The Darling Foundry knows how to throw a party. And last Thursday, while I was supposed to be in bed resting up for my 5 a.m. wake-up call for our family trip to the States, I was having a beer at the Foundry’s outdoor bar on Ottawa street. Greeted by art and delicious hors-d’oeuvres, the night was off to a good start.
The Darling Foundry gallery is situated in an historical, industrial building: the Darling Brothers Foundry, a metal workshop in Griffintown. Thursday night, the industrial space was filled with white flags hanging from the ceiling. Lieven De Boeck’s Let Us Be Us, Again and Again, and Always is delicate, transparent and is contrasted by the colourful basketballs of The World Unmade. Hajra Waheed, the other exhibited artist, presented her body of work Asylum in the Sea.
Guests were also invited to visit the artists’ studios on the second and third floors. The Darling Foundry hosts three-year residencies for Montreal artists, and two-to-six-month exchanges with international artists. It is unique in Montreal as a space for diffusion of contemporary art and residency, said Marie Marais, the press officer for the event.
As I was exploring the artist studios, I heard murmurs that a performance would be happening outside. Naturally, I ran down the spiral stairs as fast as I could and walked out to see a huge piñata. The Acapulco Collective, who will be exhibiting a piece outside the Foundry in their place publique on September 24, invited guests to take turns attempting to break the piñata, which looked like a forest on top of a huge brown boulder. Meanwhile, the rest were trying to guess what would come out of it. “It can’t be candy.” “It definitely isn’t candy,” said many of the spectators surrounding me. I didn’t think it would be candy either. I mean, it’s an art piece, probably about the environment from the looks of the piñata, so it had to be something about that in there. Maybe dirt. Maybe something gross, you know how artists can be.
I think everyone was pleasantly surprised to see all the lollipops and chocolates spilling out of the piñata when someone finally succeeded in cracking it open (by punching it, I should add). I think it reminded all of us that sometimes art could just be fun. And the Darling Foundry reminded us of that throughout the entire event. At 8, the party was free and open to the public. DJs Shaydakiss, A-Rock, Hatchmatik and Agitarius played great sets on the place publique, while we enjoyed the fresh air and some drinks.
Earlier in the evening, founder and artistic director of the Foundry, Caroline Andrieux, thanked all those who have participated in the gallery’s success. In fact, they reached their goal of raising $50,000 for the space, a record sum. She spoke of the “wave of solidarity for art” and is keen to continue supporting the growth of art and culture in our city.
Cassandra Marsillo writes the blog The Artistorian