A collection of works by Montreal artists David Lubell, Harvey Horowitz, Morry Marcovitch, Laurie Kader, Esti Mayer, and Morrie Bakerman have been installed at the Argyle Institute for Human Relations. The Argyle Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes mental health by providing counseling, psychotherapy and educational services, as well as offering training for mental health professionals, with the goal of promoting greater well-being in the community. The new gallery furthers this goal by brightening the space with colourful and provocative paintings and photographs. Harvey Horowitz's striking photographs depict natural and urban landscapes in stunning detail and focus, while Israeli-Canadian artist Esti Mayer's neo-Romantic paintings present Northern landscapes injected with a Mediterranean flair. Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts alumnus Laurie Kader's work, in contrast, offers bold visions of the human form. In 2006 Kader gave a lecture at McGill University on the healing power of art, and her own art is now part of a collection that is promoting healing and mental health at the Argyle Institute.
An extensive collection of 65 paintings by contemporary artists Marcel Barbeau, Stephen Conroy, Jacques Hurtubise, Françoise Sullivan, Rita Letendre, Marc Seguin, Guido Molinari, Richard Serra, Geneviève Cadieux, Claude Tousignant and Richard Max Tremblay were put on display in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at l'Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont. Canadian painter Marcel Barbeau's highly original work-which ranges from free-flowing abstractions to highly geometrical pieces-has been widely exhibited in Europe, Canada and the U.S., while the works of Scottish artist Stephen Conroy, which depict mostly male figures, have also earned him international recognition. This installation of contemporary works is the largest gallery in the hospital, which now houses a total of 500 works of art. 37 of these pieces were donated by Dr. Andre Levasseur, who has been collecting art for over 35 years and who is also the director of the Nuclear Medicine Department. He sees the addition of the artwork as a way of humanizing the industrial space and creating a healing environment.
Recently, thirty prints were installed in the Radiology & Imaging Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital and was made possible through a generous donation by Freda & Irwin Browns. Born and educated in England, Wendy Simon came to Canada in the mid-seventies with a degree in biology and physics from the University of London and would later earn a BFA in 1980 at Concordia University. She taught at Dawson College and the Saidye Bronfman Centre, and was an active member of the Montreal Print Collectors Society. Simon's artistic interests were vast: they included woodcut, lithography, silkscreening, intaglio, serigraphy, and digital imagery. An accomplished photographer, she transferred photo images to etching plates, transforming them on her own printing press into beautiful representations of the elements of Nature she loved most: bees, grass, sunflowers, roses, pears, and flowers of the field. Although the pieces exhibited in the gallery express Simon's lighter side, her oeuvre also includes the dark and spiritual. She was able to channel her feelings of aggression through her art, as well as through the practice of Kendo, of which she was a Master.
Recently, five beautiful abstract works were installed in the out-patient and in-patient clinics of the Eating Disorder Clinic of the Douglas Hospital in Montreal. The works were created and donated by local artist, Josée Lavigne, herself an eating disorder survivor. Under the guidance of Dr. Howard Steiger, Program Director, the works were installed along with a touching and inspiring poem, entitled "To Live", also written by Josée and dedicated to those suffering from eating disorders. The patients in both programs have been very receptive to the artwork, which has brought both colour and new life to the clinics, and has been particularly appreciated in light of the artist's personal connection to a shared illness.
15 conversation-starting contemporary works donated by Concordia University's School of Fine Arts were installed in the Cardiology wing of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Concordia originally acquired the student works by talented young artists such as, Juliana Espana Keller, Anne-Marie Bourgeois, Melanie Shatzky, Zoe Kreye, Carole Cliff, Anne Renée Hotte, and Michael Farnan through the Stanley Mills Purchase Prize. G.H. Stanley (Sandy) Mills was a Canadian History lecturer at Concordia in the 1950s, and also a writer of travel, history and biographical pieces. He was also a friend and biographer of Lord Beaverbrook, the newspaper publisher and British politician, as well as Sir Winston and Lady Churchill. Mills generously supported education and the arts until his death in 1993, and the Stanley Mills Collection was founded in 1994 when the Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts received a donation from his estate to begin acquiring student artwork. The annual prizes are now given in the form of the school's purchase of works of student visual and performing arts. The purpose of the award is to acknowledge the talents of emerging artists in the Faculty of Fine Arts.
Recently, the Joseph Prezament Gallery was installed on the 5th floor of Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal. This generous donation of thirteen works was made by noted Montreal artist, Rita Briansky, widow of the artist. Joseph Prezament, originally born in Winnipeg, studied with LeMoine Fitzgerald, the Group of Seven artist whose interest in pointillist technique is evident in Prezament's work, and later attended the Montreal Artists School of Ghitta Caiserman-Roth and Alfred Pinsky. Since the inception of the gallery, Maimonides residents can be seen easing their wheelchairs and strolling with their walkers along the corridor where this gallery is installed.
In 1977, National Ballet of Canada prima ballerina Veronica Tennant wrote "On Stage, Please", an inspiring children's book about a nine-year-old ballet dancer who dreams of becoming a professional ballerina. The book, which takes its readers on a journey through the joys and struggles of the ballet world, has been cherished by generations of young readers and aspiring dancers. Tennant herself began dancing at the age of four, and became the youngest ever member of the National Ballet Company at 18. Since retiring, she has become an instructor, choreographer, television producer/director, and author. Beloved artist Rita Briansky's 14 lively etchings for the book now line the hallways of the Montreal Children's Hospital, the SickKids Hospital in Toronto, the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, and the Janeway Children's Hospital in St. John's, Newfoundland, where Tennant's daughter was once treated. Briansky, the recipient of two Canada Council Art Awards and three Purchase Awards, studied art in Montreal and New York, and taught at the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal. Her bright and cheerful work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, France and Norway. The charming illustrations now grace the hospital hallways of these children's hospitals, brightening the institutional settings for their young patients as well as staff and visitors.
Recently, the Mamie Colton Gallery was inaugurated on the 5th floor of Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal. The gallery consists of eighteen works of art and was made possible through the generous donation by the artist of pieces from both her "Earth" and "Striped" Series that comprise landscapes, seascapes and desertscapes in her signature organic and geometric forms. Born in Montreal, Mamie has been cultivating her unique art for over 50 years with her early passion for art more formally explored later on under the tutelage of well-regarded mentors, such as Herman Heimlich and Leslie Schalk.
Norman Leibovitch's expressionist paintings have been shown extensively across North America, and a selection of his work is now displayed in a gallery at the Maimonides Geriatric Centre. Leibovitch first became recognized as an artist in Quebec in the 1940s and has since become a renowned Canadian painter with a style that is uniquely modern for his time in Canada. While many of his colleagues in the Quebec art world looked to French painters for inspiration, Leibovitch's travels to Mexico and Israel acted as his muse and gave him a unique perspective. His paintings play with textures, large brush strokes and bright colours to create a distinctly modern, expressionist style which verges towards the abstract. Leibovitch said of his art, "Life has meaning to me only through my work. My interest in life is based on my art and it is the connection I have with reality." This passion is manifest in each of his colourful and deeply felt works, many of which depict themes and figures from Jewish folklore and mysticism. Leibovitch also used bold colours and shapes to create paintings of individual letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which both stand out on their own and together form a cohesive unity. This gallery was made possible by a generous donation from the Leibovitch family.
Recently, the Marcel Barbeau Gallery was inaugurated in the ground-floor main boardroom of the Montreal Children's Hospital. The gallery consists of two beautiful paintings by this historical figure in Quebec Art History. Marcel Barbeau was born in Montreal in 1925 and was a member of the group of painters called the "Automatistes", begun by Paul-Emile Borduas in 1946. Barbeau and his colleagues in the movement, Pierre Gauvreau, Fernand Leduc, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Roger Fauteaux, formed the backbone of Abstract Expressionism in the Canadian art scene. The Marcel Barbeau Gallery was made possible through a very generous donation by Nancy Pencer and her family, in loving memory of her husband, the late Gerry Pencer.
During the annual late-summer Sketching School trip, McGill University's School of Architecture students learn to sketch as a way of interpreting and understanding the world around them and its visual dynamics. On the 2007 trip to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the students created sketches and tranquil watercolour scenes of the pastorally beautiful and architecturally rich locale as part of an eight-day field trip which aims to teach students to visually analyze and draw buildings, objects and landscapes. School of Architecture graduate Rory Gullan acted as a student liaison by collecting 80 sketches donated by students who attended the 2007 Sketching School in PEI, and collaborated with architecture Professors Ricardo Castro and David Covo to create a gallery of the works at the Royal Victoria Hospital. McGill architecture graduate and author Helen Malkin, who is also on the board of the Art for Healing Foundation, aided in selecting, framing and curating the gallery. The works on display were created and generously donated by Giulia San Gregorio, Bahi Khosravi, Queenie Chau, Christine Djerrahian, Gabrielle Marcoux, Jean-Paul Marion, Grace Lin, Dina Safonova, Emmanuelle Hoessly, and Nadege Roscoe-Rumjahn. The products of these students' curiosity and observation of Charlottetown and its surrounding scenery-works which had previously been in storage-now lend an ambiance of pastoral serenity for visitors and patients to enjoy at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
Photographer Phil Herman has generously donated his works to an installation at the Palliative Care Unit of the Montreal General Hospital, which also features contemporary artists Rita Cohen, Esti Mayer, Morry Marcovitch, Morrie Bakerman and Wendy Simon. "Photography kept me alive," says Herman of the aftermath of his beloved wife's battle with cancer. In 1991, his wife Fraidie became a patient at the Oncology Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Phil spent a great deal of his time there until her death and returned frequently afterwards as a volunteer, bringing his photographs of flowers to cheer up the patients he conversed with and remind them of all the beauty that life has to offer. Phil's floral photographs have now been placed opposite the beds of the patients in each of the 15 rooms in the unit to add beauty and brightness to their living spaces.Like Herman, Rita Cohen takes her inspiration from nature, which frequently comprise the subject-matter of her abstract, American Expressionism and Cubism-inspired works. Cohen calls her artistic process a "dance of creation," and this exuberance is reflected in her lyrical paintings which add colour and vitality to the hospital walls. Cohen's works have been shown in nearly 50 exhibitions worldwide in the past 20 years, and her pieces now form the majority of the Palliative Care Unit's gallery. Israeli-Canadian artist and McGill alumni Esti Mayer's emotive landscapes, inspired by Jewish history and her extensive travels abroad, lend her distinctly neo-Romantic style to the gallery's nature-inspired works. The Art for Healing Foundation was called upon to create this gallery by Montreal architectural firm Barin Architects, who led the unit's recent multimillion-dollar renovation.
The Morry Marcovitch Gallery was installed at the Jewish General Hospital's Department of Nuclear Medicine, displaying his bold paintings to hospital patients, staff and visitors. In a career that spanned over 30 years, Marcovitch experimented with sharp, daring shapes and striking colours and was greatly influenced by Picasso, Miro and Braque. His highly original works utilize a variety of mediums, from crayon to marker to acrylics and watercolours. Marcovitch grew up on welfare in Montreal's Mile End and eventually became a successful clothing entrepreneur. He began painting at 48 without any formal training and ultimately created a large collection of pieces. Marcovitch never sold his paintings, all of which are untitled-he claimed that they had no meaning, but were merely reflections of his need to make life worthwhile. Marcovitch's life truly embodies his personal mantra: "Without dreams, nothing of consequence happens." The fruits of Marcovitch's dreams and his passion for artistic expression are now displayed on the walls of the Jewish General Hospital.
The Morrie Bakerman Gallery was recently unveiled at the Montreal Children's Hospital Department of Neurosurgery. The collection of visually stunning black-and-white photographs depict the shapes and textures of natural landscapes, expressing Bakerman's love and appreciation of natural beauty. Bakerman was not only a talented photographer, but also a beloved teacher. During his time as a popular science, biology and photography teacher at Royal West Academy in Montreal, Bakerman developed the school's photography program and built a darkroom for its students. He was also chairman of the school's science fair and organized the annual marine biology trip to New Brunswick. Bakerman was an inspiration to his students and colleagues, encouraging students to be true to themselves and never settle for less than their best. Bakerman's compassion and integrity motivated his students to nominate him for Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Teaching, which he won. Bakerman will continue to inspire children and adults alike through his photographs, which now grace the walls of the Neurosurgery Department's hallways and waiting room. The gallery was made possible by the artist's family, who generously donated the photographs to the hospital.
The ART IS installation was recently inaugurated at the Gilman Pavilion of the Montreal Children's Hospital, home to Adolescent Medicine, Adolescent Psychiatry and Dentistry. This installation was created by Montreal artists Nicole Provost and Olivier Dumoulin and came about as the result of a dinner conversation between the Foundation's co-founders and Nicole & Olivier one summer evening. The topic of the conversation of course was; "What is art?" from which this beautiful work was inspired. The installation currently serves as a therapeutic tool used by the Art Therapy Department in the treatment of children and adolescents dealing with sexual and drug abuse as well as other emotional and health issues.