Following the monumental yet ephemeral jam at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Big Bang! anthology exhibition in late 2011 — 4200 sq. ft., buffed, to the dismay of many, after two months — the Museum’s direction summoned EN MASSE again. This time, the results would be permanent.

Slated for autumn 2012 was the opening of the Museum’s new pedagogical wing, Studios Arts et Éducation Michel De la Chenelière. Sponsored by generous patron De la Chenelière, facilitating all manner of arts-ed activities for students of all ages.

Step 1 was the section’s upstairs Family Lounge, for which a heavy saturation of EM imagery was requested. It took a team of ten five days to fill up — walls, ceilings and window recesses — but the results were spectacular.

In the second week, as a rearranged team broke out the Skyjack and tackled the stairwell, high columns and downstairs workshop walls — the approach shifted from saturation to clustering, and the kaleidoscope of odd characters, creatures and constructions seemed to splash across the area’s many planes and surfaces in a wild yet flowing manner.

A final call for a smaller team was made when the Museum requested yet more En Masse action, out into the lower street level’s lobby and up several columns in the skylit hallway connecting Bishop and Crescent streets, as well as funky cluster mural further into the workshop area.

Taken all together, this is one of the efforts the En Masse is proudest of, sprawling and expansive yet of high technical and creative standards from the first brush stroke to the last. It’s open to the public during regular opening hours — 11 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday through Sunday — and essential viewing for any En Masse fan. The team of contributing artists this time around included Jason Botkin, Fred Caron, Rupert Bottenberg, Cheryl Voisine, Alan Ganev, Tyson Bodnarchuk, WhatisAdam?, Peru Dyer, Tyler Rauman, Peter Ferguson, Olivier Bonnard, Dan Buller, Dominic Brunette, Fred Casia, Melissa Del Pinto, Beeforeo, Labrona, Other, Jason Wasserman, Carlos Santos, Lea Heinrich, Ad Skewville, MC Baldassari, Raphaële Bard, Bruno Rathbone, Katie Green and Dave Todaro.


Studios Arts