L’Imagier Art Gallery preparing outdoor exhibit in Old Aylmer
In the process of gradually reopening its gallery to the public, Aylmer’s Centre d’exposition L’Imagier is getting closer to presenting its first art exhibition in a long time with a special outdoor artistic experience.
Titled Tout-Terrain Régal - Regal, the exhibit - which will be publicly available for free at various spots along rue Principale from August 13 to October 24 – will highlight work from five Indigenous Canadian creators in an augmented reality (AR) format. According to a press release issued by L’Imagier on August 3, the art on showcase will be displayed at five locations in Old Aylmer including Bistro L’Autre Œil, Cassis Gelato & Sorbet, 5e Baron, Beurre Salé Crêperie et Boutique, and at the Parc de L’Imaginaire to celebrate rue Principale.
Featuring Anishinaabe artist Franchesca Herbert-Spence as the exhibit’s Commissioner, the project will display creations from Carrie Allison (Cree, Métis), Katherine Boyer (Anishinaabe, French), Heather Campbell (Inuit), Natalie King (Métis, Colonial), and Caroline Monet (Anishinaabe) – as a way of recognizing the importance of close communities, the appreciation of nature, and the value of sharing knowledge.
On Sundays from August 15 to September 26 at 4 pm, Herbert-Spence will lead guided visits of the exhibits. Reservations are mandatory. Every weekend, the gallery will also lead guided visits for the entirety of the exhibit. On September 25, the gallery will invite the public to participate in a round-table discussion with the project’s commissioner and the artists.
With Covid-19 limiting the gallery’s capacity to connect with the community since last summer, L’Imagier’s Director Leonore-Namkha Beschi told the Aylmer Bulletin the exhibit will be an opportunity to reflect on the need for human interaction and reconciling relations with Indigenous Canadian communities. “It’s a way for us to show our recognition of the land on which we live,” Beschi said. “It’s a strong message and it’s important for us to start with that.” She added that the event is also about recognizing the value of appreciating the simple joys of life, the wealth of what we have, and remembering how people socialized pre-pandemic.
Opening the exhibit at the same time at the upcoming Old Aylmer Festival, the pieces will be visually accessible by using a mobile app called Hidelight (available on the App Store) created by artist Paul Fisher as a way of enhancing the user experience with the help of AR.
On the same day of the exhibit’s inauguration, L’Imagier will also introduce a community project done in partnership with South Hull Elementary School displaying 19 works of art in AR format at Parc de L’Imaginaire created by second grade students depicting their perspective on sharing, socializing, and enjoying a good meal.
On August 28, Sharp will lead a digital creation workshop as part of the exhibit.
Beschi said the gallery will likely host more AR exhibits in the future, encouraging users to provide feedback on it. The exposition is financially supported by the city, the Quebec government, and the Aylmer Association of Professionals, Industrials, and Merchants (APICA). In September, L’Imagier plans to host its first in-gallery exhibit in over a year.