MU has been committed to celebrating and supporting women, training the next generation of women artists, and transforming mentalities for 15 years. Women and girls are helping to change our society to advance gender equality and women’s place in society. Through innovation and perseverance, they are bringing about the social changes we seek in a just society.
In our “Les bâtisseur.es culturels montréalais.es” collection, we have paid tribute to 12 great women who have left their mark on our city and who have contributed to its national and international influence.
The Montreal of Miyuki Tanobe, Annie Hamel, 2012
This 130 square meter mural reproduces an original work commissioned to the painter Miyuki Tanobe. It evokes in a naive style the winter game in an urban environment, the daily life and vitality of a Montreal neighborhood with the insertion of several anachronistic references. A Quebec painter, her nihonga style paintings illustrate daily life in Montreal.
Marcelle Ferron, Jean-Sébastien Denis, 2020
A member of the Paul-Émile Borduas group, Marcelle Ferron was a signatory of the Refus global (1948). Interested in the connections between art, architecture and public space, she is now best known for the creation of the gigantic glass roof of the Champ-de-Mars metro station (1967). The mural produced echoes as much the social thought of the great lady as her plastic universe stemming from the non-figurative automatiste.
Alys Robi, Rupert Bottenberg et Dan Buller, 2013
In addition to paying tribute to Alys Robi’s career, passion and determination, the mural on the wall of the Cabaret Lion d’Or celebrates the golden age of Montreal’s cabarets (1940s). The mural features a large-scale portrait of Alys Robi in shades of blue to reflect both her Quebec heritage and the “Blue Note” aesthetic of jazz of the era. A background loaded with graphic elements, all of which are significant nods to the singer’s life, completes the work.
Janine Sutto, Kevin Ledo, 2017
In 2016, MU created this mural in tribute to the great Quebec actress Janine Sutto, just after her 95th birthday. Mural artist Kevin Ledo, known for the quality and realism of his portraits, was commissioned to illustrate Ms. Sutto in giant format on one of the walls of the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal. It is part of a circuit of murals in the heart of the Centre-Sud area focusing on the scenic arts.
Clémence Desrochers, Dominique Desbiens et Bruno Rouyère, 2017
Also part of the Centre-Sud mural circuit on the theme of the scenic arts, how can we not highlight the legacy of Clémence Desrochers as a multidisciplinary Quebec artist, actress, screenwriter, writer, singer and humorist? Many talents that inspired the artists Dominique Desbiens and Bruno Rouyère to create this tribute work.
Denise Pelletier, Mateo, 2017
We continue the momentum of the women artists in the performing arts with this mural tribute to the Quebec actress Denise Pelletier. Artist Mateo created this mural for the fortieth anniversary of the Denise-Pelletier Theatre, based on a photograph by Basil Zarov, Ms. Pelletier’s husband.
Dominique Michel, HSIX, 2017
To conclude on the tributes to women artists of the theatre industry, the mural in homage to Dominique Michel was created on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the birth of the Quebec singer, comedian and actress, based on photos taken from the book Y’a des moments si merveilleux published in 2006.
Daisy P. Sweeney, Kevin Ledo, 2018
Daisy Peterson’s impact on the hearts of Montrealers was especially evident when she taught thousands of young people in her community for 40 years at the Negro Community Centre. She co-founded, with Trevor Payne, the Black Community Youth Choir (1974-1981) of Montreal, a choir of the Union United Church which, in 1982, became the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir. This mural recognizes the profound influence of Daisy Peterson Sweeney on Montreal’s musical life.
Alanis Obomsawin, Meky Ottawa, 2018
Designed by Meky Ottawa, an emerging Atikamekw artist, the mural celebrates Ms. Obomsawin’s commitment to the defence of First Nations, and more specifically the rights and education of Aboriginal children. It was created by Rafael Sottolichio, assisted by Arnaud Grégoire.
Phyllis Lambert, Melissa Del Pinto, 2019
This work celebrates the important work of Phyllis Lambert, an activist architect, and highlights her involvement in the preservation of the architectural heritage of this neighbourhood, notably through her decisive role in the creation of Héritage Montréal and the Société d’Amélioration Milton-Parc.
Lhasa De Sela, Annie Hamel, 2020
Mexican-American singer Lhasa de Sela lived in Montreal for many years. Ten years after her death, visual artist Annie Hamel pays tribute to the most Montreal-born singer of all time by painting a subtle portrait of her.
Éva Circé-Côté, Cyrielle Tremblay, 2022
Finally, paying tribute to Éva Circé-Côté (1871-1949) seemed an obvious way to highlight the cultural, economic and political contribution that women have made to Quebec society. This Montreal freethinker was also the first librarian and curator of the Montreal library, housed in the Monument-National in 1903; the co-director of the first secular high school for young girls, which was located two steps away from the mural; a journalist, essayist, playwright, poet and musician. A feminist, Éva Circé-Côté was a lifelong advocate of a progressive and inclusive society in which indifference to natives and immigrants would not exist.