Gatineau visual arts, new project honours local artistic talents
To celebrate its 65th anniversary in line with pandemic times, Arts visuels de Gatineau (AVG) has launched a virtual project to unite the community and pay homage to great local artists of the past and present. Titled Portraits d’artistes de Gatineau de 1955 à nos jours, the compilation project is an online historical review, profiling 17 local visual artists.
With the research conducted by local historian Jessica Ragazzini, the 44-page document pays homage to a variety of artists who helped make Gatineau’s artistic community what it is today, explaining how their work contributes to Gatineau’s cultural wealth. AVG President Catherine Garcia Cournoyer, thanked members Guy Béssette and Linda Girard for their contributions to the project. According to a press release issued by AVG on February 24, the artists featured in the project were chosen based on their local impact, their accomplishments, and their international significance.
Among them are a variety of retired and active artists, including Rita Rodrigue, Jean-Yves Vigneau, and Shirley Van Dusen, who helped found the Conseil des arts d’Aylmer in 1955. Those interested in finding out more about the local artistic innovators who paved the way for more modern creators can access the documentation for free via the following link - https://artsvisuelsgatineau.com/fr/portraitsartistesgatineau. For people desiring a physical copy of the research project, AVG also has a limited stock of printed versions of the document, Cournoyer said.
Praising Ragazzini for her efforts in gathering all the information needed to assemble the document, Cournoyer said the project was done in response to a realization that there wasn’t a lot of information to be seen about the region’s artistic greats. “This research shines light on important figures in Gatineau’s artistic landscape,” Cournoyer said in the press release. “Having led the committee in charge of the research project and conducted the document’s layout, Cournoyer noted that it was largely completed between July and October of 2020.
Highlighting AVG’s mandate of promoting local artists by providing them a platform to express themselves, Cournoyer told the Aylmer Bulletin that the project is an ideal way of commemorating people who deserve recognition, without holding a public event. “It really went with our organization’s philosophy,” she said. “The project was initially planned to be part of AVG’s spring exposition, but the pandemic forced a change of plans.” The project is supported by the City of Gatineau and the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications, as part of its Entente de développement culturel (2018-2024).
Encouraging people to join the local artistic community by becoming an AVG member, it was noted that membership cards provide discounts on artistic materials, as well as access to local events, workshops and new information. In April, AVG plans to open registrations for its 2021 spring exposition, which should take place virtually, Cournoyer said.