Wednesday, 7 December 2011

YES Montreal Art Expo 2011

So last thursday and friday, I assisted my friend Laurence Vallieres at an art expo organised by YES montreal.  It was held at the lovely March√© Bonsecours, in the old port of Montreal.  Very scenic, but cobblestone streets are definitely a bitch to drive on, especially with a carload of ceramic sculptures, lol!  But Laurence of course packed everything very neatly, and the unloading went really smooth.

The Drama

I won't write about the good, the bad and the ugly, because the experience was far more pleasant than my own at Otakuthon so it didn't have that much bad/ugly, but like all expos, there's always a bit of drama.  Actually, in this case, it was more like a PANIC ATTACK. More on my part, than on Laurence's since she's sort of used to the situations that could arise with her medium... but basically, the table they gave us was broken: the latches on the legs didn't snap, so when I nudged it by an inch, the whole F*ING TABLE CAVED!!!!

Did I mention that she works with CERAMICS. YES! Breakable.

And YES! Things broke. OTL

I was practically crying for her, but she was stellar and kept calm. Apparently, she's really used to stuff breaking on her; I guess you have to be when you're working with ceramics, and she knows what to do to salvage the situation.  She rushed back to her studio to pick up her first aid gear, and I stayed back, cleaning and organising her stuff.  They did give us a new table because there was no way in hell that I would put anything on that old one.  It totally traumatized me because I was the one to technically nudge the table, but Laurence reassured me that if I hadn't done it, someone would have...and better sooner than later, like when everything was on it. o_0

In the end, it was hardly noticeable, and the drama was a thing of the past, but I'm probably still scarred for life. Now I know why I work with PLUSH or with PAINT that can't break! Kudos to Laurence!  

The Experience

Overview of the whole table space

Each booth of the expo was set up differently, and it was catered to each artist's needs.  For example, booth number 1 was a musician, so all she had were those upright tables because she didn't need much space.  Also, if you were a painter, you could ask for more backboards-- some spaces were set up almost gallery-like, where the viewer could walk around and up close to the artwork.  I think they also deliberately put us on the ground floor because our stuff was heavy and took space.  I noticed that most of the fashion designers or jewelers were upstairs, so I think they really thought of each artists' needs once again.

The black podium that the double-headed pig is sitting on is actually wire-cube-shelving! I finally got a set! (usually all con-artists have some, but I've been slow at hopping onto the trend) I then improvised and wrapped it with an extra black tablecloth she had, and pinned it with drawings clips, and a little tape. Looked pretty clean in the end, for a totally improvised job!

The elephants! They were one of the pieces she sold, and to the president of the Just For Laughs festival! I was very happy for her. :D Apparently, the buyer owns a piece by Andy Warhol, so Laurence's work gets to sit next to that famous stuff. lol

This black rhino was one of the poor souls that got broken. :( :( She didn't consider him sellable, so instead, he became a piece of interactive work. It was a fun idea, and I think the public really liked it.  Kind of like a fancy way to have a guestbook...

The People

Aside from helping my friend out, I also thought that it was very interesting to meet other artists and attendants!  Whatwith our drama/panic situation, we didn't have that much time to browse, but when things cooled down before the opening, I managed to sneak a peak to the other tables.  I didn't take any pictures because my camera died (actually, the pictures above are all taken from Laurence's camera!), but I did pick up some business cards of the people I chatted with. Here are some snapshots of their websites:
Lacy wasn't exhibiting at the place, but I chatted with her for a fair amount of time when she came to our booth.  The stuff she works's really unique! It's all paper.  I never knew a job like hers existed!

The full list of artists can be accessed at this link:
There was a lot of cool stuff, so it could be interesting to check out all the rest of the links~ I just selected the few that I engaged in convo with. :)


Laurence felt that she had a good experience, and I also learned a lot from it.  It was pretty eye-opening, and it really got me thinking about my own practice, where I need to get to, and etc. But alas, I must finish up my winter commissions before getting into my fine arts stuff.  Can't wait for the New Year! ^_^


  1. Oh dear, something dramatic always seems to happen with you, huh? >_< Ouch..but wow at least your friend sold some things! :) It looked like a really neat event!

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