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About the collection

Since the founding institutions of Loyola College and Sir George Williams university joined forces in 1974, Concordia University has grown to become a major cultural engine of Montreal.

Internationally recognized for its innovative programs and commitment to accessibility, the University draws strength from more 213,069 dynamic students, faculty, staff and alumni. Their diversity and creativity are Concordia hallmarks, visible in all aspects of university life, thanks in part to the role of our Faculty of Fine Arts – the largest of its kind in Canada.

Less than ten years ago, with the support of the Office of the President, a Cultural Property Database (CuPiD) was developed to document all works of art across the university’s campuses that are not under the professional care of the university’s galleries and archival repositories. This critical exercise heightened the awareness to which art was entrenched in our common, daily experience.

When we consulted with specialists across Canada, we learned that few organizations had dedicated resources to major public art initiatives. The most ambitious and clearly the most relevant model was the Program to Integrate Art Into Architecture and the Environment (also known as the “1%”), administered by the government of Québec. Developed in the 1960s, it now obligates every institution that benefits from provincial funds for construction to dedicate a portion of a building budget to public art.

As we began studying the physical characteristics of our two distinct campuses, it was clear that a sensitive architectural and environmental integration was critical to defining a meaningful public art program.

When construction began in 1913, the Loyola campus was surrounded by farmland and planned along the lines of the more traditional collegiate/conventual plans of Europe. Its generous proportions of green space to buildings provide a bucolic backdrop for the display of art. While the Sir George Williams campus, originally not conceived as a campus now vies for positioning among the myriad skyscrapers and paved concourses that define downtown Montreal. Furthermore, the initiation of a major urban planning project, known as Quartier Concordia, has become a catalyst in affirming the university’s vital role in shaping the character of a North American metropolis.

Given these two distinct campus footprints, we have endeavored to create a website that brings together the public art works in a virtual “group exhibition” format. Intended to complement the outstanding programming offered by all of Concordia’s art venues - the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, the Faculty of Fine Art Gallery, the VAV Gallery and the Communication Studies Media and Mobile Media Gallery - we invite you to explore the scope of our growing collections – each of which, whether by artist, subject, donor or location reinforce Concordia’s connections to the communities that we serve.


For more information about Concordia’s Public Art Collection contact the:
Office of the President
c/o Sandra Margolian
s.margolian@concordia.ca or
514-848-2424 ext. 4867

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