November 22, 2012 – Until January 11, 2013, Montréal’s Espace VERRE, a non-profit gallery-boutique that promotes glass art, marks the centenary of its heritage building home with a unique exhibition, Fire Station No. 21.
A former firehouse turned glass school, studio and gallery, Fire Station No. 21 has undergone many transformations since its construction in 1912. Ten leading glass artists have come together for this collective exhibition to express their interpretations of the space, its history, neighbourhood and evolution. With pieces inspired by the dismantling of Goose Village (a poor immigrant neighbourhood razed in preparation for Expo ’67) to the Liberator bomber crash of 1944 (which occurred just kilometres from the site) to the very duties fulfilled at the fire station, the exhibition delivers a stirring narrative of a lost community’s cultural history.
As whimsical as it is historical, this creative take on the story of Fire Station No. 21 features intricate designs, such as a fire extinguisher and tools recreated in glass as well as a clever mix of glass and linen to represent the hopes and dreams of thousands of immigrants who came to settle in the surrounding neighbourhood.
This special 100th anniversary exhibition tells the tale of a building, once involved in fighting fire and now used to work with glass, that is ever so much more than just an old fire station: Fire Station No. 21 personifies the very spirit of a neighbourhood embedded in our collective memory.