Monday, February 16, 2004

184. Wilder & Davis, 257 Rachel E, Montr�al, Qu�bec, H2W 1E5, (514) 289-0849


Now as far as I can tell, I have promised follow ups on the Terry Teachout article, I have links to samples of some of the prints that he has bought. I also want to review the Kamila Wozniakowska show at the MACM. I also have about half a dozen articles for "normal" blog entries, and there are about another round of exhibitions that I have been invited to. But they will all have to wait for at least another day. I liked writing about M. Devlin's gallery so much yesterday, that I figured I would try another.

Tom Wilder and Mr. (or Ms.) Davis are luthiers. Or for the heathens in the crowd, they make and deal with stringed instruments. More about that later, what they also do is present exhibitions every other month, from the web site:

Gallery Mandate
Wilder & Davis Gallery is an alternative art gallery space that was established in 1995 and is dedicated to promote upcoming local and regional artists.Focusing primarily on previously undiscovered artists, the gallery holds bi-monthly exhibitions in a wide range of media including photography, painting, sculpture and some installations. The gallery is situated within an impressive century old, grey-stone building on the Plateau and presents a unique experience in visiting a violin workshop where skilled craftsmen restore and make fine stringed instruments. Wishing to extend to a diverse public audience of all ages, Wilder & Davis also holds contemporary music concerts, poetry readings and performance art. For more information please contact the Gallery Coordinator/Director: Elizabeth Barbosa. - link
They have their vernissages on Fridays, which means that I cannot generally make them, but the few times that I have been, they have been tons o' fun. The wine is great, the food is scrumptious, and the company wonderful. But that's not why one goes to a vernissage, right?

What makes the place special is the art, and the way it gets integrated into the building. As Ms. Barbosa mentions above, Wilder and Davis is "situated within an impressive century old, grey-stone building on the Plateau and presents a unique experience�" quite the understatement. Besides your standard issue walls upon which to hang art, there are a couple of nooks and crannies (technical art terms for cool spots that you can hang things in) that make for fun viewing. Then, unlike your standard contemporary art galleries in town, this is split up into about six different rooms. The splitting of the exhibition into different rooms gives (in a similar sensation to this here gallery) a "lived in" style to whatever is being shown. Although someone like Rene Blouin wouldn't be caught dead turning his gallery into something like Wilder and Davis, I would bet an unlimited amount of money, that his clientele lives in spaces that are much more similar to Wilder and Davis than they are to M. Blouin's gallery.

But the really special part, is unless you're a fiddle player, it is even more unlikely that you will have been inside a luthier's than an art gallery. Seeing all those violins, violas and cellos next to each other, hung like so many ties, is just wicked cool. If the art isn't so hot, the violins (at elast to this non-musician) are - and as a consequence I always try to make Wilder and Davis a stop when I am going to check out Art.

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