After finally settling into my new dorm room, it was time to explore Montreal. My roommates and I stepped out and decided that maybe we should walk to somewhere near the dormitory, in case we got lost. After a thorough discussion our plan was set: check out the large building down Saint Urbain and Saint Catherine, and then head up Saint Denis to check out what was interesting there.
We – or at least I – didn’t have a clue what the building on Saint Catherine entailed, but once inside I realized it was a venue for various artistic events: theatre performances, concerts, dance shows, even comedy stand-ups were welcome. As well as art exhibitions, this place always had something going on. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to catch a show or view any exhibits, but I did at least get the name of the building. The Place des Arts (https://placedesarts.com/index.en.html) is your destination for those who want to expierence art in an extravagant presentation. With this area marked under my list of “places to return to”, we made our way towards Saint Denis.
As we walked down street to street, there were numerous sights that got my attention. A statue depicting a man and his son looking at their reflections, to a man with wings on his back and hands emerging from his face, not to mention a hole in his stomach. But for me, the most exciting pieces of art had to be on the walls we walked by. From building to building, there are amazing pieces of street art painted on the walls. Ranging from serious and relevant imagery to works of imaginative craftsmanship, the street art is always bound to catch your eye. You’ll find these works of art on countless buildings. My favorite so far has to be located on Saint Laurent, depicting a surreal looking old woman spraying herself onto the wall. It’s almost impossible to explain all the various artworks you’ll find; you’ll have to see it to believe it.
And if you think that’s a lot in the day, the night reveals a whole new setting. We walked down the Place des Arts building again later that evening, and we noticed something odd happening on the walls of the nearby buildings. As the dark night sky settled above, lights began to appear on the neighboring buildings, depicting carousels and even a mural of jazz players. Even some sculptures changed with an installation of lights! The crystal-like prisms outside the building shone with various colors shining on them, making them seem more enchanting than before.
We finally returned to our dorm, exhausted from exploring. I hadn’t expected the city to hold so many interesting pieces of art! After viewing some of the various displays around the city I feel as if I’ve become much more aware of the Montreal culture. The city feels more alive, flowing with an expression to call its own. Montreal is chock full of amazing works of art ranging from venues holding exciting events, to incredible pieces you’ll find on the street. If you’re an art enthusiast, this is the city for you.
- Abner Herrara, Game Programming Major, Official Blogger, Spring 2015