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Montreal Metro extension to showcase new work by grad Marc Séguin

‘It’s a big thing for me, I’m very inclined towards public art’
April 26, 2023
By Jean-Pierre Karwacki, BA 11

Image of a painting of a wolf with a smaller red wolf painted across its body. The painting is by artist Marc Séguin. "I love America and America loves me, part I" by artist Marc Séguin.

Concordia graduate Marc Séguin, BFA 95, will be one of five artists to contribute public installations to the Blue line extension of the Montreal Metro system, an announcement made this past February.

Works by two other Concordians — Department of Studio Arts associate professor Nadia Myre, MFA 02, and sculptor Jocelyne Alloucherie, MFA 81, a past recipient of the Govenor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts — will adorn the new stations as well.

Séguin has previously had works acquired by major museums across Canada and has made a mark on Montreal’s public art landscape with the likes of Aurores Montréal and the sculpture Anima.

Yet, as he considers how this new work will take on a different degree of prominence in the daily lives of the city’s commuters, he feels a sense of privilege.

“It’s a big thing for me, I’m very inclined towards public art,” Séguin says.

“This is going to be viewed by tens of thousands of people every day, and is something extremely rare in the world, and particular to Montreal. [Projects like this are] a big asset to the city — where every station has art — and it reflects on the cultural politics and morals of the province, to integrate and make art available to the public.”

A collaborative process

Black and white portrait of a man sitting on a white sofa with large photograph in the background. He is wearing a dark button-down shirt and jeans. Marc Séguin | Photo: Éliane Excoffier

Séguin’s work — selected by a jury from among works by 600 other artists — will be found at the tentatively named Langelier station. Through an installation of painted panels, he hopes to impart a sense of the natural to the underground and urban milieu.

The transdisciplinary project has put Séguin in close contact with the station’s architect as it takes shape. It’s been an effective way for his work to achieve a special kind of permanence, he says.

“Art is often bottlenecked into something that already exists and has been constructed, but this is a real process and discussion about materials, where it’s going to be placed, how it will be lit, and so forth,” Séguin explains.

Séguin has called Montreal home since 1992. His mother, who worked at Concordia as a lab technician, was the one who first encouraged him to apply to the studio arts program in the Faculty of Fine Arts.

“I ended up building a portfolio and applying — and I got into what I believe is the best arts school in Canada,” reflects Séguin.

Professors he fondly recollects, all of whom had “well-established practices,” include Guido Molinari, Betty Goodwin and Françoise Sullivan.

As a faculty mentor for the past two years, Séguin has helped prospective artists embark on their own creative journeys. The student has become the teacher, in other words, a role that Séguin says he greatly enjoys.

“When I had contact with established teachers, it gave me a sense of identity,” he notes. “I got so much from Concordia — there was a sense of community that’s essential. Now, 30 years later, I feel it’s something I have to build on. That’s why I’m giving back today.”

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