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Urban artists meet to connect and create

by Laurence Brisson Dubreuil October 10, 2017
Urban artists meet to connect and create

Station 16 Gallery merges works from Montreal and New York City in street art exhibition

A street art exhibition that brought together Montreal and New York City artists will be on display for an extra month to allow more urban art lovers to admire the collection of works. Hosted by Station 16, a local contemporary art gallery, NYC meets MTL Street Art Pop-Up Gallery was intended to run from Sept. 8 until the end of the month. The exhibition will now be open until Oct. 31.

During the opening, over 20 artists were invited to participate in a live painting session. It was the New York artists who created a new mural for the Station 16 print shop. Andrea Cook, the creator of the Pussy Power series, contributed her design of a reimagined Chanel perfume bottle to the artistic process by inscribing the title of her series onto the bottle.

Andrea Cook’s contribution is part of her series of provocative pieces titled Pussy Power. Photos by Anna Larovaia.

The exhibition showcases a refreshing diversity of work and includes creations by Concordia’s own Laurence Vallières, Whatisadam (WIA) and Jason Wasserman. Wasserman, who graduated from Concordia in 2004 with a degree in fine arts, is now working as an independent illustrator. “Station 16 is involved in this big cross-section of different styles, and they chose the artists exposing at their gallery accordingly,” said Wasserman, who is also a partner of the Station 16 print shop.

A recurring theme that is present in the pieces by Montreal artists within the exhibition is Canadian, specifically Montreal, imagery. With Wasserman’s illustrations of both cliché and underground sectors of the city and Whatisadam’s iconic Maple Sizzurp Drum, Montreal is well represented.

“Montreal is such a big part of my identity,” Wasserman said about his source of inspiration. “I have so much attachment to this city so, for me, it’s not only a natural but also an authentic theme.”

Wasserman described ‘street art’ as an umbrella term used to describe a variety of art, including styles such as sculpting, stencil graffiti and murals, all which can be found at the NYC meets MTL Street Art Pop-Up Gallery.

By featuring the work of artists from two separate cities, the exhibition successfully merges inter-city street art communities. “Working with other artists is great for learning but also for networking,” Wasserman said, adding that he now follows some of the New York artists on Instagram. “It’s important for independent contractors to network and help one another.”

This is a lesson Wasserman was taught during his time at Concordia. “I spent a lot of time late at night in Concordia’s art studio. I was in my own bubble. The work I created there was sometimes unsatisfying, and I realized it was because I was self-exploring through work that was meant to be created for others to relate to and gain from,” he said.

The gallery is not only a chance for art enthusiasts to see creations that cross international borders, but according to Wasserman, it is also an opportunity for artists such as himself to share and learn from one another.

NYC meets MTL Street Art Pop-Up Gallery will be on display until Oct. 31 at Station 16 Gallery. The gallery is open Tuesday to Thursday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday until 5 p.m. Private viewings can also be arranged.

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