed Montreal’s rich artistic culture and creative expression. In fact, my romanticized daydreams about moving to this artistic mecca were only a little of the mark.

In my vision I lounged around in a permanent wine haze wearing knitted berets and vintage scarves, painting abstractedly on canvas while spending my downtime in cozy cafes, crafting cards and reading Kerouac. In reality, my permanent wine haze was stifled by a (completely sobering) full time job, I prefer leopard print to bohemian garb, and the one painting I started back in September is still propped up against the wall, unfinished, not at all good, coated in a light sprinkling of dust.

However, I’m ready to uncork the Dep’s finest white and take the feather duster to my canvas. Maybe it’s spring’s impending arrival, but now more than ever I’ve got that flighty feeling in my soul that pulls at my heart strings and encourages irrational thinking. We live in a beautiful city, rich with culture and art, and I want to be part of the movement!

Maybe that’s why Concordia chooses this particular month to hold their annual Art Matters Festival—to satisfy those creatively driven students that have been repressed during the long winter months, who would surely otherwise take off to Trinidad to avoid midterms and regain artistic vision. Luckily, the Art Matters Festival is up and running until March 19  to avoid such tragedies.

Art Matters is a student-run festival showcasing an assortment of multi-disciplinary art by emerging artists from Concordia University. Over the next two weeks, students’ art—ranging from text to dance to multimedia to print—will be displayed and celebrated at local galleries and art-oriented spaces around the city.

Tonight’s kick-off party gets started at 9 pm at Espace Reunion (6600 Rue Hutchison near Beaubien), featuring a slew of bands and DJs (including Halifax band Cousins, from my own little harbour city!). After a decade of success the Art Matters Festival has tons to be celebrating, and this year the festival will share a retrospective publication of the past ten years.

Over the next two weeks I’ll be bopping around to different exhibits, seeking inspiration and soothing my soul, so stay tuned for a review of the ones I found most medicinal. Wrap yourself in bohemian garb (or leopard print, whatever!) and take advantage of this festival to check out a variety of emerging Montreal talent, absorb some artistic culture, and find a little creative inspiration!

Some exhibits that have caught my eye:

Enter The Foam @ Eastern Bloc

1. Defaced running until March 13 at VAV Gallery (1395 Rene-Levesque W).
Through photography and video, this exhibit focuses on body and identity and deals with issues of social media.

2. I Could Tell You About The River or We Could Just Get In It running until March 14 at Les Territoires (the Belgo Building at 372 St. Catherine, studio #527).
Through text-based art, this exhibit examines the intersection of written word and conceptual art, and investigates the role of text in art.

3. Enter The Foam and Achieve Second Sight running until March 19 at Eastern Bloc (7240 Clark).
This exhibits deals with the mind, abstraction and altered states of holographic being.

4.   We’ve Been Here Before March 5 at 7pm and 9pm, at Studio 303 (the Belgo Building at 372 St. Catherine, studio #303).
Through dance, video, installation, painting and drawing, this exhibit explores the collected processes of familiarization.

5. Beauty in Obsession running until March 19 at Galerie Rye (1331A St. Catherine E.). Vernissage is March 15 from 6-9pm.
This exhibit examines the ideals of beauty by exploring and repeating visual motifs in the artist’s practice and artwork.

Check out for a list of all the exhibits!

Images by Art Matters Festival

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