February 10, 2012 ─ An atypical partnership between a merchants association, a graffiti festival and a religious organization has produced one of Montreal’s most interesting new artistic spaces, the Fresh Paint Gallery, housed in the historic La Patrie building on Rue Saint-Catherine…
Fresh Paint Gallery is a pop up art gallery devoted to street art and graffiti that has come about due to a collaboration between Montreal’s Under Pressure festival and Faubourg Saint-Laurent, an organization of merchants and institutions based in the city’s downtown core. Under Pressure, the graffiti festival founded in 1996, has long held its annual event behind the nearby Foufounes Electriques, making the fest’s founder, Sterling Downey, the perfect person to spearhead this endeavor.
As a pop up gallery, the artwork and artists will be changed every couple of months and the space completely redone.
One of the real stars of Fresh Paint, which aims to be both a gallery and space for events, is the building itself. Built in 1908, this pillar of Saint-Catherine was home to La Patrie, a Montreal paper published from 1879 to 1978. It was recently bought by the Church of Scientology, who, having abandoned their overhaul plans, allowed Under Pressure to take it over. It’s an impressive building in its own right, and with much of the artwork found directly on the walls of its first two floors, it creates an interesting juxtaposition of historic canvas and modern artwork. Pretty sure it’s accurate to say that there’s nothing else like it in the city. And entry is free, so you’ve really got no excuse not to pop into this great pop up.