Cabane à sucre, a secret art gallery

Over the 12 days leading up to August 29, over 40 artists mostly from Montreal got together and created an open-air art gallery on the walls of the interior courtyard of a three-storey building in the lower Plateau, near the Quartier des Spectacles. The secret project was the brainchild of New York City expat Turtle Caps and was inspired by Surplus Candy, a similar project put together at the end of last year by New York City-based pun-loving street artist Hanksy. The Montreal project was actually titled ‘Cabane à sucre’ as a sweet reference to Hanksy’s Surplus Candy.

Turtle Caps found the space a few months ago and knew that something special could be done with it. He expects the building to be torn down in the near future to make way for new condos and wanted to give it a final makeover – a swan song of sorts. The line-up of artists that he managed to get involved are all friends. Most of them are street artists, but a few had never worked outside or on walls before.

Turtle Caps stresses that he did not want this to be a commercial event, with entrance fee and commemorative DVDs. His intention was to counterbalance the growing influence of certain galleries and key players in the Montreal art scene who are increasingly dictating what’s cool and what’s not. Because it is only accessible through private apartments, the Cabane à sucre gallery will remain a private one, never to be made available to the general public. However, in order to give a bit of publicity to his fellow artists who got involved solely for the love of art and creation, without funding of any kind, he agreed to give media and street art enthusiasts such as myself access to the gallery, by appointment, one day only, on August 29, 2014.

Pendant les 12 jours précédant le 29 août dernier, une quarantaine d’artistes montréalais se sont réunis pour créer une gallerie d’art à ciel ouvert sur les murs de la cour intérieure d’un édifice de 3 étages du bas-Plateau, près du quartier des spectacles. Ce projet secret est l’initiative de l’artiste Turtle Caps, originaire de New York mais très actif à Montréal depuis quelques années. La gallerie a été intitulée ‘Cabane à sucre’, un clin d’oeil à Surplus Candy, un projet similaire monté l’année dernière à New York par l’artiste Hanksy.

Turtle Caps a découvert l’espace en question il y a huit mois and a immédiatement vu son potentiel. Il s’attend à ce que l’édifice soit détruit sous peu pour faire place à de nouveaux condos et voulait lui donner son chant du cygne avant l’arrivée des grues de démolition. Les artistes qui ont répondu à son invitation sont tous des amis. La plupart viennent de la scène street, mais quelques uns n’avaient jamais travaillé à l’extérieur ou sur un mur avant de recevoir l’invitation.

Turtle Caps souligne qu’il ne voulait pas faire du projet un événement commercial, avec prix d’entrée et DVD commémoratif. Son intention était de dénoncer ou de contrebalancer l’influence grandissante de certaines galeries et acteurs de la scène d’art montréalaise dictant ce qui est cool et ce qui ne l’est pas. Parce qu’accessible seulement via des logements privés, la gallerie Cabane à sucre est vouée à demeurer privée et ne sera jamais vue du grand public. Ceci étant dit, afin de redonner un peu de visibilité aux artistes qui se sont impliqués seulement par amour de l’art, sans subvention, il a accepté de donner accès aux médias et aux passionnés de street art, sur rendez-vous seulement, le 29 août 2014.

See also / voir aussi:
Cult Montreal’s exclusive story announcing the media day
Frontispice du journal Métro Montréal, 29 août
Cult Montreal’s image gallery
article on the Fresh Paint blog

Click on any image below to see full size
Cliquez sur images ci-dessous pour voir plein format

General view / vue générale

View from the top floor

Floors 2 and 3, northern wall

Top floor / étage supérieur

En Masse (left), Laurence Vallières (centre), Il Flatcha (right)

The sun is beaming down on QBNYC aka Turtle Caps as he works on the only unfinished piece of the project

Left: Valerie Bastille and Swarm (wall), Alysha Farling (installation)
Right: Ms Teri

Lina Kretzschmar

Sculptures by Laurence Vallières

Left: Alex Produkt, Citizan (top left)
Right: 52Hz, Citizan (bottom right)

Left: Mirabolle, Okies
Right: Tava (photo © Tava)

Andy Dass (left) and Waxhead (right)

Second floor / 2ième étage

View of northern wall, 2nd floor:
En Masse, Miss Me, Waxhead, Alysha Farling, M. Abstrakt, Oram 79, IAmBatman, Emmanuel Laflamme, Mastrocola

Left: En Masse
Right: Miss Me, Waxhead, Alysha Farling, all framed by M. Abstrakt

Left: M. Abstrakt, Oram 79, IAmBatman, Emmanuel Laflamme
Right: Mastrocola (wall) and Alysha Farling (installation)

View of eastern wall, 2nd floor:Chris Dyer aka Positive Creations, MC Baldassari, Labrona

Left: Chris Dyer aka Positive Creations
Right: Labrona

Left: Miss Me, Alysha Farling (installation at bottom) and Futur Lasor Now
Right: Bonar (with a bit of Fonki)

Left: Miss Me / Right: Xray

Kevin Ledo

Left: Grazyna Adamska-Jarecka / Right: Lily Luciole

Jonathan Himsworth / Stadium Art Movement

Ground floor / niveau sol

View of western wall, ground floor
Axe (back wall) and Oram 79 (front); the Oram 79 frame was actually done during the 2014 edition of Mural Festival

Left: Laurence Vallières
Right: Ether TFB/Benny Wilding

Stela (girls) and Homsik (fuzzy creature)

Jason Botkin (photo © Lisa Sproull, Cult Montreal)

Left: Waxhead / Right: IAmBatman
(these were done during the 2014 edition of Mural Festival)

HoarKor aka HRKR (part 1/3). Also visible on the left is a frame by Ms Teri which was done during the 2014 edition of Mural Festival

HoarKor aka HRKR (part 2/3)

HoarKor aka HRKR (part 3/3)

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