Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
John Zeppetelli, director general and chief curator of the Museum of contemporary art of Montreal
The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) will spend its entire acquisition budget of the next year to the purchase of their works here, to support artists from quebec and living in Quebec affected by the pandemic. And he hopes that this investment of $ 300,000 will be doubled by his foundation over the next year.
This is what the director-general and chief curator of the MAC, John Zeppetelli, announced on Wednesday. At the same time, Mr. Zeppetelli said that it was hopeful that the expansion project of the MAC will be able to follow its course, in light of an announcement made in the Gazette officielle du Québec, on April 15, granting a sum of 18 million dollars to this project.
By then, the MAC hopes, like many others, that the activities of the museum will revert soon enough to allow the holding of the exhibition of works from quebec, which was scheduled in July.
The percentage of purchase of québec works through the MAC varies from year to year, ” explains Mr. Zeppetelli. But the Museum usually buy 70 % of works here with a procurement budget of $ 300,000. These works are often less expensive on the art market than the foreign works.
The investment in the MAC is designed to restore a bit of life to the ecosystem of the visual arts in québec affected by the crisis of the COVID-19. Already, John Zeppetelli is concerned about the fact that some artists, are affected by the closure of workshop or delays of suppliers, for example, may not be able to finish their production in time to participate in the exhibition this summer. “It is our responsibility to begin to act to support this ecosystem,” he says.
He said that the Museum also intends to make acquisitions from artists who are not necessarily represented by the gallery owners. He also wants to enhance its representation of artists living outside of the administrative region of Montreal.
The director hopes to be able to devote “a good 30 percent” of its budget on artists living in the region. “We want there to be a good allocation of that money. We want parity of genres and a representation of the cultural diversity of the indigenous communities, for example, ” he says.
It is our responsibility to begin to act to support this ecosystem
— John Zeppetelli
For its part, the Foundation of the MAC will immediately begin a collection of funds from its partners to participate in this effort.
“It was urgent that we, at the Foundation of the MAC, to develop a project of philanthropy relevant and consistent during this time of great insecurity. Expand the acquisition budget of the Museum through a fundraising campaign we appeared to be the gesture is the most obvious and the most concrete to support positive artists and the gallery owners here. We give ourselves the objective of gaining financial partners to the cause and we invite all of our visitors, members and lovers of art and culture to make a move. The idea is to federate in order to have the greatest impact. Every gesture counts, ” said Anne-Marie Barnard, executive director of the Foundation of the MAC.
Over the next few years, the Foundation of the MAC will also need to provide every effort to complete the budget provided for the expansion of spaces on the MAC. This project has been delayed over the past year, because of an overrun of $ 8 million to the budgets projected.
According to John Zeppetelli, the recent announcement by the government of Québec comes to calm down the uncertainties on this topic, but the work will not be ready to be started until at least a year.
By then, the MAC, like the other museums of quebec, has been asked to reflect on a recovery plan for the after-crisis of the COVID-19.
“There’s a lot of work to do,” in organization of personnel, spaces and equipment, to ensure the health and safety of everyone, he acknowledges. “But we need the museums, these are essential services,” he said.