A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

Knowlton Sculptor Immortalizes Hockey
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maurice Richard being immortalized by Marc-Andre Fortier, the incredible bronze artist from Knowlton Quebec!It’s the next best thing to being called up to play for the indomitable Montreal Canadiens. Knowlton sculptor Marc André J Fortier was chosen to sculpt four bronze statues of Canadiens as part of the team’s 100th anniversary celebrations. Now millions of hockey fans will admire the incredible work of Knowlton sculptor Marc André J Fortier!

One day last spring Marc André J Fortier received a message on his answering machine to call the Montreal Canadiens’ organization. It wasn’t an invitation to suit up and help the Habs in their playoff run, but for Fortier, it was the equivalent of winning the Stanley Cup.

This story appears courtesy of The Township Outlet and was written by Terry Scott with the photos provided by Marc-André Fortier.

The most fabled organization in hockey history had selected the Knowlton artist to sculpt four bronze statues of Canadiens’ immortals Howie Morenz, Maurice Richard,
Jean Béliveau and Guy Lafleur. The statues, commissioned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the hockey club, were to be put on permanent display on Centennial Plaza, a concourse adjacent to the team’s Bell Centre home indow ntown Montreal.

Fortier was one of several sculptors whose name had been submitted to the Canadiens after marketing executives of the hockey club asked L’Atélier de Bronze, the prominent foundry and casting company in Inverness, Quebec, to recommend six top artists for the work.

Over the years, the 47-year-old Fortier, a Town of Mount Royal native who moved to and set up his studio in Knowlton five years ago, has established some impressive credentials. He won the distinguished Bronze Palm Medal in Paris, earned top honours in Toronto for his “The Art of the Automobile” sculpture, and his works have graced exhibitions, homes and other places, nationally and worldwide.

But now, Fortier, who played five years of minor hockey as a youth and avidly followed the Canadiens’ dynasty in the mid-to-late 1970s, was being asked to sculpt four legendary figures of an organization that is more of a sacred trust than a mere hockey team.

What an incredible thrill to be working with the Montreal Canadiens to create a hommage for the superstars of hockey!“Basically, it was hard work, but it was such a fantastic contract,” Fortier said last week from the Knowlton studio – a high-ceilinged space that was previously a car-and-van wash – he moved into last year. “It was 1,750 hours in a five and a half-month span. Some days, I would do it for 24 hours straight. Sometimes I would be in the studio at 4 o’clock in the morning wondering how I was going to do certain things on the maquettes. I lost several pounds in the process, because you’re constantly moving about as you make tweaks and changes to your work.”

Fortier was in his early 20s and living in Vancouver when his grandfather handed him $1,000 to encourage him to become an artist. The painting career evolved into bronze
sculpturing, a craft that Fortier plies with the determination of Morenz, the passion of the Rocket, the élan of Beliveau and the flair of Lafleur.

Ever the perfectionist, he is meticulous in carrying out his work. While doing the four sculptures, Fortier took a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, conducting hours of research on the equipment worn in the different eras of the Canadiens’ legends and looking at archival photos and other material.

He studied the players’ styles, their features – small nostrils on Richard and Beliveau, for instance, led to sculpting them with open mouths. He even measured the size of the stick each player used, and this information enabled Fortier to accurately depict the action pose on the sculpture. The Rocket has his elbows up in a “get out of the way, I’m coming through,” pose, while Morenz bears an intense demeanor,Béliveau is stately and Lafleur has his trademark flowing mane. Each of the players has a puck on the end of the stick, which, Fortier says, “is to show they are in control.”

Fortier completed his ambitious project in mid-October,and after the sculptures were cast at L’Atélier de Bronze,the finished products, weighing between 1,600 and 1,800
pounds, were unveiled on Centennial Plaza on Dec. 4. Throughout the sculpting process, Fortier said the Canadiens’organization afforded him full professional freedom. One day last summer, he received some favorable feedback from a surprise visitor – former Habs’ defensive standout Guy Lapointe, who stopped in at the studio as he was passing through Knowlton.

Maurice Richard, Guy Lafleur...and the best of the best of the Montreal Canadiens as seen by major talent MA Fortier!“When I was at the unveiling ceremony, Marlene Geoffrion, who is the daughter of Howie Morenz, told me I had captured her father just the way she remembered him,” remarks Fortier. After taking a look at the sculpture of his illustrious father, Maurice Richard Jr. told reporters he loved the work, especially because it showed another side of The Rocket’s game. Beliveau and Lafleur were effusive in their
praise, as were Canadiens’ owner George Gillett and president Pierre Boivin, who has a home in the Townships and wants to drop by Fortier’s studio.

“I’m so lucky,” Fortier humbly declares. “Some artists will put so much time into a solo exhibition, and even though it could be magnificent work, people might not
come to the exhibition. In this case, it’s four sculptures and at least a million people a year are going to see it.” Marc André J Fortier may never have donned the bleublanc-rouge but in at least one respect he can lay claim to being part of the legacy of the Club de Hockey Canadien.

This story appears courtesy of The Township Outlet www.outletjournal.com and was written by Terry Scott with the photos provided by Marc-André Fortier.

Congratulations Marc-André!
This is an awesome honor and achievement!!

Visit the artists website of Marc-André Fortier: www.majfortier.com

The unveiling of the larger-than-life statues was well covered by media and thousands of fans who crowded around Bell Center in Montreal and The Ottawa Citizen summed up the emotions and feelings of the first public showing of the awesome works of Marc-Andre:

From The Ottawa Citizen (written by Dave Stubbs, Canwest News Service):

Béliveau and Lafleur stood chilled to the bone as shrouds were pulled off their sculptures, the silky covers billowing in the wind that sweeps this square in gusts roaring over the mountain and through the canyon of skyscrapers.

On the east side of the plaza, tighter to the Bell Centre from where Canadiens owner George Gillett said they could best watch the ghosts, are the statues of the Rocket, the most exciting player of his generation, and Morenz, the incandescent superstar who went before him.

First unveiled was Morenz, under the gaze of Marlene Geoffrion, his daughter and the widow of the great Boomer. Then, the Rocket, studied by Maurice Richard Jr. Béliveau was next, accompanied by his wife, Elise, with their daughter, Helene, and their granddaughters, Magalie and Mylene.

Finally, the Flower, the newest legend in this galaxy of stars.

Gifted Quebec sculptor Marc André Fortier has nailed all four, producing the superb statues simultaneously over 10 months.

For Béliveau, who will live generations after he has left us, the unveiling was especially moving.

"I'm very honoured and happy, personally," he said. "But I'm happier for my family. My two granddaughters are going to have a chance to look at this not only for many years, but for decades to come. I'm going to come back when I have some time to really have a look at the four of them. I had heard about the statues, but I never thought they were so big."

Lafleur was equally impressed.

"I'd rather still be playing hockey than have a statue," he admitted with a laugh. "But I think the sculptor did a hell of a job. When I began my career, I never expected this."

On-site reporting much appreciated and copied from The Ottawa Citizen (written by Dave Stubbs, Canwest News Service)
Visit the artists website of Marc-André Fortier: www.majfortier.com

This story appears courtesy of The Township Outlet http://www.outletjournal.com/ and was written by Terry Scott with the photos provided by Marc-André Fortier.

For more about the latest news and events visit The Township Outlet at http://www.outletjournal.com/: the print and online newspaper serving the English community in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

Historic St.Paul Street Vandalized
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Attack on St PAul StreetResidents of the most beautiful street in Lac Brome were shocked and awed to see a home on their street targetted by a severe paintball attack this week. Just steps away from the Mayors home, a lovely Victorian house was riddled with a paint ball attack spreading neon paint on the normally tranquil street in Lac Brome Knowlton.

No other homes were targetted in the attack and the house that was splattered with paint balls has yet to be cleaned off leaving many residents wondering what is happening! Why would a lovely home in the most attractive neighbourhood in Knowlton recieve a vicious paintball attack while other homes were left alone?

The talk at the local pubs and restaurants was intense! Why was a home on the wealthiest street in Lac Brome Knowlton targetted to be shot up with paint balls? Something is amiss! And why has the home remained splattered with frozen paint for so many days? Abandoned? Negelected? Don't the fathers of Knowlton have the duty to intervene and correct such mishaps?

Some folks asked if it could be an unpaid renovation contract that caused a contractor to apply a messy statement of accounts? It's hard to tell but as of yet no-one has cleared off the neon paint streaming down the windows and doors so it almost looks like the home is abandoned which doesn't look good for other residents in the area!

St. Paul street is the renowned and gorgeous street where the Mayor of Knowlton lives so to see such a blatant attack of vandalism has made some people ask if maybe the perpertrators didn't have the right address!!

Has the economic crisis affected our little town so that the wealthy can't afford to pay for what they want to dream about? Don't we all have to pay the bills?

Of course it is impossible to say why one house was attacked...it could be a case of adultery for all the town knows! But to see an empty house covered with the spackle and paste of anger is so sad especially since St. Paul street is the most recognizable street in Knowlton and now that has been defiled without correction it seems that the downward spiral has touched our little paradise!

Since no other homes were touched in the attack it seems strictly targetted so people have to ask if this is some sort of payback or retribution for an unpaid bill or something even more personal? Until the ugle paint is removed we can only wonder and it is so sad that the most expensive neighbourghood in Knowlton has been attacked by such horrible vandalism. Such a shame to see our small town being damaged !!

With housing values in the area dropping so dramatcially it is a shame that this sort of unwelcome publicity has yet to be cleaned up especially since the Mayor of Knowlton drives by the vandalized house every day! Shouldn't someone do a little tidy up? The neon splatters on such a lovely home are simply dishonerable!!

The Knowlton Gallery is going Victorian!
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The new Knowlton Gallery will soon be open on Victoria Street in Knowlton.The following is a brief summary to explain where the Knowlton Gallery has come from and what our plans are for the future of the Gallery.

In May 2004 we purchased the building at the corner of Mont Echo and Knowlton Road and established the Knowlton Gallery, successfully promoting the best local artists as well as other well-known Quebec artists.

While a number of other Galleries came and went, in the spring of 2006 the Knowlton Gallery underwent major renovations and expanded its current location to double the space available.

In 2007, The Knowlton Gallery, through its advertising in major art and culture magazines, regional newspapers and through its mailing and on its new web-site, began to promote the unique nature of Knowlton as a destination where art and culture, heritage and nature all meet to create a unique experience.

The Gallery decided to expand its horizons by offering to promote local authors, such as Harrison Yates, Joseph Singerman, Klaus Bremer, and Donald J. Davison with book launches at the Gallery.

This was then followed with evenings of wine tasting given by well-known sommeliers and promoting regional wineries.

Needless to say, our current expanded premises have served the cultural and the arts community well.

In the spring of 2007 we sold our building and began to search for a new location. One that would not only once again double our current space, but more importantly, a place that would truly fulfill our vision of combining art, culture, heritage and architecture. We wanted to make the Knowlton Gallery an experience as well as a destination.

In the summer of 2008 our vision came true. The majestic Victorian Brome Lea building at 49 Victoria became available. Originally, it was known as the Chrysler Building, built in 1886 by Zeon A. Chrysler.

While much work needed to be done to restore this building, with its twelve-foot high ceilings, archways, fireplace, spiral staircase, and unique woodwork, I believe that once completed, it will be worthwhile. To date it has taken four months to restore four rooms.

This new chapter in the evolution of the Knowlton Gallery would never have been possible without the support of the Town of Brome Lake, and more importantly, our new neighbors, And lest we forget, all the people who have supported the Gallery over the last five years.

It is also important to mention that Knowlton’s newest art gallery, Carpe Diem, and its owner Nicole Taillon, who has restored the historic old tannery, also shares our belief that Knowlton can become an art, cultural, heritage and architectural destination.

Best regards

Françoise Desjardins

Sutton Presents Desmarteaux & Moore
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Art by Arthur Desmarteaux Lacroisier is at Arts Sutton Gallery in Sutton Quebec.Arts Sutton Presents Recent Work by Arthur Desmarteaux and Allison Moore running from January 10 through to February 8, 2009.

The show is opening on Saturday, January 10 at 2 pm

What a treat for residents and visitors to Knowlton, Lac Brome, to have such amazing artists presenting their original arts in the region. Sutton has always been a hot-bed of artistic expression in the Eastern Townships and this new featured show highlights what is so great about the Quebec Arts Scene in and around Knowlton. Sutton is only 30 minutes drive from Knowlton and is a choice spot for tourists who enjoy the hospitality and funky offerings of the town of Sutton.

For its first exhibition of the year, Arts Sutton Gallery is proud to present recent works on paper by Arthur Desmarteaux and Allison Moore, two young Montreal artists.

They produce their work using several different techniques, including photo etching, silkscreen, woodcut, linocut, digital printing and waterless lithography. Some works combine several different techniques. The art of Desmarteaux (a pseudonym of Étienne Rochon) is stylistically related to comic books and cartooning, but also to graffiti. "As a witness of our times, I convey my perceptions of current events and international conflicts with zesty humour. My drawings sometimes contain references to theatre, like a kind of burlesque fable," says Desmarteaux. His works have an anti-establishment flavour and are sometimes aggressive but always playful. They have been shown at the 13th Biennale international biennale de la gravure et des nouvelles images at Sarcelles, France and at the 5th Biennale internationale d’estampes de Trois-Rivières. The artist lives and works in Montreal.

Allison Moore Artwork. Image from Arts Sutton. Thank-you!Originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Allison Moore has pursued her studies in the visual arts in Montreal, Ecuador and England. She is particularly interested in the connections between the sciences and visual art. Titled “A story of life or what I have been told” her works present fantastical animal creatures in a setting that strangely resembles mythological scenes of animal origins. As a complement to her works on paper, she is also presenting a video clip. Allison Moore is very active in her community and has been involved in many creative projects, primarily working with video and puppet theatre. She lives and works in Montreal.

The show runs until February 8, 2009. The Arts Sutton Gallery is located on 7 Academy Street in Sutton and is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For information : Catherine Audet, Gallery Coordinator
(450) 538-2563 | [email protected] | www.artssutton.com

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