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Concordia Bronfman fellows exhibit new work as part of a group kiosk at Papier Contemporary Art Fair

‘A wonderful opportunity to present to Montreal’s art collectors and art lovers’
November 22, 2021
Mixed media — paper, mesh, cardboard — sewn with red thread to a piece of paper.
Will you take me as I am? by Heidi Barkun, 2021 | Image courtesy of the artist

For the first time, fellows of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art will present artworks together at the Papier Contemporary Art Fair.

Concordia fellows Mara Eagle and Nico Williams will exhibit alongside their Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM) peers, Heidi Barkun and Leila Zelli. A kiosk featuring their work will be part of the 14th edition of the annual art fair, held at the Grand Quai du Port de Montréal from November 26 to 28.

“Since the renewal of the fellowship program in 2020, our intention has been to partner with Papier to provide greater exposure to new Bronfman fellows. Last year, because of the pandemic, we could not do that,” explains Annie Gérin, dean of Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

“This year we are doubling up, showing work by fellows from 2020 and 2021. Papier is the largest commercial art fair in Quebec, so it’s a wonderful opportunity to present their most recent work to Montreal’s art collectors and art lovers.”

The Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art is one of Canada’s most generous fellowships for emerging artists. Since 2010, the awards have supported 24 outstanding graduates from UQAM’s Faculty of Arts and Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Yellow and tan forms on a black background. Le chant des oiseaux, by Leila Zelli, 2019. | Image courtesy of the artist

Being able to curate a show in a physical space is exciting’

Jasmine Sihra, a Concordia art history master’s student, curated the kiosk. Nicole Burisch, director of the FOFA Gallery, recommended Sihra for the job while she was working as an intern.

Sihra has a strong background in museum studies and curatorial studies, and she says she has learned a lot about budgeting, writing grants, installation and exhibition design.

“This project is super relevant to me. And because we’re still in a hybrid situation during the pandemic, being able to actually curate a show that’s in a physical space is really exciting,” Sihra notes.

“My supervisor, Professor Heather Igloliorte, was very supportive when I told her about the opportunity. I just finished writing my master’s thesis, so it has been a nice thing to take a break and get to know these artists and the Montreal arts community better.”

A hexagonal form made of glass beads. aandaabikinigan, by Nico Williams, 2021. | Image courtesy of the artist

Eagle, a 2020 fellow, is looking forward to her first time presenting at a commercial art fair. She will be exhibiting a new image made using a 3D program that will be mounted on a backlit structure.

“As I am mostly a video artist, I wanted to show a different facet of my work. I’ve been going in a new direction lately,” Eagle says.

“While my new works continue to explore issues of the body and representations of nature, I’ve been revisiting my training as a painter and applying computer graphics to more traditional subject matter like still life and portraiture.”

A computer generated, abstract image in greys, purples, greens and browns. That the Earth is the Middle of the World, by Mara Eagle, 2020. | Image courtesy of the artist

Upcoming roundtable discussion

At Papier on November 27 at noon, the four fellows will also take part in a roundtable discussion. The event is moderated by alumna and former FOFA Gallery director Eunice Bélidor (BFA 12), who is now the curator of Quebec and Canadian Contemporary Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Together, they will speak about their emerging careers and art practices, their motivations and influences, teaching art and the transition to and from the academy.

More artwork by Bronfman fellows, and curated by Sihra, will be available on a virtual kiosk also hosted by Papier.

Buy tickets for the
Papier Contemporary Art Fair, at the Grand Quai du Port de Montréal from November 26 to 28.

Find out more about the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art.


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