Promenade_Photo Natacha Gysin
Multicoloured, original and beautiful spaces
The surface area of the Studios Art & Education Michel de la Chenelière was increased from 900 m2 to 1,500 m2. The completely renovated, re-equipped and refurnished space now comprises a Family Lounge, a Promenade and seven brightly decorated studios, four more than before, each identified by a different colour, together with an exhibition space, a lunch room and a cloakroom for school groups. The new Studios Art & Education Michel de la Chenelière will be devoted exclusively to the Museum’s educational activities and exhibitions, and access to them will be free of charge at all times. The Promenade, which opens on to both Crescent and Bishop Streets, connects the studios with the Family Lounge and the public areas. This wide corridor constitutes the introduction to the Museum for groups, including thousands of primary-school children. Its effective signage and brightly coloured arrow-shaped mobiles created by design firm Paprika add a playful note to the visit, welcoming the children of multicultural Montreal in a multitude of languages. The new studios have taken on a lively look thanks to contributions by several gifted Montreal creators, most notably the street-art members of the En Masse initiative, the designers of Paprika (signage) and Collectif Rita (the furniture, in collaboration with Studio Periphere). Recently acquired artworks by Claude Cormier, Jim Dine and Pierrick Sorin add further gaiety to these spaces, which will have a profound educational and aesthetic influence on future generations.
Artworks provide an immersive and emotional experience
To heighten the pleasure of arrival, several works of art greet visitors, notably a new sculpture of a heart commissioned from artist Jim Dine. This playful work completes the pair and trio of hearts by the same artist already installed around the Museum buildings, now icons of the institution. Our visitors, especially children, are sure to enjoy Stuffed Animals, an installation donated by designer Claude Cormier. The kids will adore the 3,000 soft-eyed stuffed animals in a rainbow of colours.

Recreational activities and educational exhibitions all year round
Throughout the year, the new Studios Art & Education Michel de la Chenelière will offer original activities, including games and a reading nook, and a full programme of workshops and events every weekend. This fall, for example, art workshops and demonstrations will be led by children’s book illustrators. Young and old will be able to discover and experiment with the brush strokes and gestures of Impressionist painting. Gallery games, tours-in-a-wink, concerts and a host of other activities are also on the programme. Two new exhibitions will also be presented in the new educational spaces this fall. The first, The Art of the Picture Book (from September 14 to October 14, 2012), will showcase the talent of eighty illustrators. The second, A Flower = A Human Being (November 1, 2012, to January 20, 2013), organized by Danielle Roy in partnership with the Jules-Verne and Gerald McShane schools, will display works by the artist herself and the students, who were encouraged to give free rein to their imagination.

Coeur dit Après le Déluge_The Heart Called After the Flood ©
Jim Dine SODRAC (2012)
JIM DINE - The Promenade of the new educational studios has found its heart
The Museum’s sculpture collection has been enriched by a monumental piece commissioned from the American Pop artist Jim Dine, Heart Called “After the Flood”. This one-of-a-kind work, installed in the entrance area to mark the symbolic heart of the Promenade of the Studios Art & Education Michel de la Chenelière, echoes the two other sculptures by the artist on both sides of Sherbrooke Street: Twin 6’ Hearts, now placed in front of the entrance to the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion, and 3 Hearts on a Rock at the corner of the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion and Du Musée Avenue. Executed especially for the Museum, thanks to a gift in her memory from the friends of Claire Gohier and to financial support from the Museum’s Volunteer Association, this blue bronze heart is covered with a whole collection of objects familiar to the artist, particularly tools – screwdrivers, pliers, hammers, etc. – and very noticeably, the figure of Pinocchio. The title evokes an inundation, as if all these objects had been stranded on the heart, an image that hides another, deeper concept. At the pinnacle of his career, Jim Dine, now in his late seventies, has brought together in this piece all the symbols of his life’s work: the heart, long considered synonymous with his identity as an artist, the tools, those of his father, who ran a hardware store, and also his own, those of the sculptor, painter, printmaker, and finally Pinocchio, a character on whom he has been working since 1964, whose story is a metaphor for art itself. This work of great symbolic significance is loaded, quite literally, with the efforts and illusions of a lifetime as an artist. It preserves the look of playfulness and humour, of philosophical detachment, that has always been the essence of Dine’s art.

CLAUDE CORMIER - Thousands of stuffed animals are looking at you…
Loaned by its creator Claude Cormier, Stuffed Animals was originally dreamed up for Big Bang: Creativity Is Given Carte Blanche, the exhibition that hailed the opening of the new Pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art only a year ago. Claude Cormier says of it, “Hundreds of stuffed animals stare at us with their soft eyes. In the intimidating hubbub that now distorts our meteoric lives, we all ask ourselves the eternal questions so dear to Gauguin: Where did we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?” From now on the stuffed animals collected and arranged by the artist will welcome visitors to the Museum’s educational spaces. We should note that Claude Cormier is also the creator of TOM. This installation of 3,500 Temporary Overlay Markers (TOM) that seem to make pointillist shifts between yellow and white, temporarily transformed part of Avenue du Musée into a kind of daisy field growing out of the asphalt.
Peluches_Claude Cormier

Promenade_Photo Natacha Gysin
PAPRIKA - Multicoloured signage to welcome schoolchildren
“Art is everywhere”: this is the message that greets children and their families as they enter the MMFA’s new educational facilities. To demonstrate this credo, Paprika used 3D arrows of different sizes and colours pointing in all directions and displaying in several languages the word “welcome.” Thus the Promenade, the entrance for groups that leads to the other pavilions and their collections, becomes an arrowed crossroads inviting visitors to embrace art in all its aspects. To bring this concept to life, yellow has become the predominant colour of the new Studios Art & Education Michel de la Chenelière, completing the MMFA’s colour palette with a different colour for each pavilion. Paprika Design came to prominence nationally and internationally by winning over 700 prizes for excellence awarded by prestigious publications and organizations including AIGA, Communication Arts, Grafika, Graphis and I.D. Magazine.