The STM initiates a competition to gift a work of art to the Paris métro

Press release


The STM initiates a competition to gift
a work of art to the Paris métro

Montréal, May 6, 2010
The STM signed a cooperation agreement with RATP, the Régie autonome des transports parisiens, in which the two parties pledged to exchange a work of art. Thus, in 2003, the Montréal métro gained a decorative wrought iron grillwork, in the Art nouveau style, by architect Hector Guimard, an authentic and masterful work of art surrounding the entrance to Square-Victoria métro station in the Quartier international de Montréal. Honouring this commitment, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Michel Labrecque, announced today the launch of a competition to integrate a work of art in the Paris métro, specifically at Saint-Lazare métro station, located near some of the city’s major boulevards. The theme chosen for the competition is the French language.

“The work of art will be inaugurated in Paris in fall 2011, as part of the 150th anniversary of public transportation in Montréal and the 50th anniversary of the Délégation générale du Québec in Paris, and will highlight the close ties between the two cities. Thus, Montréal will join other major cities like Lisbon, Mexico and Moscow who already have an artistic presence in the Paris métro. Considering that over 36 million passengers use the Saint-Lazare station each year, it is quite a privilege for a local artist to be offered such an extraordinary showcase along with international exposure, while acknowledging the importance given to public art by Montréal and the STM,” declared Michel Labrecque.

“I am quite pleased by the STM initiative. This is the first commission given to a Montréal artist for a permanent public work of art in Paris since the Québec government commissioned a sculpture from Charles Daudelin for Place du Québec 30 years ago. This perfectly illustrates our status as a cultural metropolis,” claimed Helen Fotopulos, member of Ville de Montréal’s Executive Committee, responsible for culture, heritage, the status of women and design.

For the occasion, the STM turned to Ville de Montréal, specifically its public art bureau, as it is more experienced with this type of competition. It also solicited the cooperation of several influent public figures in the Montréal visual arts scene to compose a jury who will first choose three finalists before selecting the winning proposal. The members of the jury are:

Mrs. Jocelyn Ann Campbell, Chair, STM Committee on Arts and Artistic Heritage;
Mr. Michel Labrecque, Chair, STM Board of Directors;
Mrs. Manon Blanchette, Executive Director, Board of Montréal Museum Directors;
M. Stéphane Aquin, Curator of Contemporary Art, Montréal Museum of Fine Arts;
Mrs. Isabelle Lelarge, Editor-in-chief, ETC Montréal contemporary art magazine;
Mrs. Francyne Lord, Public Art Commissioner, Ville de Montréal;
Mr. Patrice Brugère, RATP official;
Mrs. Odile Paradis, Senior Director, Public Affairs, STM;
Mrs. Pascale Beaumont, Head of Section, Architecture, STM.

The STM invites artists from Montréal, Laval and Longueuil to submit their name prior to the deadline on May 27 at noon. The winning proposal will be unveiled in November 2010 and the work of art will be installed in 2011. Competition rules are available by clicking here
(Will open in new window)"> clicking here (available in French only)

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