From Montreal’s Marc-André Giguère’s artist standpoint, not only is art curating changing its definition or reason to be, but so are the arts. “The arts don’t have the same reason to be nowadays. We see it differently now. There was a time when artistic movements came one after the others and we would discover something new with each period of time. I think today isn’t so much about that anymore. It has mainly come down to styles.”
As mentioned earlier, Marc-André Giguère hails from The City of Saints with a formal arts degree at CÉGEP du Vieux-Montréal, a perfect environment for him to question the place of art in a society and its reason for being. Fairly new to showcases and exhibitions, the young and talented artist has not yet curated a show though he has experienced working with a curator. After showcasing his work for the first time at the Fresh Paint Gallery project last year, he feels the relationship a curator and an artist develop can be very helpful as long as the curator stays open-minded, patient and respectful. “With the Fresh Paint Gallery team, everything was way more accessible. It was nice to have them direct a little and know they were there for you if you needed anything. It changed the image I had about art galleries in general.” He isn’t the only artist to have mentioned galleries are tough to get into, with many being faced with a “you need contacts, a bigger and more diverse portfolio...” type of response.
However, in order to grow, these young artists need people to look up to, learn from and inspire them. How can one expect them to know everything and be artistically “on point” without people in the industry giving them a chance to learn and explore? Can curators turn into role models? Some artists, such as Marc-André, will prefer finding their influences and inspiration through old works. The illustrator, who has recently painted a wall at the 20th edition of the Under Pressure festival, says that in order for his artistic process to grow and reach the point he’s at now, he has had to put his own work in front of the harshest of critics: himself. And although this works perfectly for some, others may prefer nurturing that artist-curator relationship. Curators tend to guide artists, whether it’s on purpose in a direct manner or simply by asking so many questions that happy accidents happen. It’s part of the beauty of working hand-in-hand with someone who has been in the industry for a far longer time than you have.

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