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News / October 8, 2013

MAC & Arsenal Launch Emerging-Artist Competition

A view of Arsenal's exterior in Montreal A view of Arsenal's exterior in Montreal

One of Montreal’s largest private art spaces, Arsenal, has teamed up with the city’s Musée d’art contemporain to launch a new competition for emerging artists.

Titled Les Ateliers, the competition will offer Arsenal studio spaces to six young artists in January and February 2014. During this time, the competition promises to offer the artists master classes with seven well-known artists and three curators or critics.

On March 2, 2014, one of the six artists will be awarded a $10,000 grant.

Later, in spring 2014, a selection of works from all the finalists will be exhibited at Arsenal, while in fall 2014 they will be exhibited at the MAC.

The competition is open to artists across Canada who are in the first five years of their practice.

“We are really trying to do this for emerging artists,” Arsenal director Jean-François Bélisle noted in an email.

However, only artists fluent in French are eligible to apply.

“Since all the master courses will be conducted in French, we don’t have much of a choice” in terms of the language requirement, Bélisle explained. “I am hoping that [the competition] will be such a success that we will want to do an English version too!”

MAC director John Zeppetelli stated in a release that “in joining this initiative, the Musée wants to take the opportunity of its 50th anniversary to underscore its commitment to developing the Quebec art scene.”

MAC representatives will help select the six artists from the pool of applicants, and they will also curate the museum’s related exhibition in autumn of next year.

Applications for the competition are due November 4.

The list of artists, curators and critics leading the workshops is to be made public at the end of this month.

Leah Sandals

Leah Sandals is a writer and editor based in Toronto. Her arts journalism has appeared in the Toronto Star, National Post and Globe and Mail, among other publications, and her creative work has been published in Prism, Room and Freefall. She can be reached via