The mission of Les Impatients is to help those facing mental issues by harnessing the power of creative expression. The organization offers art workshops and exhibition venues as a forum where the community and the participants can intersect. Indeed, the name Les Impatients sums it up nicely – rather than seeing themselves as patients with psychiatric disorders, these participants are creators impatient to heal, to develop their art and to assume their roles in society.
Since the fall of 2016, Les Impatients have visited the Museum regularly, creating works inspired by our collections and exhibitions, particularly Chagall: Colour and Music. Led by François Martin, one of our impassioned Volunteer Guides, the participants recorded their thoughts and visual impressions in sketchbooks. Other facilitators also contributed to the project. These included artist Dominique Payette, director of Espace Création, a private studio where participants met weekly to paint and draw, and two extraordinary artists and MMFA art instructors: Melanie Matthews, who guided the group through experiments with non-traditional painting techniques, and André Pijet, who gave the group a solid foundation in more traditional approaches to drawing. Using the theme of identity and self-exploration as their starting point, the participants created the alternately whimsical and reality-based works exhibited here.
We would like to acknowledge the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Montérégie-Est for supporting Les Impatients workshops at Espace Création Dominique Payette. We also wish to thank all of our partners who have supported these important and beneficial educational projects at the Museum.
The cultural mediation project Ensemble ON danse ! is a unique collaboration between the Centre d’Apprentissage Parallèle (CAP), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), Fortier Danse-Création, choreographer, Xavier Curnillon, videographer, and Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique, whose mission is to promote dance as a means of creative expression for those living with psychological vulnerabilities.
In the winter of 2017, Ensemble ON danse! invited CAP participants to delve into the creative process of choreographer Paul-André Fortier, assisted by Sarah Dell’Ava: the purpose of this invitation was to promote the participants’ journey of personal development and social integration. They then created their own solo or duet inspired by a work in the Museum’s collection, already selected in connection with the Sharing the Museum programme. The experience was enhanced by the professional environment provided by the Circuit-Est team and studios during the period of creation.
To capture these dancing bodies, artist-videographer Xavier Curnillon drew inspiration from the lines of force in the selected paintings, a reflection of the explorations brought to life by the participants and of the clear intentions in the lighting and set design. These video works encapsulate the essence of the marvellous experience that was Ensemble ON danse !