Memories of Montreal

Our trip to Montreal will forever be a special one because we got engaged there. But it was already a special trip before that happened – and not just because of the enviable bicycle infrastructure. We saw some dazzling displays of art that made the Canadian city appear even more gorgeous.

We really only had a few tourist destinations in mind when we arrived in Montreal.  The first was the Botanical Garden’s Mosaicultures Internationales, horticultural sculpture more stunning than anything I’ve ever seen. Because our ticket allowed for a repeat entry within 30 days, we went back to see what we had missed the first time. It’s hard to describe the artwork – “larger-than-life living works of art” doesn’t really cut it. So I’m just going to add photos.

Montreal's Jardin Botanique

Montreal’s Jardin Botanique

Mosiacultures Internationales Montreal

Mosiacultures Internationales Montreal

Not surprising to find a Bixi bike here!

Not surprising to find a Bixi bike here!

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This proved impossible to photograph on a cloudy day, but it was stunning in person!

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This display is called "The Bridge," and represents the growing collaboration between builders and growers.

This display is called “The Bridge,” and represents the growing collaboration between builders and growers.

 

The other exhibit we saw was the Museum of Fine Art’s “Chihuly : Utterly Breathtaking” – breathtaking doesn’t really describe it either. Giant blown-glass pieces of art arranged in (again) larger-than-life displays created magical rooms that demanded a dream-like state to all who gazed at the glass. An explosion of color greeted each visitor who tiptoed around the glass in awe of it. I’ve seen some Chihuly before, but not like this. The Mechanic hadn’t heard of Chihuly before this, and was probably more entranced than I was.  IMG_6493

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"I am obsessed with color. I never met one I didn't like." -Dale Chihuly

“I am obsessed with color. I never met one I didn’t like.” -Dale Chihuly

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I love the imagined motion in this series. There were several like this, all huge, suspended from the ceiling.

I love the imagined motion in this series. There were several like this, all huge, suspended from the ceiling.

The entire ceiling of this room was filled with glass and lit from above. It was just breath-taking. I could have stayed there for hours looking at all the colors and shapes and designs.

The entire ceiling of this room was filled with glass and lit from above. It was just breath-taking. I could have stayed there for hours looking at all the colors and shapes and designs.

Even the streets were full of art – there were sculptures and graffiti art seemingly everywhere we turned around.

One of many walls similarly decorated.

One of many walls similarly decorated.

A fabulous interactive art street - kids (and adults) loved running up and down this and stepping on the tags. And one of many frames around the city, encouraging visitors to be in the art themselves.

A fabulous interactive art street – kids (and adults) loved running up and down this and stepping on the tags. And one of many frames around the city, encouraging visitors to be in the art themselves.

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It made the city seem so much more joyous than we are used to – as did the last Tam-Tam night! Described as a musical event, this reoccurring Sunday evening gathering was a big crowd of people drumming, smoking, drinking, playing, laughing, relaxing, and no one cared! I guess when a city has hosted something like this every summer for the last twenty years, the police don’t really care what goes on.

Les Tam-tams du Mont Royal

Les Tam-tams du Mont Royal

There is something about being exposed to so much art in such a short amount of time. It makes the brain work in different ways; it stimulates creativity , challenges the way you look at the world around you. Not all art resonates the same way to each person, I realize. Maybe it was the explosion of color in both exhibits that I loved the most. I could stare at them forever, soaking up the colors, feeling them relax me even while making me want to create something myself. We live in such a typically gray world. The world of nature, the world of colors, is so much more amazing. Why don’t we demand more of our our American cities be as colorful as Montreal is?

Art and Bixi - my memories of Montreal

Art and Bixi – my memories of Montreal

One thought on “Memories of Montreal

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