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RUE ST-PAUL'S gallery jamming

From "Left In Lowell"

May, 2007

We're spending the Memorial Day weekend in Montréal. It's a great city for many reasons, in particular because of its focus and devotion to art. It even permeates its Métro.

We spent quite some time in Vieux-Montréal (Old Montreal) on a beautiful cobblestone street, Rue St-Paul. There were more commercial art galleries jamming into four blocks than I've seen even in Boston or Cambridge. I fell in love with a new painter, Janusz Migacz, whose work can be found at the Yves Laroche Galerie D'art.

Wandering Rue St-Paul made me understand just how far the New England art scene has yet to go. The art in Montréal is hugely professional (not that we don't have wonderful mature art in Lowell, but it rarely has its chance to shine - and be bought), and Montréal's art is edgy, envelope-pushing and unafraid.

Lowell's politicians love to talk about how much they appreciate its art and art scene, but truth to tell, they would be up in arms about art like that displayed in Montréal, should it grace the galleries and walls of Lowell. It hearkens back to the totally looney objections of the Lowell bougousie on the substance of the goth/rock festival back in 2005. Imagine them standing in front of the Useless daughters of Noah, a painting I saw today.

But for me, today's foray into the commerical galleries of Rue St-Paul was total bliss, and a glimpse into what the future could hold for Lowell.




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