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Community Engagement Through Public Art Masterplanning & Creative Placemaking | MASSIVart

Community Engagement Through Public Art Masterplanning & Creative Placemaking

As cities and neighbourhoods continue to expand and welcome more citizens, creative placemaking and public art have become an integral way to engage people in community connection.


During the Public Art of Tomorrow Symposium organized by MASSIVart on November 22nd, 2021, Jane Farrow and Mia Hunt from Dept of Words & Deeds discussed their work in Downsview collaborating closely with local artists to create new works and installations that activate and energize a vast development site in the northwest quadrant of Toronto.

Acting as Public Art Masterplanning consultants on this extensive Toronto project, MASSIVart, the City of Toronto and the Government of Quebec wanted to highlight it through this workshop, which we programmed.

Northcrest and Canada Lands Company are working together with local communities and other stakeholders to generate a shared vision and framework for roughly 520 acres at Downsview. This vision will prominently feature existing Downsview Park, which will remain at the heart of the community.

The goals and objectives of art and placemaking combine seamlessly with responsible and thoughtful development when local culture is prioritized and facilitated equitably.

Downsview Toronto - Northcrest & Canada Lands Company - Public Art & Placemaking Masterplanning consultants MASSIVartOur intention with this workshop was to provide tools and best practices to help people understand how to engage with the local community, to develop public and private partnerships, how to build a holistic strategy, how to implement research processes and in-depth analysis to create meaningful public artworks.

The Dept of Words & Deeds designs, leads and collaborates on a wide range of regional and local projects, including land use and transportation plans, culture strategies, park and public realm designs, walkability and wayfinding strategies and community development initiatives. Their approach to public engagement emphasizes creative collaboration and broad participation in transparent processes that heighten mutual understanding while identifying common ground and supported recommendations.

Jane Farrow, Public Consultation & Engagement, Principal & Founder of Dept of Words & Deeds, explained that vision and framework plan for the site will involve housing, workspaces, parks and community facilities arrived at through a planning and engagement process that will take place over many years.

Their goal is to work with the locals, recognize the cultural heritage and “amplify what is naturally awesome about Downsview,” Farrow said.

Mia Hunt, Public Consultation & Engagement, Urbanist of Dept of Words & Deeds, has highlighted the fact that locals and city-wide residents have mentioned the importance of arts and culture in the short-term and in the long-term, aligned with the priority of honouring the land of Northcrest and Canada Lands.

It took a community-focused decision-making process to determine what to do concretely, agreeing on the importance of arts and culture to create a destination, to get people on site and to animate the area.

Farrow continued by saying that the site is not a blank slate, it’s a sprawling suburban area with an enormous amount of stuff going on. It’s important to work with locals on the ground to understand the place, the surrounding neighbourhoods, and how changes can contribute positively to what’s already working here.

The goal is to amplify and build on the distinctive, resilient, and resourceful spirit of Downsview.

Farrow added that it’s easy to have ‘cool’ art installations but they can easily be disconnected from the place and the people that surround them. It’s critical to the success of a good arts and culture program to be connected to its environment and communities. This is where the XOXO Downsview project came in.


XOXO Downsview: A love letter to Downsview

XOXO Downsview is a celebration of public art, culture, and local heritage launched in coordination with Toronto’s Year of Public Art. It involves dynamic installations, murals, multimedia works, and an audio walking tour on Downsview Lands and in Downsview Park. The projects highlight local artists, aim to bring people together and highlight the history and potential of Downsview as a destination and generator of cultural works.

To start the project, Hunt said that it took online surveys as well as discussions with creative communities. The voices that have been identified are diverse: young people, seniors, community groups, workers and employees, city-wide civic leaders, local and city-wide residents, local and city-wide business and economic interests, users of Downsview, resident associations, tenants, educational institutions and indigenous communities.

The collaboration seemed to be organic with the locals who helped identify local groups, to ask them what they value in their community, what could be improved and what opportunities they would like to see considered as part of XOXO Downsview.

Jane Farrow and Mia Hunt continued by presenting some of the activations already in place:

Wind Rose - XOXO Downsview Wind Rose

At the summit of Downsview Park, people can find the Downsview Wind Rose: a dynamic installation that celebrates the wind, the view, and the Indigenous connections to the area.

This interactive structure created by Future Simple Studio features a circle of vibrant blue flags attached to a radial network of 32 square arches arranged in a compass-like formation. They resemble a huge wind rose, a time-honoured tool invented by meteorologists that maps the direction, speed, and frequency of the wind in a specific location. The wind rose for Downsview, depicted on the concrete bench at the installation’s centre, is specific to the Downsview airport and shows the local area’s prevailing northwest winds.

Where those winds prevail, you’ll find the jewel of the Downsview Wind Rose: a set of flags designed by Chris and Greg Mitchell, Mi’kmaq artists who lead the design studio Born in the North. The work, called The Turtle and the Traveller, is based on the history of these lands and the local area. Because the flags are positioned at the installation’s northwest location, one is white, representing north on the medicine wheel, and one is the black, representing the west.

Painted Path - XOXO DownsviewPainted Path

Jane Farrow also presented the Painted Path activation. As there’s a lot of ground to cover, the goal was to have a much more pleasant walk around Downsview. Students, locals and indigenous artists were involved to tell different stories about the area.

Downsview XOXO’s painted path begins just south of Downsview Park Station, at the east exit. Jieun June Kim’s tiger—or “horangi”—welcomes the passersby and has been painted to bring good energy and symbolize courage and power, according to Korean folklore.

Then they can walk, skip, or jump along the colourful sequence of graphic lines that run for 1.2 kilometres through the Downsview Lands. These playful lines will be a canvas for many more local artists in the months ahead, including five artists from Just B Graphic.

Ulysses Curtis Mural by Danilo Deluxo

As Jane Farrow said, “Downsview is already awesome, we just want to amplify the stories, the people and the spirit of what’s there already.”

This is the case with this tribute to Ulysses Crazy Legs Curtis: a trailblazing Toronto Argonaut running back, much-loved educator, and local hero. Curator and artist Danilo Deluxo has transformed the former Downsview Fire Station into a canvas that celebrates the impact and achievements of this admirable man.

Ulysses Curtis Mural by Danilo Deluxo - XOXO Downsview

Audio Tour

Over eight parts, the audio tour weaves together the rich history and heritage of design, performance, architecture, music, and culture of the local area.

Hosted by Jane Farrow herself, this tour of the XOXO Downsview installations highlights the bold, vital spirit of Downsview. People can learn about the compelling and surprising history of music, art, heritage architecture, aviation, performance, and visual arts and how it all connects with the present day and plans for the future. You can listen to them here.

After giving a comprehensive overview of what is already in place, the two speakers were able to answer questions from viewers.


To the question “What are your tips on making sure every stakeholder and community groups feel heard and involved?”, Jane Farrow answered that for Downsview, they “built the airplane while they were flying” to get something happening on the ground but also figure out what’s the process by which you make decisions on what you want to say and who decides.

Farrow continued by explaining that you can’t involve all stakeholders in every decision but they try to be as broad, inclusive and diverse as possible.

The key is to have a working and living document. This document is influenced by a jury and an art advisory group that meet two or three times a year to discuss what to focus on. The process is to take advice from both and add them to a work plan to accomplish priorities, and then the client comes to the table to give inputs on artists or subjects. It worked well in the end knowing they wanted to be highly engaged with the community.

Hunt highlighted what Farrow said that it’s important to say that the work plan is a living document. As they will be working more with the local community and participants, the work plan will change.

She also continued by explaining that mentorship is important to the community, making sure that artists are all paid and feel fairly treated. It’s also important to support different kinds of arts and to support the local art community in any way possible.

Farrow added to this by saying that knowing people on the ground is where you start. It takes a “stakeholder mapping” to try to get the word out and see who is up for collaborating without forgetting anyone.

She continued by mentioning the tension point that can exist between institutions and artists. Artists have to be treated differently, they can’t wait 60 days to be paid and that’s something that they had to consider to be able to collaborate in the best conditions but also for artists to feel that their contribution has a real and meaningful value.

The discussion continued on the subject of the sticky or shifting points that can happen during a project. Jane Farrow explained that sometimes what can go wrong is when the client knows that they have a problematic situation but they don’t ask you how to help solve it. They come directly with the solution, meaning that they’re not interested in getting any value from what we can give them: which is understanding the problem and see how we might address it together.

Farrow added that it’s critical that communities be seen and heard throughout the engagement process – and that you can’t just ‘capture culture and put it in a box’. It has to emerge from a rigorous process of listening, engaging and co-creating with local and regional arts and culture practitioners and organizers. Go slow and listen!


To continue on this idea, about the question of “How do you resolve conflicts when stakeholders have opposite desires?”, Mia Hunt said the importance of knowing and explaining why someone’s outcome is not the preferred outcome. With the communities, if you’re engaging in a meaningful way, if you’re on the ground, people may not like the outcome but they know that it was fair and why it is what it is.

They concluded by recalling the importance of building mentorship opportunities, and by bringing together local and international artists.

To receive future opportunities and news, subscribe to the XOXO newsletter.

MASSIVart’s Creative Placemaking and Exhibition Design Projects Win Two Prestigious Design Awards | MASSIVart

MASSIVart’s Creative Placemaking and Exhibition Design Projects Win Two Prestigious Design Awards

An exciting and rewarding way to start the new year!


MASSIVart is honoured to have won two prestigious awards for two of our major projects: “Jardin des Espoirs” Winter Station and the Musée de la Gaspésie new permanent exhibition at the 15th edition of the International Design Awards. The annual awards attract thousands of impressive submissions from designers around the world.


Evaluating submissions from more than 80 countries, members of the IDA jury commented on the incredibly high standard of design entries across the five Award disciplines – Architecture, Interior, Product, Graphic and Fashion Design.

As Jill Grinda, VP Marketing and Business Development for the IDA, explained: “We saw a large number of designers reflecting on the current state of the world including the pandemic, social distancing, sustainability, climate change and circular economies were clearly evident. The jury had an enormous task in selecting the winners from some truly outstanding design submissions. The IDA has always been about seeking out truly visionary designers showcasing creativity and innovation.”

At MASSIVart, we value accessible art, creating resilient and sustainable communities, building engaging destinations and cultural heritage. We are proud that the positive impact we wanted to create with our collaborators has been noticed.

“Designers have more social responsibility than ever since we need to tackle large complex systemic challenges adapting the state-of-art technologies. Hence, International Design Awards (IDA) provides a great open platform that goes beyond just a design award to empower designers to explore, act, and share their social innovative projects,” remarked Jury member Sheng-Hung Lee, Designer and Engineer, MIT and IDSA Boston Vice-Chair.

Thank you to our first-time clients as well as to our repeating, loyal clients, partners, collaborators and artists for helping us make our mission a reality and for being part of the positive impact art and culture have on society. 2021 showed us this impact is more important than ever.

Jardin des Espoirs “Winter Station”
Musée de la Gaspésie “Where Worlds Meet”

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 | MASSIVart

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021

Over the years, the team at MASSIVart has developed an authentic philosophy to embrace diversity, inclusivity and creativity through the frame of public artistic and cultural expression in Toronto, Montreal, Mexico and elsewhere.


With the strong belief that art should be made more accessible to everyone, we are always fascinated and impressed by the exciting public art pieces that are being created all over the world.

The value and need for public art are becoming more and more evident. To showcase this, we wanted to share with you this selection of incredible public art installations, curated by our Creative team, that have caught our attention in 2021.

Studio Proba’s colourful sculptures, Penique’s massive pink balloon and ENESS interactive rainbow arches reminded us how art is essential to bring some brightness in people’s lives.

The Arc de Triomphe, which was wrapped by the Christo and Jeanne-Claude team, and Yinka Ilori’s takeover on billboards sites nationwide in England inspired us to always believe in our dreams.

Esmaa Mohamoud’s public artwork Double Dribble has once again proven the power of art to convey strong and powerful messages.

The 25-meter high installation of SpY in a public square in Madrid has warmed our hearts but has also made us aware of our responsibility towards environmental issues.

In the same way, Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest impacted us, a memory of germination, vegetation, and abundance and a harsh symbol of the devastation of climate change.

Olivier Grossetête’s suspended bridges that have been moving from city to city in Europe for years have inspired us to bring communities together as it’s locals who build these wonderful floating works together.

Xomatok’s prismatic murals of 13 staircases in Peru and Es Devlin’s luminous rotating and kinetic cube in UAE wowed us as a great reminder of how the celebration of cultural history is crucial.

And finally, the large-scale installation by Abraham Cruzvillegas, made from 23 species of medicinal plants, inspired us to take care of ourselves.

We invite you to discover these artworks in more detail 👇


Studio Proba, Tomorrow Land – Design Miami

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - Studio Proba, Tomorrow Land - Design Miami
Early December, visitors at this year’s Design Miami event were welcomed by Tomorrow Land, a public installation by Portland and Brooklyn-based Studio Proba that has transformed the Miami Design District into an interactive playground bursting with candy-like colours, organic shapes and quirky patterns.

The installation consists of 21 large-scale elements that range from totem-like sculptures to whimsical seating arrangements, filling the streets with palpable joy and optimism. The installation is on view until May 2022 with a selection of sculptures that will remain permanently.

Studio Proba website
📷 Kris Tamburello


Es Devlin, The Seed – Abu Dhabi, UAE

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - Es Devlin, The Seed - Abu Dhabi, UAE

The amazing centrepiece of 2020 UAE National Day celebrations in Abu Dhabi – a luminous rotating cube called The Seed – became a temporary public artwork from December 14 to January 30, 2021.

The installation is the work of renowned British artist and set designer Es Devlin, known for melding light, video, language and music in her spectacular creations.

Visitors could witness the work of kinetic art in action, with projections relating to the UAE’s history and acknowledgement of frontline workers in the Covid-19 pandemic, with narrations from a Filipina nurse and an Emirati policeman sharing the experiences and challenges they faced. Voices of Maj Hazza Al Mansouri, the UAE’s first astronaut, and Chaica Al Qassimi, an Emirati Special Olympics martial arts athlete, were also played.

Es Devlin website


Penique Productions, Carrer de Sant Sebastià, 44 – Moià, Spain

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - Penique Productions, Carrer de Sant Sebastià, 44 - Moià, Spain

In July 2021, Penique was invited to be part of Ex Abrupto Contemporary Art Festival 2021, a one-day festival in Moià, a historical little town in the middle of Catalonia, Spain.

Penique productions installed their famous inflatable artwork in the street, contained by the facades of the street that surround it. The pink balloon blocked the main street where most of the festival artworks were concentrated.

The installation functioned as a gateway to a new reality, a beautiful escape to wonder.

Penique Productions website
📷 Eduard Morato Vila


ENESS, Sky Castle – Sidney, Australia

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - ENESS, Sky Castle - Sidney, Australia

In September 2021, the Sky Castle has made its home in Sidney, Australia.

This ethereal symphonic work changes colour as visitors move through its luminous arches. Light and music have been specially orchestrated to inspire joy and hope in people as they flow in and out.

The arches are designed to reflect a rainbow — and to bring a spot of brightness to the city after its tough experiences during the pandemic, just like rainbows do after storms.

ENESS website
📷 @zhuruiphoto


Yinka Ilori, If You Can Dream Then Anything is Possible – England

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - Yinka Ilori, If You Can Dream Then Anything is Possible - England

Yinka Ilori is a London-based multidisciplinary artist who specializes in storytelling by fusing his British and Nigerian heritage to tell new stories in contemporary design.

The Buildhollywood family of Jack Arts has collaborated with Yinka Ilori for the Your Space Or Mine project on a national scale in some cities to inspire and remind us all to keep going and keep dreaming especially during these challenging times.

Colourful, provocative and fun, each piece he creates tells a story. Ilori delivered bold, sharp and impressive works, blistering concatenations of colour, pattern and form that took over flagship poster and billboard sites nationwide in London, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Yinka Ilori website


Esmaa Mohamoud, Double Dribble – Toronto, Canada

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - Esmaa Mohamoud, Double Dribble - Toronto, Canada

Mohamoud’s practice often interweaves the commodification of Black athletes with the history of transatlantic slavery, and Double Dribble raises questions about who is allowed to gather and play in public and who isn’t. Either through urban planning that removes public courts or fenced-off fields, more active kinds of policing that use racially motivated loitering laws, or the cordoning-off of basketball hoops under the pretext of enforcing social distancing.

The site of the installation, a recently redesigned public park built beneath a contentious elevated highway that runs through downtown Toronto, helps to underscore the ways that the rules of the city landscape, like the rules of the game, make bodily movement both urgent and prohibited. Double Dribble was created during Summer 2021.

Esmaa Mohamoud website


Abraham Cruzvillegas, Agua dulce – Miami, USA

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - Abraham Cruzvillegas, Agua dulce - Miami, USA

Extending along the central promenade of the park leading up to The Bass museum entrance in Miami, Agua dulce, a large-scale sculptural installation, encompasses nearly 14,000 square feet.

Commissioned by The Bass, the project brings the artist’s philosophy of autoconstrucción or “self-construction,” a practice of resilience and generosity, to The Bass’ Collins Park. Utilizing numerous species of flora, fauna and mineral, performers mimicking native birds, and seating that the artist constructed with locally sourced materials, Agua dulce forms a plant environment in front of the museum, free for the public to enjoy.

Through collaborative research with local experts on native flora, Cruzvillegas selected around 23 different species to create the installation of more than 1,000 plants. Many of the included species, like the Salix Caroliniana (Coastal Plain Willow), have medicinal properties and are regularly used by the Seminoles (Native American people of Florida), introducing notions of care and restoration to the installation. On view until April 2022.

Abraham Cruzvillegas website
📷 Zaire Kacz


Christo et Jeanne-Claude, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped – Paris, France

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - Christo et Jeanne-Claude, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped - Paris, France

L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, a temporary artwork in Paris, was on view for 16 days from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021. The Arc de Triomphe was wrapped in 25,000 square meters of recyclable polypropylene fabric in silvery blue, and with 3,000 meters of red rope.

In 1961, three years after they met in Paris, Christo and Jeanne-Claude began creating works of art in public spaces. One of their projects was to wrap a public building. When he arrived in Paris, Christo rented a small room near the Arc de Triomphe and had been attracted to the monument ever since. In 1962, he made a photomontage of the Arc de Triomphe wrapped, seen from the Avenue Foch and, in 1988, a collage. Sixty years later, the project was finally brought to life.

Per Christo’s wishes, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped was completed by his team after his death.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude website
📷 Jared Chulski


SpY, Earth – Madrid, Spain

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - SpY, Earth - Madrid, Spain

SpY presented an artistic project made up of a luminous red sphere caged inside a cube-shaped structure, constructed with the type of scaffolding normally used on building sites.

These two simple geometric elements (sphere and cube) form a large-scale construction that stands almost 25 metres high and has been installed in Plaza de Colón in Madrid.

This powerful visual statement is accompanied by a bright red light emanating from inside the sphere, from which one can almost feel the heat transmitted by the concept of the work.

There have always been changing climate conditions and the Earth is constantly evolving. However, as a consequence of human activity, these changes are happening over a very short period of time and have resulted in worrying alterations.

SpY asks the viewer to propose dialogue and actions that will contribute to improve collective awareness through a value system that can turn this situation around. The challenge we all face is to take small individual steps to improve and contribute to our sense of shared responsibility.

SpY website
📷 Ruben P Bescos


Maya Lin, Ghost Forest – New York City, US

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - Maya Lin, Ghost Forest - New York City, US

Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest, a towering stand of forty-nine haunting Atlantic white cedar trees, is a commissioned public artwork that took place in Madison Square Park from May 10 to November 14, 2021. Lin brought her vision as an artist and her agency as an environmental activist to this project, a memory of germination, vegetation, and abundance and a harsh symbol of the devastating effects of climate change.

The height of each tree, around forty feet, overwhelmed the human scale and stood as a metaphor for the unimaginable impact of a looming environmental calamity.

Maya Lin website
📷 Andy Romer


Olivier Grossetête, The Suspension Bridge – Europe

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - Olivier Grossetête, The Suspension Bridge - Europe

Temporarily seen hovering above small European towns or balancing on a river in floating canoes are elaborate bridges designed to be constructed and demolished in a matter of days. The ongoing work of Olivier Grossetête, the cardboard-and-tape pieces are entirely hand-built by the French artist and local residents.

Each ephemeral installation, which Grossetête refers to as “utopian building(s), temporary and useless,” appears for only a day or two before it’s taken down and the public is asked to stomp on and destroy the cardboard. While they’re on display, the architectural works are often tethered between hot air balloons and existing buildings, which makes them appear dream-like as they float above the urban landscape.

Olivier Grossetête website


Xomatok, Prismatic Murals of Long 13 Staircases – Lima, Peru

MASSIVart’s Public Art Picks of 2021 - Xomatok, Prismatic Murals of Long 13 Staircases - Peru, 2021

Xomatok’s latest work is the prismatic murals, similar to the Andean textiles of incredibly lively colours across 13 different super long staircases that spread across the hills of Lima.

His prismatic murals look like handwoven Andrean blankets that cover already impressive pathways through the Alisos de Amauta neighbourhood. Xomatok took the two months he spent in Lima to collaborate with other artists and residents with the goal to transform the public staircases into permanent public artworks.

The spectrum of energetic colours that Xomatok used celebrates the Peruvian cultural history and ended up being a truly beautiful process of making art.

Xomatok website
📷 Jeremy Flores

Our Founder Philippe Demers to speak at CODAsummit 2021 – One of the most important public art conferences in the US | MASSIVart

Our Founder Philippe Demers to speak at CODAsummit 2021 - One of the most important public art conferences in the US

MASSIVart is pleased to participate in this year’s CODAsummit as Philippe Demers, Founding Partner and Global Creative Director, who is hosting a session about the ROI of Placemaking with Louis-Etienne Dubois, Associate Professor, Creative Industries at Ryerson University.


The ROI of Placemaking

On November 12, from 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm (MST), Philippe Demers and Louis-Etienne Dubois will present an exclusive look at the preliminary results of the groundbreaking research study we are involved in.

Piloted by Ryerson University’s Creative Industries professor, Louis-Etienne Dubois and his team, the study’s framework intends to give us some much-needed quantitative analysis on the many benefits of placemaking. Dubois explains: “together, these metrics will generate an original dashboard that stakeholders can use to discuss, assess, and communicate the economic, social and aesthetic value of placemaking in the planning and evaluation of projects.”

Over the years, the art industry and its clients have come to realize that creative placemaking is beneficial to increase traffic, transform spaces and enhance events by creating memorable experiences.

Cultural programming and the inclusion of art in architecture, real estate and design, and many other alternative areas can transform the sense of community and belonging, and contribute to the collective well-being. Art helps to convey the character of a place, its value, culture, identity, and narrative.

Until now, clear evidence to support those claims has been missing, making it difficult to come up with a compelling business case and because of that, the lack of evidence can get in the way of projects’ approvals.

To solve this issue, MASSIVart, embarked on a study along with other organizations who are experts in their field of expertise (The Daniels Corporation – real estate, Entro – design, and Lemay – architecture) and who share an understanding of placemaking’s positive impact and of the lack of sound empirical evidence.


CODAsummit 2021

CODAworx is partnering with Scottsdale Public Art, a division of Scottsdale Arts, to produce this year’s CODAsummit from November 10-12 in Scottsdale, Arizona. This inspirational event will be both physical and virtual, using the latest technology to bring people together in person as well as online.

CODAsummit is the only conference focused on the innovative ways creative professionals are incorporating technology to create art installations that are changing the ways we experience our environments.

Stay tuned for news to come for the official launch of the full results. Until then:

Register for the CODAsummit

Join us for Public Art Of Tomorrow Symposium, as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022 | MASSIVart

Join us for Public Art Of Tomorrow Symposium, as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022

MASSIVart has the pleasure of working with the City of Toronto and the Government of Quebec on ArtworxTO Symposium: Public Art for Tomorrow, a three-day virtual event that will focus on the future of public art, taking place on November 22 – 24.


The event is part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022, an innovative year-long celebration that will kick off the City of Toronto’s new 10-Year of Public Art Strategy, signalling Toronto’s renewed commitment to public art.

As the symposium’s programming team, MASSIVart is honoured to have the opportunity to bring this free, extensive and accessible program to life. Today we are thrilled to unveil the schedules and registration details for this imaginative and unique experience.

Organized with the City of Toronto and the Government of Quebec, this virtual symposium will celebrate Toronto’s impressive existing public art collection while discussing the future role of art and artists in the public art form.

Keynote speakers, panellists, and industry leaders will discuss bringing communities together through public art by building better, stronger and inclusive cultural and creative sectors within urban areas.

Public art is at the heart of a city’s development and vitality; by reimagining and animating public spaces, cities can bring people back to plazas, main streets, and neighbourhoods severely impacted by the pandemic. The integration of public art in communities city-wide undoubtedly connects citizens to their surroundings and assists with the social development and sustainability of communities.

Building upon the natural relationship between the City of Toronto and the province of Quebec, the symposium will connect arts organizations, industry professionals and businesses from both cities, to work together towards economic recovery. Public art of tomorrow, public art for all.

Notable speakers include:


Participating speakers, artists and industry leaders from all over North America, discussing topics including:

→ Then, Now and Forward: Questions of Public Art
→ When Everyone Gets Into Bed, How Do We Make Public Art a Reality?
→ Future Public Art and Technology: Is it as Radical as it Seems?
→ Public Art and Sustainability: The Questions are Many
→ Actions to Take Now for A Better Public Art Future
→ How to Export Canadian Public Art Expertise
→ Reaching the Community & Citizens Through Public Art

Register now

MASSIVart’s hospitality project wins prestigious award for Best Art Integration in Interior Design | MASSIVart

MASSIVart’s hospitality project wins prestigious award for Best Art Integration in Interior Design

We are pleased to share that MASSIVart and Sid Lee Architecture’s recent project at the W Montreal hotel won the Grands Prix du Design award for Best Art Integration in Interior Design.


The Grands Prix du Design is an annual competition that celebrates excellence in design, architecture, and the built environment. Recognized by the Quebec community since its inception in 2007, the competition is now in its 14th edition and features candidates and winners from over 30 different countries.

To bring the W Montreal‘s project to life, MASSIVart spent one year working alongside Sid Lee Architecture on the integration of artworks into their architectural vision. The challenge was to amplify the guest experience through art. It resulted in three main art and design pieces permanently integrated in the breathtaking lobby and four more additional artworks in the conference rooms.

To commemorate this exciting win, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight Toronto artist Camille Jodoin-Eng’s artwork.

The intention was to magnify the sense of arrival at W Montreal so we worked with Jodoin-Eng to create an impressive golden and luminous installation, inspired by a bank vault as a reminder of the building’s roots, which used to be a banking institution.


“You can ask for a higher average daily rate (ADR) when you have quality art in your hotel vs just a piece of art that you can buy at any common store. What we have at W Montreal is unique: There’s only our property that has it, and people are willing to pay a premium to have this experience.”
Christina Poon, W Montreal, General Manager

Discover this award-winning project

Photo: Solaire #2, 2019 – Etienne Rey – © Etienne Rey, ADAGP Paris
1000 Visages: a large-scale kinetic work that dances to the rhythm of the sun, the wind and the moon | MASSIVart

1000 Visages: a large-scale kinetic work that dances to the rhythm of the sun, the wind and the moon

1000 Visages is a kinetic work of impressive scale, created by Alejandro Figueroa, that dances to the rhythm of the sun, wind and moon and offers the community a universe of relaxation and contemplation.


This mesmerizing work in the form of a floating sphere is composed of 1779 pieces of reflective dichroic plexi suspended under a curved structure 40 feet high. It reflects the environment in which it lives and is enhanced by the elements of nature and the movement of humans who observe it.

1000 Visages was part of the series of diverse artworks that were displayed in Montreal’s parks, streets, and near commercial avenues, allowing citizens to discover several artistic disciplines, including photography, sculpture and digital art. A total of 21 public art installations were displayed around various Montreal boroughs. Learn more about this project.

MASSIVart had the pleasure of collaborating with numerous Montreal artists and creative firms to make this exciting initiative a reality. Alejandro Figueroa from +AMOR and his installation, 1000 Visages, particularly caught our attention.

We wanted to give him the floor to learn more about him and this work.


Can you tell us more about your general artistic practice?

My personal practice extends now over 20 years, and it has a wide range of mediums, from creating videos, to producing award winning VR experiences , to sculptural work, and in the last 7 years creating multi sensorial art installations. The common denominator throughout all mediums and time is a constant desire to build awareness and community, through the exploration of light, movement, time and colour.

I believe that art should reflect the times in which it is created.

What are your inspirations?

For all concepts, I have two main sources of inspiration in my work, Nature and the work of great masters. Once the ideas are in place, I will look at available materials to try to come as close to the original inspiration I can get with the resources available.

Can you tell us more about 1000 Visages?

In the last two years, I have tried to create installations that are physical representations of social phenomena or cultural concepts, and 1000 Visages is one of them.

1000 Visages is a physical representation of the community, in which the 1779 mirror moves independently from each other with the forces of nature and at the same time all mirrors are connected to form a beautiful spectacle of union.

What story did you want to tell?

In 1000 Visages I wanted to share the struggle of confinement, restrictions and lockouts. By creating a sphere composed of mirrors, I wanted people to look up and see themself, but also to see the surrounding people around them, to put an end to the loneliness and segregation in which we lived for the last two years (almost). I wanted people to feel whole.

What effect did 1000 Visages have on the people you met in the Parc des Faubourgs?

In all my productions I make sure to put as many layers of understanding as I can, the result of this train of thought is that I manage to capture a very large audience that will be captivated by the art for many different reasons.

In the specific case of the 1000 Visages, everyone loved it and everyone had his/her own interpretation about the meaning of the piece.

How do you think the integration of art can be beneficial to revitalize public spaces?

There are two tandem answers to this question, one from the public or community and from an artist’s point of view.

From the community point of view, it is critical to have access to FREE, and no partisan, sources of inspiration. In times when everything is trying to sell us something, having art that is there to ignite creativity is primordial for the development of a healthy society.

As an artist, to be in the public sphere is a privilege and responsibility. To be in the public domain comes with a load of responsibility since you are imposing your vision into the collectivity, so you have to be extremely careful how you leverage this privilege. The intentions behind your creative process have to be noble and thoughtful whatever they are, there is no place for egocentric visions or energies in the public space.

And lastly, as an artist, I care about the democratization of art in society, this function has to be exercised at all costs in society, giving FREE access to the community has an unquantifiable positive effect.


A Vibrant, Colour-Blocked Mural by Asero Rodriguez Transforms an Ephemeral Basketball Court for NBA Beyond The Lines | MASSIVart

A Vibrant, Colour-Blocked Mural by Asero Rodriguez Transforms an Ephemeral Basketball Court for NBA Beyond The Lines

MASSIVart Mexico was given the opportunity by NBA and Hennessy to launch their global partnership with a vibrant art experience: NBA Beyond The Lines – on October 1, 2 and 3, 2021 in Mexico. The three-day contemporary art exhibition showcased local as well as world-renowned artists, demonstrating the vibrant spirit of basketball – beyond the sport.

For this tailor-made event and as a surprise element, MASSIVart Mexico proposed to create a colourful basketball court in collaboration with Mexican urban artist Asero Rodriguez.

During the day, people were able to enjoy the court and capture the moment with photos. At night, the court was transformed into a breathtaking dance floor thanks to the integration of glow-in-the-dark elements.

The artist shares more about his inspirations and the custom mural he created for NBA and Hennessy.



Can you tell us more about your work as an artist?

I am based in cubist and pop art, leading to the abstract scenes in which I mix various themes in communion with mother nature, the psychological, stories, legends, or current issues; opening parenthesis to start a dialogue on certain news or events of the moment. I like to work through the deconstruction of shapes and figures together with colour, sometimes experimenting at the moment of applying tones, creating a visual harmony through contrasts, saturation, and mixtures.


What are your main inspirations?

My main inspiration is to look for the attractive in the day to day, giving value to the geometric figures applying them to everyday life or on the theme that I work on. I think that for the production of my work the important thing is the investigation of what I have to talk about or reflect, which is what makes the inspiration and the creation of composition in my mind, proposing lines that adapt to the support to intervene.


Do you like basketball and what does it represent for you?

Yes, I like sports in general. Although it’s not my favourite, for me it represents great moments in my mind, since it takes me back to my childhood. I remember my older brother collecting a series of Upper Deck cards, which I would sneakily take from him because he would hide them in a box between his sneakers and shoes. As a kid (4-5 years old) I would make groups of five players with the cards, assign them team and group names and then make rounds of five shots per team and whoever made the most baskets would advance to the next round. So on and so forth, until we got to a champion. I remember my favourite was Muggsy Bogues in the white Charlotte jersey.


How is your taste in the sport reflected in your creation?

My taste in this sport is not the victory itself, I try to enjoy every play…taking as favourites the defensive plays, the blocks, the rubs between players, the face-offs, the screens, and the decisive shots. And those sensations are what I try to show in this mural.


What limits do you like to challenge through your work?

At the moment the challenge I have is the large format intervention or to start using other materials through experimentation. I believe that there are no limits, but experiences that help one to mutate in the conception of my art, change processes and encourage change to avoid stagnation.


Can you tell us more about the mural you created for NBA Beyond The Lines?

I took as inspiration what is known as BuzzerBeater, giving that name to the mural. It’s the adrenaline rush after the player’s decision as the buzzer sounds on the last shot of the game.

It is the deep breath to suppress fear and be the one who gives joy to the fans. It is about reflecting on the next mural; the last play. An instant before the glory that will unleash the heartbeat of the whole arena.

It shows two players stalking each other to achieve their victory. One tries to make the block and the other seeks to take the glory. At that moment, the impact of emotions will remain in the minds of those who are about to live it.


Nine art posters reflecting the cultural richness of Indigenous cultures in Canada and Mexico | MASSIVart

Nine art posters reflecting the cultural richness of Indigenous cultures in Canada and Mexico

The artistic tradition of the Indigenous peoples of Canada and Oaxaca is millenary.

Textiles, paintings, sculptures, and wood carvings are common to many of the Indigenous communities and reflect the cultural richness of both territories.

Within the framework of Indigenous Crossroads: Oaxaca-Canada that MASSIVart had the honour to orchestrate for the Embassy of Canada in Mexico, nine art posters could be discovered throughout the city of Oaxaca and online.

Each of them has its own story, explained by the artist themselves, which we wanted to share with you.


Filogonio Naxín (Mazateco)
Cuatro Dioses

Filogonio Naxín (Mazateco) - Cuatro Dioses - Oaxaca Indigenous cultures festival

The series starts from the reflection on the 500th anniversary of the fall of Tenochtitlan. It is also part of a need as Indigenous people to be present in the history of Mexico to tell the vision of those who did not conquer us, of those who remained within a geographic space defined as alien to our cultures. But during this time, the scarce acculturation in Indigenous communities has made it possible for many people to live under their “uses and customs”, maintaining their mother tongues, and under polytheistic cultures that have survived in the face of the Catholic religion.

I grew up in a town where the imagery of the group makes us believe as children that our Indigenous language is the only one; far from Spanish and other languages, and that the scarce public education distances us from the “universal knowledge”. I grew up not knowing how the events of the fall of Tenochtitlan were, this is why I present this work questioning the newly acquired information. Finding so much nonsense in the official history, and with the absence of a colonized thought, allows me to question myself about the historical process of The Conquest.

Four Gods is part of this series composed of 45 pieces in collage, acrylic, and monotype technique. With this specific piece, I seek to represent the four Aztec brother gods, Tezcatlipoca, Xipe Tótec, Quetzalcóatl, and Huitzilopochtli, sons of the creative couple Ometecuhtli and Omecíhuatl. Bringing them back to the present moment with this representation is a way of showing them my respect.


Gabriela Morac (Zapoteca)

Gabriela Morac (Zapoteca) “BËN ZUNNI” - Oaxaca Indigenous cultures festival

“I am a Zunni, who are you?” This is the closest translation into English of the text that accompanies the image of this poster.

This poster shows the importance of women in the cosmogony of the native peoples, of the mother cultures, and of the Zapotec in particular. From the philosophy of fertility, the act of offering and as a giver of life. Likewise, it represents the role of the woman from her perspective as a contemporary Indigenous woman, without attire, without distinctions at first sight that qualify her as Indigenous for having or not having a semblance or clothing.

Only from the possibility offered by her own origin, which is to be a bën zunni, a person originating from the “place where people sow”, without the act of sowing being limited to the literalism of agriculture, the act of placing seeds in fertile soil so that they can fulfill their cycle, but from the possibility of sowing actions and ideas that germinate in the field of empathy to generate new knowledge, actions, affections, and forms.

Hazhe Is (Zapoteco)
Si llegamos a cometer un error…

Hazhe Is (Zapoteco) Si llegamos a cometer un error… - Oaxaca Indigenous cultures festival

Music has been an essential part of every historical moment of the evolution of human life.

For the present time, music is only an ornament, an accompaniment, and a source of money, but in spite of that, people find in its moments of intimacy and connection with their thoughts and emotions, and fortunately, there are corners where music finds no place in the collective and subjective opposition and even resolves it.

In the Sierra Norte, it happens in a genuine way because wind music shares important moments for the life of each town and each person, sacred and profane moments, but always starting from the divine foundation, so much so that to be a musician one is born with a gift.


Jordan Stranger (Oji-Cree)

Jordan Stranger (Oji-Cree) Mino-bimaadiziwin - Oaxaca Indigenous cultures festival

Mino-bimaadiziwin in the ojibwe phrase meaning “The good life”.

To be mindful and respectful of all things of the Earth so that we can walk the earth (Turtle Island) in a good way. To heal and help. To grow and learn. We are born to be loved and to love.


Kailey Sheppard (Inuk)

Kailey Sheppard (Inuk) Kudlik - Oaxaca Indigenous cultures festival

A kudlik or qulliq is a traditional Inuit oil lamp carved from stone and lit with seal or whale oil and Arctic cotton. This lamp is important because it provides warmth, light, and a form of cooking.

The way the kudlik’s lights dance reflects the northern lights. From it flows marine life significant in Inuit culture, such as various fish, seals, a bowhead whale, and a narwhal, as well as the tail of the sea goddess Sedna.


Kaya Joan (Afro Kanien’kehá:Ka)
Celestials in council

Kaya Joan (Afro Kanien'kehá:Ka) Celestials in council - Oaxaca Indigenous cultures festival

How do our most ancient ancestors in karonhià:ke (the place in the sky) reflect on what is unfolding here on earth?

As these ancient beings gaze gently at each other, held in each other’s orbit for a few moments, to us it seems like months, years, even decades. Time is not linear for them but moves in all directions at once.

They offer their lessons and medicine in endless cycles, asking us to listen and maintain a deep relationship with gratitude in return. They formed our oldest teachers and pulled the oceans back and forth. I wonder what they are thinking of forming next.


Sr. Nía Jmá C (Mazateco)

Sr. Nía Jmá C (Mazateco) Natsé - Oaxaca Indigenous cultures festival

They say that once upon a time there was a rabbit named Natsé. A restless and very dreamy rabbit. Every night he would escape going to the Tomezona lagoon, where he would look at the stars and the moon, wishing one day to be part of the cosmos.

His friends and family would tease him about his greatest desire, to be part of the galaxy. “You’re crazy” they all told him.

One October night, that rabbit went out as usual and went to the Tometzona lagoon where he hoped to find the guardian of the lagoon so that she, with her cosmic powers, would grant him his great desire.

So much was his faith that suddenly something illuminated him and with a soft and sweet voice said: “You will be the guardian of the moon. You will be illuminated by the moonlight and from there you will now be able to watch and care for your friends and family.” With a final breath, the rabbit rose for his new journey to the moon.

Since then all the rabbits living near that lagoon, at every full moon in October, dance and whirl, and from the reflection of the water, Natsé looks at itself dancing happily illuminated inside the moon.


Sonny Assu (Ligwilda’xw)
Land Back

Sonny Assu (Ligwilda’xw) Land Back - Oaxaca Indigenous cultures festival

Land Back is a statement that came out of the Indigenous lead movements in Canada, in late 2019. It has become a mantra of Indigenous environmental stewardship, protection, and a call to action to rethink the soured and oppressive relationship that Canada has with the Indigenous people.


Victoria Gaspar (Zapoteca)
Mujeres Serranas

Victoria Gaspar (Zapoteca) Mujeres Serranas - Oaxaca Indigenous cultures festival
This illustration depicts two female musicians from the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca, from San Melchor Betaza and Villa Hidalgo Yalálag. Serrano music is identity, heritage, song, light, strength, joy, wisdom, memory, dance; it is history embroidered in huipil, in underskirt that will never cease to flourish in community.
Learn more about the artists.

ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022 – Request for Proposals for a Public Artwork is On! | MASSIVart

ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022 - Request for Proposals for a Public Artwork is On!

MASSIVart is working with the City of Toronto and the Government of Quebec on ArtworxTO Symposium: Public Art for Tomorrow, a three-day virtual event that will focus on the future of public art in cities, taking place on November 22-23-24.

The event will be part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022, a year-long celebration of Toronto’s exceptional public art collection and the devoted creative community behind it.

As the symposium’s programming team, MASSIVart is honoured to have the opportunity to bring this free extensive and accessible program to life. As our team creates the programming for this innovative experience, the schedules and registration details will be announced on November 1st.

We encourage all talented artists from Toronto and the province of Quebec to participate in the call for artists organized for the occasion. The awarded artwork will be selected by way of peoples’ choice; participants attending the ArtworxTO Symposium: Public Art for Tomorrow will be able to vote for their favourite option.


Call for Temporary Public Artwork

Deadline October 18, 2021

The City of Toronto invites professional artists (including teams) who have ties to both Toronto and Quebec to submit proposals for an outdoor, temporary three-dimensional sculptural public artwork on the theme of “public art of tomorrow.”

The City of Toronto’s new Public Art Strategy seeks to redefine public art. The pandemic has changed the ways in which we interact and experience society, such as public art. As urban areas begin to rebuild and reopen, the public now has the opportunity to reimagine how to move through and rediscover the communities throughout their city. The artwork submissions will depict and predict the future of public art.

The selected artwork will simultaneously celebrate the devoted relationship between the City of Toronto and the Gouvernement du Quebec, including the close collaborations between Toronto and artistic cities like Montreal and Quebec City.

Maximum budget of $75,000. View the full application package here.

Art installation: 1000 Visages, 2021 (Alejandro Figueroa de +AMOR)


A Fresh Take on Basketball by Morelos León Celis for NBA and Hennessy’s Event “NBA Beyond The Lines” | MASSIVart

A Fresh Take on Basketball by Morelos León Celis for NBA and Hennessy’s Event NBA Beyond The Lines

MASSIVart was given the opportunity by NBA and Hennessy to launch their exciting global partnership with a vibrant art experience: NBA Beyond The Lines – on October 1, 2 and 3, 2021 in Mexico. The three-day contemporary art exhibition will showcase local as well as world-renowned artists, demonstrating the vibrant spirit of basketball – beyond the sport.

For this tailor-made event, we hand-selected Morelos León Celis to create the program. Celis is a vibrant Mexican artist who finds his inspiration in sports. He shares more about the intimate connection between his art and basketball, as well as the work he will be presenting this weekend at NBA Beyond The Lines.

NBA Beyond The Lines Morelos Leon Celis Mexico City

Can you tell us more about your work as an artist?

A word I constantly use when referring to my work as an artist is a strategy. It certainly has a lot to do with the influence of play, but also with the way I have generated my work processes, close to phases of research, exploration, observation, and my individual, family, and community memory.

The objects, sculptures and videos that make up my work belong to a specific referential system, they live a kind of dislocation and strangeness thanks to a change of materials, scale or place. In my artistic work, I try to multiply materials, supports and media. I articulate signs through strategies based on a rigorous observation of certain codes and languages such as basketball.

What are your main inspirations?

My inspiration is the art that separates the notion of play from the notion of work, that is to say, to build a community of play as the philosopher Byung-Chul Han says.

Do you like basketball?

I am an artist from Oaxaca who comes from a town nestled in the mountains of the Mixteca Baja, whose only artistic and cultural reference was for many years the space of the municipal basketball court.

I have always liked basketball, and believe the playing field, through community appropriation, has mutated its character from a simple playful game to an epicenter of political, social and cultural activity.

As you know, the area where basketball courts are in towns is generally located within the limitations of the civic square, parallel to the atrium of the church and adjacent to the government palace; becoming a point where the bonds of coexistence are fostered and strengthened.

Ñuu Savi Basket NBA Beyond The Lines Morelos Leon Celis Mexico City


How is your love for this sport reflected in your creations?

The basketball court and music are closely related in the Mixtec region; the former is the rehearsal place par excellence for the latter. Oaxacan musical tradition is widely recognized, its wind orchestra is perhaps the most appreciated in the region and its schools are the most distinguished within the musical learning circuit of the state.

My aesthetic and conceptual incursions in my creations constantly allude to the gaming situation, to the musical notation and to the migratory condition of the Mixtec society. It is not by chance that in my artistic work the movements of the basketball players, pivots, pints and stops, are interpreted as gestures and displacements similar to those executed by the bees in their synchronization of movements for the attaining pollen. These same vital gestures are not far from the organizational potential of the migratory tradition of my people.

What limits do you like to challenge through your work?

I would like to confront the tensions between art and life, the rural versus the urban and the traditional versus the industrial.

NBA Beyond The Lines Morelos Leon Celis Mexico City


Can you tell us more about the pieces on display at NBA Beyond The Lines?

Basketball Musical Strategy New Belgrade is an action I shot in 2018 in Belgrade. The piece started from a collaboration with Serbian artist Predrag Terzić, who, in turn, had developed a series of drawings from graphics that take up the strategies of basketball.

Conceptually, the work is based on the codes of the game, its rules, and an action that responds, almost mathematically, to the possibility of executing it against an opposing team. From that reference, Terzić translates it to drawing and executes it from the logic of plastic conceptions. I articulated the internal logic and mechanics to move the musicians within the space of the court according to the sound, thanks to the translation and composition of the maestro Sergio Cano. For the realization of this piece, I directed five musicians in Belgrade who performed the score while moving on the basketball court copying the codes of the game’s strategy.

Ñuu Savi Basket is a sculptural work that I made in 2020, which is part of a series of baskets that address basketball as a current aspect of identity among native peoples of the state of Oaxaca. The work recalls the Ñuu Savi people (people of the rain) and the craft of the Mixtec artisans who work with palm.

Basketball Musical Strategy: Black Notes, Srbija (Serbia) is a sculptural work that I made in 2019, which is part of the series of black clay balls that provide a tribute to the countries and cities with a basketball tradition. This work is specifically dedicated to Serbia for its identity and national link around this sport.

Register for the event here.



Collaboration is at the heart of a dynamic celebration featuring 90 artists from different indigenous cultures in Canada and Mexico | MASSIVart

Collaboration is at the heart of a dynamic celebration featuring 90 artists from different indigenous cultures in Canada and Mexico

MASSIVart was given the opportunity by the Embassy of Canada in Mexico to orchestrate the Indigenous Crossroads Canada – Oaxaca event – an ambitious cultural program in the fall commemorating National celebrations, taking place in the city of Oaxaca in Mexico from September 20 to October 8, 2021.

Jimena Lopez - Creative coordinator MASSIVart MexicoJimena Lopez, Creative Coordinator of MASSIVart Mexico, is a passionate art historian and has supported the curatorial committee of the Indigenous Crossroads Canada – Oaxaca event, composed of Irma Pineda (Zapotec), Gerry Lawson (Heiltsuk), Yasnaya Aguilar (Ayüuk), Niki Little (Anishininew) and facilitated by Indigenous Education researcher, Ixchel Bennet.

In order to integrate the artistic content presented at Indigenous Crossroads Canada – Oaxaca, the Embassy of Canada in Mexico facilitated the creation of a curatorial committee, in charge of discussing and selecting the work of indigenous artists relevant to both Canada and Mexico.

The objective was to make a selection as representative as possible of all the indigenous communities of both countries, and to offer content that would bring to the table the most relevant issues for each community in the 21st century.

Indigenous Crossroads Canada – Oaxaca brings together over 90 artists in various artistic disciplines, including video art exhibitions, virtual reality, murals, posters, literature and poems, magazines with augmented reality (AR) codes, and musical playlists.

We asked Jimena to share more about this inspiring project, from her distinct point of view.

Can you briefly describe the program?

It is a diverse and rich program. We invited illustrators, muralists, filmmakers, poets, musicians, and new media artists –including video art, virtual reality and augmented reality. It is also important to highlight the efforts of the committee and curators of including as many regions and communities as possible.

How do you think the arts can benefit Indigenous communities?

I firmly believe the arts are a powerful tool for artists to celebrate their culture and share it with the rest of the world, and even more to communicate their concerns, their complaints, and their desire for change. Many of the artists included in the program are also activists and promoters. With their art, the rest of the world can learn, recognize and value the indigenous communities.


Indigenous Crossroads Canada - Oaxaca


Do you think the arts can be beneficial in this phase of reconciliation?

Yes. The arts are great catalysts for difficult conversations, and can be the bridge to bring us together with empathy and respect.

Which work or artist has left the biggest impression on you and why?

It is impossible for me to select just one. Every single one of the works that we are presenting had an impact on me. They all touched me deeply and opened my eyes to a lot of issues that I was previously unaware of.

What did you ultimately get out of working on this special project?

Thanks to this experience, I got to discover the work of a lot of very talented people. I heard their concerns regarding the indigenous communities and felt the pride they have for their culture. As a creative coordinator and curator, I am taking the commitment of approaching future projects with a more inclusive and diverse perspective.

Discover the program here.

Threshold: Fancying Mexico City’s contemporary art scene at General Prim | MASSIVart

Threshold: Fancying Mexico City’s contemporary art scene at General Prim

Threshold, a first glimpse into Boundless Space, will push the boundaries of the auction world further and bring to light inclusion, diversity and equity in a whole new way on September 23rd. Featuring 22 artists of Mexican heritage in the auction, the committee reflected on the critical importance of celebrating cultural exchange by exhibiting some of them in Mexico City.

Boundless Space… The Possibilities of Burning Man is the auction organized by Burning Man and Sotheby’s from September 30th to October 8 – online and in New-York City – showcasing a diverse selection of artworks, collectibles, mutant vehicles, NFTs, and experiences. The funds raised will allow Burning Man to continue to develop its programs that cultivate artists, makers, and leaders.

When art goes beyond borders, crossing cultures, and societies, it creates new connections and synergies.

HYBYCOZO - Threshold Burning Man Sotheby's Event Mexico City General Prim


Burning Man and Sotheby’s have partnered to create an exclusive event at Proyecto Public Prima Mexico a week before the charity auction at Sotheby’s in New York, offering a first peek at the artworks.

Taking place in a historical space that celebrates union, culture, and creativity, this unique event will unveil the work of 13 prominent and inspiring artists, while promoting and supporting the creative ecosystem of Mexico and other international artists.

This event was curated and produced collectively by a range of highly inspiring people, such as Meredith Winner, Arturo Mizrahi, and Edgar Sanchez. MASSIVart Mexico plays a key role in that execution to help exhibit marvelous contemporary art pieces and invite visitors to discover the creativity and aesthetic of Mexico’s contemporary art scene.

As a journey into the contemporary art community, all kinds of art forms will be represented. From spectacular light art installations and sculptures to NFT artworks, this exclusive experience will bring to light a range of well-renowned and established artists as well as exclusive art pieces from numerous Mexican artists.


A first glimpse into an exceptional selection of artworks

Meredith Dittmar - Threshold Burning Man Sotheby's Event Mexico City General Prim


In the heart of the historical center of Mexico City, 13 artists will take over the walls and spaces of the General Prim ancient building. Like a dream, every art form will tell its own story, as imagined by the artist.

Philippe Demers, Founder and Creative Director of MASSIVart, explains: “Art and the creative industry are powerhouses for community-driven creative, innovative and resilient projects, creating safe spaces to share strong messages to the public and envision core values, notably sustained by Burning Man.”

Whether it is the structured and architectural sculptures in steel and textured black electrostatic paint of Carlos García Noriega Bueno, or the provocative objects and installations that draw on elements of popular culture of Betsabee Romero, both are going to highlight ongoing issues in our contemporary society, questioning identity, human migration, and environmental issues.

Wandering around the exhibition, paintings by several Mexican artists will share the rich tradition of Mexican art. Luis Sanchez, who is known to be a master of many genres, will demonstrate his own symbolic perspectives through colourful artworks, an aesthetic contemplators will similarly be able to retrieve in Tania Quezada’s and David Angulo’s work.


Paolo Montiel Coppa - Threshold Burning Man Sotheby's Event Mexico City General Prim


While exploring the corridors, visitors will find in the dim recesses of this early 20th-century building, the glowing neon art installations of Olivia Steele, asserting symbolic phrasing that allures and provokes. Paolo Montiel Coppa will also impress his audience. As the Mexican artist uses technology through light art to reveal the beauty of nature, he reflects upon how to find a balance between the natural habitat and technology in contemporary society. Something his Mexican counterpart, Sabino Guisu, explores in an entirely different manner, using ancient materials and new techniques to reproduce smoke in his artworks.

Alex Grey’s marvelous technique of shapes and colours will be at the heart of the venue. This will transport the visitors to engage with the creative illusion of some world-renowned artists, such as Meredith Dittmar, who fathoms to express the nature of reality, while at the same time pushes the edges of imagination into the unknown.

The 21st century has brought a whole range of new art forms, continuing to fascinate the public. As part of this auction, HYBYCOZO, the Hyperspace Bypass Construction Zone, will present a series of NFTs showcasing – similarly to their installations – artworks that investigate geometric exploration through light, shadow, and perception.

Learn more about the auction.



Boundless Space – A Charitable Auction by the Burning Man Project and Sotheby’s | MASSIVart

Boundless Space - A Charitable Auction by the Burning Man Project and Sotheby’s

With the beginning of cooler days, fall auctions are here once again, yet reborn. Within the art world, a special collaboration was found. Burning Man and Sotheby’s have come together to unite their forces and expertise on a project to promote art and help sustain artists.

Boundless Space… The Possibilities of Burning Man is a charitable auction intended to grow awareness of the Burning Man Project, a non-profit values-based global organization with the goal of stimulating creative expression, community resilience, and global leadership.

In collaboration with the New York-based auction house Sotheby’s, the online auction will feature an eclectic, genre-defying selection of artworks from international artists that reflect the ethos and spirit of Burning Man.


Boundless Space, a yet unique, charitable auction

Boundless Space… The Possibilities of Burning Man - Auction


The online charitable auction – Boundless Space… The Possibilities of Burning Man – will take place this fall in New York, from September 30th to October 8th, 2021. With the intention to raise funds for the artists’ community, the Burning Man Project intends to maintain its long-term mission to bolster creativity, innovation and identity.

As part of this unique and beautiful initiative, MASSIVart is proud to have Philippe Demers, its Founder and Creative Director, on the auction committee along with influential collaborators such as Kim Cook, Director, Creative Initiatives for the Burning Man and Scott Niichel, Senior Vice President and Co-Head Impressionist & Modern Art, Head of Day Sales New York at Sotheby’s.

This incredible project would not have happened without the commitment and remarkable work of the entire auction committee, shared by: Jayson Jackson, Édgar Sánchez from Todo Es Uno, Dan Weeks (a NFT specialist), Thomas Rom, Patrice Mackey, Ana Roth, Fab 5 Freddy, Arthur Roger, Yvonne Force, Villareal Founding Partner of Culture Corps and Co-Founder of the Art Production Fund.


Boundless Space… The Possibilities of Burning Man - Auction


From September 30th to October 8th, 2021, the city of New York will host several events and exclusive experiences where creatives, artists, collectors, and art lovers can gather to enjoy the auction, celebrate culture, and bond over common values through multiple workshops, exhibitions, private tours and festive brunches.

If you can’t be among the ones to view the exciting exhibition in person, which will feature key works from the Boundless Space auction, we invite you to visit the online catalogue. Beginning this week, it will unveil around 200 beautiful pieces of art, carefully and beautifully curated by contemporary art specialists. The auction will then open for bidding on Thursday, September 30 through Sotheby’s website and app.

Another must-do special evening will happen in Mexico City: Threshold, a first glimpse into Boundless Space, will push the boundaries of the auction world further and bring to light inclusion, diversity and equity in a whole new way. Featuring 22 artists of Mexican heritage in the auction, the committee reflected on the critical importance of celebrating cultural exchange by sharing some of them in Mexico City, the 23rd of September. We will reveal more about Threshold event very soon.

Canadian and Mexican indigenous artists come together to illuminate Oaxaca city | MASSIVart

Canadian and Mexican indigenous artists come together to illuminate Oaxaca city

Indigenous Crossroads: Canada – Oaxaca is a three-week festival offering an immersive experience on Canadian and Mexican culture, with a strong focus on Indigenous artistic expression, digital arts, and wellbeing.

From September 20 to October 8, the festival will bring together over 90 artists in various artistic disciplines, including video art exhibitions, virtual reality, murals, posters, literature and poems, magazines with AR codes, and musical playlists. MASSIVart is delighted to produce the most extensive festival cultural programming ever in Oaxaca while also supporting and promoting Indigenous art and culture globally.

As part of the hybrid festival, a Canadian artist, Rolande Souliere, and a Mexican artist, Tlacolulokos, collaborated in the creation of a colourful mural Our Sun Has Gone in Oaxaca city. We spoke with them directly to discover more about their experience working together.

Both artists had important takeaways to share from their collaboration. For Rolande Souliere, her takeaway was the continuing strength and knowledge of Indigenous traditions that continue to be passed on to generations and how visual artists, like herself, continue to represent the beauty and power of these traditions. For Tlacolulokos, the collaboration allowed him to contribute to the current understanding of different nations, communities, and peoples. Specifically, contributing to closing the social gap that exists across borders by creating visual works, in order to create a unity between native peoples.


What do you think about initiatives such as the festival Indigenous Crossroads: Canada-Oaxaca?

Rolande Souliere: The initiatives are a great idea and it’s important to develop and/or expand on Indigenous connections via art with Canada-Oaxaca.

Tlacolulokos: The dialogue and the issues that are generated in this project is the result of two ways of understanding the cultural reality of our environment and its complexity in an increasingly global society. The exchange and the parallels that exist since the times of the original civilizations have been a constant for the enrichment of the collective imaginary between Native American peoples.

How do you think art can benefit Indigenous communities?

Rolande Souliere: Arts can benefit Indigenous communities in so many ways. We are visual people and storytellers. We are familiar with certain shapes, forms, patterning, and colours and can pick up on these visual queues to address Indigenous histories and culture.

Tlacolulokos: Art builds, enriches, and strengthens the collective identity of the community with processes that make us question our past and future identity.

Could you share with us something special about the Anishinaabe People and your culture, Rolande? And Tlacolulokos, something special about the Zapotec community and its culture?

Rolande Souliere: We are one of the largest groups of Indigenous people north of the Mexican border and we live in the Northern United States and in southern parts of Canada, mainly around the Great Lakes Area. One of the trademarks of the Anishinaabe is a traditional dance known as the Jingle Dress Dance, performed only by women at Pow Wows. A Pow Wow is a huge festival where all the Indigenous nations get together and perform traditional dances, enjoy food, and craft.

It is said that an elder had a dream where he was told to have the women sew jingles made out of bone to their dresses. They were instructed to perform a certain type of dance. The dance would enable the jingles to make a particular sound. This sound would bring comfort to the world.

Currently, women wear ‘jingles’ that are made out of metal disks and folded to make a ‘cone’ shape, often their language group is stamped onto these disks. These ‘cones’ are then sewn onto the traditional regalia skirts and when the women dance, it makes a beautiful sound. This sound is said to ‘heal’ those who are feeling ill or sad and this sound will bring hope to them.

Tlacolulokos: The Zapotec culture is very proud of its identity, as each village has its own customs. The Zapotec culture has so many varieties of gastronomy, textiles, variants of Zapotec (mother tongue) in contrast to the political problematization that comes with the existence of more than 560 municipalities and their different ways of approaching their local vision.

How does your culture inspire your art practice?

Rolande Souliere: My culture is a continuous inspiration to me, not only through socio-political and cultural history but also through colonial history. Processes of wrapping, weaving, binding, and stacking along with the different colours and tactile materials used in making ‘regalia’ are inspirations that are carried over into my work.

Tlacolulokos: The great diversity that Oaxaca has culturally, from the pre-Hispanic era to the colonization, and the current globalization, the contradictions between its people, and the non-idealization of these make us see that special value that inspires us from the political and cultural point of view. Respecting the ritual practices of the place, we take up their symbols and beliefs in our work, questioning and rethinking them.

How was it to collaborate with an Indigenous artist from another country? Did you find any similarities?

Rolande Souliere: It was a pleasure to collaborate with Tlacolulokos. I learned new things about their culture that have similarities to my own culture and of course the political aspects in both our art practices such as resistance and empowerment.

Tlacolulokos: We felt a lot of empathy knowing that we were working from the common elements in the collective imagination of both communities. This generated an almost natural link within the dialogue between us, taking up ideas between our two projects and trying to make a dialogue that not only had to do with the artist, but with the particular context where the work will take place.

Can you please tell us more about the ideas behind the mural?

Rolande Souliere: Creating stories of the sky beings was a wonderful connection we shared and we carried this over to our mural project. Clouds are used to unite the two Indigenous cultures and our subject matter. Here we bring the mythology of the elements such as thunder, lightning, and rain to a visual form by showing the two mythological beings (Thunderbird and Cocijio) from our cultures that are responsible for such natural elements. We also incorporated traditional symbols such as Zapotec ancient patterns and ancient Thunderbird patterns that represent the treks of the Thunderbird. These Indigenous symbols in the mural represent important historical signifiers for both cultures.

Tlacolulokos: The concept of life is represented by the element thunder, as it is associated with rain and therefore water, essential to develop life. In the middle, Thunderbird and on the right side, Cosijo, both deities of lightning, share this similarity in almost all cultures of the world, by the worship of rain and the benefits it brings. As Native American peoples, these ceremonial similarities make us think that there should be more empathy between the different peoples of the world and begin to think of coexistence beyond the superficial.


Thank you to both Rolande Souliere and Tlacolulokos for sharing their inspiring stories.

MASSIVart’s placemaking project wins two prestigious Urban Design awards | MASSIVart

MASSIVart's placemaking project wins two prestigious Urban Design awards

MASSIVart’s Winter Stations “Jardin des Espoirs” project has earned two spots on the Grands Prix du Design podium in the Urban Design, Landscape Architecture & Landscaping discipline. A silver winner in both the Art Integration in landscape and urban development, and the Civic Design Project categories. To commemorate the win, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the social and economic impact of the project.

The Grands Prix du Design is an annual competition that celebrates excellence in design, architecture, and the built environment. Recognized by the Quebec community since its inception in 2007, the competition is now in its 14th edition and features candidates and winners from over 30 different countries.

Placemaking - Public Art - Winter Stations - MASSIVart

“Jardin des Espoirs”: An urban promenade enhanced with creative placemaking

In 2020, the City of Montreal’s Bureau du design launched a request for proposal for the “Rethinking Public Space” qualification, with the ultimate goal of designing and building “winter stations” to improve the well-being of locals and embellish the neighbourhood with art and creativity in 17 Montreal boroughs.

MASSIVart, Aedifica, Körnelius and the Groupe Information Travail’s woodworking workshop collaborated to design the winter station on the Place du Village-de-la-Pointe-aux-Trembles in Montreal. The urban promenade was illuminated and decorated with multiform structures reminiscent of the colours of cargo ship containers sailing the Saint-Laurent River.

Placemaking - Public Art - Winter Stations - MASSIVart

A sustainable project with a social and economic impact


To promote local business, passers-by were invited to collect ribbons from nearby stores to attach to the two participative arch installations. Joanne Paiement, a local retailer, fell in love with the installation and handed out ribbons to her clients with the promise that they would make a wish and send a photo of the action in return. To this end, the installation not only stimulated local commerce but also strengthened bonds between retailers and local residents.

As for its social impact, the winter station was constructed by apprentice cabinet makers from a social and professional integration course, allowing the highly motivated participants to contribute to the well-being of their community. The project also made use of local recycled wood, specifically ash trees, and environmentally responsible finishing products.

Due to the installation’s success, its life has been extended throughout the summer season, where it is now located in Zotique-St-Jean Park. Why not continue to spread joy to local residents in the summer months, too? It is wonderful to see the placemaking project hold a special place in the hearts of Montrealers!

“The Garden of Hope is a lyrical experience in colour and light. The site and its magical setting provide a great feeling in these difficult times. The citizens have understood it well and have made this warm space their own, a place to walk, relax and play with their families. MASSIVart was able to create a unifying space that fits perfectly into the place of the Village-de-la-Pointe-aux-Trembles”.


– Caroline Bourgeois,

Mayor of Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles

New creative minds join the MASSIVart team! Part 2 | MASSIVart

New creative minds join the MASSIVart team! Part 2

MASSIVart continues to grow! And we love introducing our newcomers. We continue this two part series with Casey Wagar, Director Client Relationships & Marketing – and Cassandre Gibeault, Digital Marketing & Communications Coordinator.


Welcome, Casey!

Casey likes to think of himself as a creative optimist who works equally well with different personalities. He brings over a decade of experience in marketing and brand management. Having worked in a diverse array of industries, from billion dollar corporations to small independent businesses, he has built a track record of providing persuasive marketing advice to successfully share the story of national brands. Everything he has learned has culminated in the right mix of knowledge for his role at MASSIVart, both when it comes to marketing, and having the opportunity to connect and work with many of MASSIVart’s wonderful clients.
Casey Wagar - Director Client Relationship & Marketing - MASSIVart

What were your impressions of Arts and Culture before joining the team, and how have they changed since working for MASSIVart?

I have always enjoyed meeting and connecting with people in the arts and culture industries, whether in Calgary where I am originally from, or now in Toronto. Ever since I can remember, I have been passionate about arts and culture and I’m so grateful to now have a career where I can use that passion to help build these industries so more people can have access and appreciate them. I have already learned an incredible amount since being with MASSIVart and believe in the company’s mission to create culture and make art accessible to everyone.

What overarching goal(s) do you wish to accomplish during your time at MASSIVart?

Ultimately, I want to come in and quickly demonstrate the value my skills in marketing and client relations can bring. I would love to play a pivotal role in helping the business grow in Toronto, out west and in the US. The right combination of marketing and relationship-building skills is crucial as that continues to happen. I also love working with creative people so I feel fortunate to be here.

Can you describe the arts and culture in Toronto? What opportunities do you see on the horizon for MASSIVart in Toronto?

The arts and culture community is huge in Toronto and very active. I always say there is something in Toronto for everyone and that is especially true when it comes to arts and culture. I think there will be incredible opportunities for MASSIVart moving forward as life returns to a new normal and people want to appreciate creativity and culture. There will be an influx of occasions to help create culture and build communities in the city. We are seeing it already. It is an exciting time to be here!

Welcome, Cassandre!

Rounding out our talented new marketing team is Cassandre Gibeault. As a recent John Molson School of Business Marketing graduate at Concordia University in Montreal, Cassandre brings a fresh and informed perspective to the team. She combined her love of experiential and digital marketing, as well as interior design with her new role.

Cassandre Gibeault - Digital marketing and communications coordinator - MASSIVart

With MASSIVart moving towards more strategic real estate and placemaking projects, Cassandre’s prior work experience and exposure to the real estate world are an asset to the team. She is always eager to learn and contribute, and does so with energy and enthusiasm. Cassandre is also an impressive writer.

What were your impressions of Arts and Culture before joining the team, and how have they changed since working for MASSIVart?

Though I have always been fascinated by art and creatives, looking back now, I had limited understanding of various fields of art at the time. As a passionate believer in the power of art, and the impact it can have on people’s emotions and daily lives, my time at MASSIVart has only further amplified this belief. From visual arts, to artistic installations, to immersive experiences, to architecture, art can be found in almost everything we do. Arts and culture create experiences, and have the power to transform spaces into places.

What impact do you wish to have here at MASSIVart and how do you wish to achieve it?

I plan to propel MASSIVart forward by continuing to inspire both art and non-art lovers. As a communications and marketing professional, I have the opportunity not only to uphold the brand voice, but to amplify it to be heard by many, in an authentic and as humanly possible. I want to make art and culture as accessible as possible. In order to achieve this, it is essential to immerse myself in as many projects as possible, in order to truly understand their raison d’être and tell their unique stories.


We also want to acknowledge our wonderful interns, both past and present, who are crucial members to the team!

MASSIVart’s own artistic director, curator and consultant’s latest installation “La couleur des souvenirs” | MASSIVart

MASSIVart's own artistic director, curator and consultant’s latest installation "La couleur des souvenirs"

At MASSIVart, we pride ourselves on our team, which is made up of passionate creatives. Alice Pouzet, MASSIVart’s Artistic Director, curator and art consultant, is no exception. As a valuable member of our creative team, Pouzet is also an inspiring artist. Since graduating with a Master Degree from École Supérieure d’Art de Clermont Métropole in France, Alice has participated in numerous art exhibitions around the world.

Alice’s current exhibition, Raconter l’invisible, is a collective exhibition with artist Léa Mercante. Her installation – La couleur des souvenirs – evokes memory and form. As she places her memories at the center of her process, she is reminded of the architecture of the various places where she has lived. Her latest installation draws its inspiration from the memories of significant shapes and forms in her mind.

Her artistic direction and process are truly unique. Alice collects forms to establish a sculptural repertoire consisting of raw materials. Her work presents forgotten architectures, where the edges and the contours are erased little by little from her memory. The forms and elements, once combined together, create a scenography, reminiscent of these mental spaces where materials and colours coexist. The stripped space refers to a landscape close to what could be a forgotten place of life.

La couleur des souvenirs - art installation - Alice Pouzet - MASSIVartLa couleur des souvenirs - art installation - Alice Pouzet - MASSIVartLa couleur des souvenirs - art installation - Alice Pouzet - MASSIVart

The installation includes various handmade tapestries, plaster and resin sculptures as well as drawings. The whole is presented in a minimalist and uncluttered environment in order to highlight the shapes and colours of each element. Several furniture elements were custom-made by the artist in order to create a coherent scenography.

MASSIVart is thrilled to have a talented artist like Alice as part of our team. Her work continues to inspire many!

The art installation, La couleur des souvenirs, will be visible until August 13th by appointment in Sutton, Quebec. Please contact Alice Pouzet by phone at (438) 722-1332 or by email at

Discovering the artistic direction behind KPMG Montreal South Shore’s new office design and commissioned artworks | MASSIVart

Discovering the artistic direction behind KPMG Montreal South Shore’s new office design and commissioned artworks

In a recent collaboration with KPMG Montreal South Shore, MASSIVart proposed a series of artistic integrations to elevate the office and redefine it as a blueprint for progressive and innovative office spaces of the future. Creating an artistic direction that reflected KPMG’s brand, while also highlighting emerging Quebec artists, proved to be an exciting challenge. MASSIVart worked with a selection of artists and galleries to commission 14 pieces, including unique prints, photographs, paintings, and videos.

Each artwork tells its own unique story, and each one is worth sharing. MASSIVart spoke with selected artists to gain a better understanding of the artistic directions behind each artwork. Discover the compelling meaning of the digital artwork, photographs, and prints in the new office design below.

Digital artworks 

MASSIVart commissioned three art videos by graphic artist Alex McLeod for the KPMG collection – Gemroller, Brick Mountain, and Canyon. The digital work behind the reception desk creates an exciting atmosphere, brightening the spirits of both employees’ and visitors’ spirits upon arrival.

KPMG Montreal Rive Sud - Office Design / Art Collection by MASSIVart - Alex McLeod

Mutating into themselves, these looping videos exist in the liminal space between sculpture and sentience. McLeod explains his artistic direction as a way to interrupt our familiarity. He uses materials such as scratched gold, that we know as solid, but then makes it fluid. “Sometimes making things squishy or move in certain ways reminds us of humanness, further connecting us to the world around us. Empathy is at the heart of my practice, often for space or the environment.” McLeod elaborates.


On the photography side, we spoke to artists François Ollivier and Gab Bois to describe their own creative visions of everyday things. Ollivier commissioned two artworks as part of the photography collection in the new elevated workspace. MIL is a photograph of the newest science hub building at the University of Montréal (UDEM). It appeared in an almost desert-like area at the limit of Park Extension, and is now a landmark in the city landscape. The building catches light and shines like no other which is the primary reason why Ollivier was compelled to photograph it. “But this beauty hides a darker reality”, he notes. Developers jumped on the opportunity of empty lands around to build hundreds of condos with almost no social housing, accelerating the gentrification process of Park Ex, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada.

KPMG Montreal Rive Sud - Office Design / Art Collection by MASSIVart - François Ollivier

The second artwork, A Bright Interval, is part of a larger series also containing portraits of strangers. The commissioned piece is meant to question our ability to wander and contemplate things, or what is left of it. Light in autumn is fascinating and fragile. Everything is brightened by precarious reflections, fading out in minutes, even seconds. Consequently the work was based on time and instantaneity. Over a three week period, Ollivier wandered the streets of Montreal looking for clearings in the sky, to build a series of photos drenched in melancholia and a certain fear of always missing time.
KPMG Montreal Rive Sud - Office Design / Art Collection by MASSIVart - Francois Ollivier

In contrast to Ollivier, whose photographs were both taken outdoors, Artist Gab Bois created four pieces in an attempt to bring a surprising aspect into the lives of ordinary household objects. “I have always been fascinated by objects: I collected tiny erasers, my parents’ monthly bus passes and all kinds of little treasures. Part of my creative process, which includes said pieces, is the extension of that childhood interest,” Bois reveals. Her artworks I take my sugar white with one coffee, Make or Break, and .png; are placed side-by-side in a conference room, adding an element of intrigue to what are commonly known as simple office objects. Her fourth artwork in the KPMG art collection, fresh phone who dis, resembles an ancient green cellphone from afar, yet from a closer viewpoint the cellphone is made out of a green chewing gum pack.
KPMG Montreal Rive Sud - Office Design / Art Collection by MASSIVart - Gab BoisKPMG Montreal Rive Sud - Office Design / Art Collection by MASSIVart - Gab Bois

KPMG Montreal Rive Sud - Office Design / Art Collection by MASSIVart - Gab Bois


Print digital works 

Finally, Sabrina Ratté magnified the common spaces through their digital works that have been printed as a way to make them permanent in the space. Her artwork Undream depicts an imagined future where utopia and dystopia collapse, inspired by the photomontages of Superstudio – a major force in the radical architecture and design movement of the late 1960s. The artwork leads the viewer through an isolated landscape, with a monumental structure suspended from above. The architecture morphs between impossible surfaces and underlying order, interfering with the landscape as it undulates in and out of existence. Swept up in this movement, viewers are suspended in an impossible abandoned territory between the built environment and the natural world.

KPMG Montreal Rive Sud - Office Design / Art Collection by MASSIVart - Sabrina Ratté

All of these carefully selected works contributed to the innovative and creative work environment at KMPG Montreal South Shore. Employees and visitors are sure to be inspired by the commissioned artworks in the new workspace for years to come.

Alex McLeod – Gemboller, 2017 / Brick Mountain, 2018 / Canyon, 2017
François Ollivier – MIL, 2019 / A Bright Interval, 2016
Gab Bois – Make or Break, 2017 / .png, 2019 / I take my sugar white with one coffee, 2019 / fresh phone who dis, 2019
Sabrina Ratté – Undream, 2018

Key takeaways from “IDS 2021: Making Place in the City” Panel | MASSIVart

Key takeaways from “IDS 2021: Making Place in the City” Panel

Recently Coralie Olson, MASSIVart’s Managing Partner, Toronto, had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion at the Interior Design Show (IDS) of Toronto surrounding placemaking – destinations, people, connections, fabric – in a post-pandemic world. While placemaking may have existed before the pandemic, it now presents us with a powerful opportunity to rebuild relationships between people and places, and to meet the new experiential landscape.

George Foussias, Design Director at Lemay
Louis-Etienne Dubois, Associate Professor at Ryerson University
Coralie Olson, Managing Partner at MASSIVart Toronto
Heela Omarkhail, Vice President, Social Impact at The Daniels Corporation

Vedran Dzebic, Research & Development Coordinator at Entro

During the discussion, all four panellists brought together their own unique perspectives on the concept of placemaking. Heela Omarkhail defined placemaking as a set of tools that enhance our experience in a space, by bringing memories and connection to the space. For Louis-Etienne Dubois, places are spaces that people have made meaningful. MASSIVart’s own, Coralie Olson, shared her perspective: “People are at the centre of placemaking. The most powerful way to connect with people is through the power of art and culture.”

DESTINATIONSIs placemaking consistent across destination types and types of environments?

Omarkhail sees space as the platform or the canvas for placemaking, where placemaking is the set of tools or the toolbox. The tools needed for a public or private environment, indoor or outdoor space, will be different and will include both tangible and intangible aspects. Tangible aspects of placemaking include everything from design and materiality to finishes, furniture, signage, and artworks. More intangible aspects include music, as well as programming and events, are at the core of community building.
Placemaking needs intentionality. “Build it, be intentional, add these interventions and tools and slowly people will start to come and connect with that space.” – Heela Omarkhail

W Hotel - Interior Design - Art Curation - MASSIVart

Art Integrations by MASSIVart To Enhance The New Design At The W Montreal Hotel / Photos: Felix Audette

Space functionality has changed since the pandemic. Developers must now question the use of large harvest tables for example, to accommodate individuals wanting separate smaller tables. How to make that an experience: where these tables can look and feel good as much separate as they do together.
Outdoor spaces have taken a front seat in the current climate and pandemic. Is there a renewed interest in public outdoor spaces?
Professionals are forced to think a lot broader of what outdoor space means, over and above formal park spaces, to create an experience. George Foussias added that no longer having access to indoor spaces during COVID, made us move outdoors as a natural extension. We are changing the way we look at the indoors, the outdoors, and the amenities needed for both.
For Dubois, outdoor space offers a feeling of safety, the ability to breathe fresh air after having masks on for so long. Digging a little deeper, many reasons that have attracted us to the outdoors, can easily be replicated in indoor designs. Negative space, circles or pods present in parks for example, are concepts that can easily be implemented indoors and will continue to be prevalent in the future.

PEOPLEWhat changes do you see with people’s expectations and their relationship with place?

“There is something intentional when going somewhere or arriving at a destination”, Dubois noted. One of the most important elements for designers and planners to consider surrounding placemaking is this holistic social, cultural, human-centric experience. Upon arriving at a destination, when you reflect or feel certain feelings about it, you become attached to it, emotionally, physically, and psychologically. That’s precisely when space becomes a place.
With COVID, people will likely develop a new sense of place and look for different attributes or feelings that were not as important before, such as safety or even cleanliness. Moving forward, individuals may be a little bit more reluctant, have residual fears or discomfort with being around others. To bring people back into a shared physical environment, Dubois mentioned using ways such as art, entertainment, and spontaneity.
Olson reinforced the physical aspect of safety, yet also the psychological and emotional aspect of feeling safe in a place. She emphasized how critical co-creation will be for people coming back to a space through a new lens. There is an immense opportunity to engage the community, get feedback and understand what will make them feel safe in those spaces.
“Arts and culture are going to be so critical to this next version of the recovery, both from the human perspective and economically.” Engaging artists in the recovery process is an incredible opportunity to bring people back safely and to share experiences with those who were most affected by the pandemic. Having street presence, music, and performances surround you, is what Omarkhail sees as recovery both from a human and economic perspective.

Placemaking - Public Art - Winter Stations - MASSIVart

Winter Station: artistic installations to revitalize vacant public spaces in Montreal / Photos: Melanie Dusseault

CONNECTIONSHow do you bridge the gap between the environment on one spectrum and people on the other?

Olson emphasized this delicate balance between space and human connection. As humans, we crave these emotional connections and these experiences. Without people there really is no place. In order to create these connections, memories and feelings, curation and programming are essential.

A space should draw people in, connect with them in a meaningful and authentic way, and leave room for spontaneity. It is not always about the space itself, rather how you connect with people, and how human connections live on years later.

On a macro level, the identity and culture of a country is the food, the music, the art, and the architecture. On a micro level, the same aspects remain for different public or private spaces: the arts, the food, the programming, to create that identity. Essentially, it is about shifting from this transactional nature and proving that these intangible, emotional or cultural aspects are even more important.

A big focus for professionals in this space right now, is how to capture and communicate the value of connections, both qualitative and quantitative aspects, especially as more and more things become data-driven. If the value offering is not clear or intentional as a curator, then it is likely to be met with resistance or suspicion by the viewer.

The panel discussion took multiple different paths: everything from design, to human psychology, to economic considerations, all factors required to support placemaking. Panelists were challenged to discuss distinct and complex concepts on their own, let alone linking them together.

FABRICDo we need to redefine what our approach to placemaking looks like to take into account the complexities that we have established today?

According to Foussias, the prefix “re” can be in everything we do from this point forward: re-brand, re-think, re-vitalize, and re-educate. The desire to go back to a physical place has changed – rather than going back for the sake of doing something, we want to go back for the sake of feeling, of experiencing, and of connecting.
In the past, the visionary developers, the curators, the brand, the architecture, the design, product developers, product engineers, all worked in silos and came together to define a final outcome. Now imagine working as a beehive, a hub, a creative assembly to create the end result, above and beyond what each discipline would do separately.
The panelists are all actively defining the new normal, with decisions that will affect everyone. As a multidisciplinary curative hub, the responsibility is not to simply design something for the end user, but to design something with the end user. Moving the process from letting people experience the design, to letting us design the experience. Simply recognizing that the experience or the engagement with the users does not come at the end of the product, but rather starts from the outset, is probably the biggest shift.

New creative minds join the MASSIVart team! Part 1 | MASSIVart

New creative minds join the MASSIVart team! Part 1

Our talented team is growing! To mark the occasion, we want to welcome the newcomers by introducing them. We start with Terry Randy Awashish, Graphic Designer, and Philippe Labrie, Creative Coordinator.


Welcome, Terry!

As part of an exciting partnership between the McCord Museum and CBC for the exhibition “First Nation Voices Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience“, MASSIVart is collaborating with them to conceptualize and produce a space that presents content related to the main theme of this new permanent exhibition.

Terry Randy Awashish - Graphic Designer MASSIVart

It was important to both CBC and MASSIVart to involve people from First Nations communities in the project.

So we are pleased to welcome Terry Randy Awashish, Atikamekw from Opitciwan, who will visually imagine the different contents of the exhibition. Terry is a multidisciplinary artist and graphic designer, and his work has been exhibited at many events in Montreal. His creative projects reflect the meeting of ancestral and contemporary territories in a perpetual process of renegotiation and recontextualization of language and culture.

Why did you choose to work in the field of art and culture?

The field of arts is one of the ways to transmit and communicate our vision of the world. I am involved in this field in order to share and affirm my culture and my Atikamekw Nehirowisiw identity. This is why I chose to work in the field of arts and culture. I find that we can create spaces for meetings and exchanges to bring cultures together.

What kind of art do you like?

I am very interested in performance art because of its live, real and direct aspects. It creates an encounter with the spectators and has the power to involve them in the process, as a kind of invitation and deconstruction of the barriers that divide us. Performance art also has the characteristic of converging with other types of art such as visual arts, media arts, sculptures, architecture, etc. and that is what I like about this process. Basically, I have a lot of interest in everything that is creative, like dance, film, music and all the visual elements and objects that surround us. I find that we all have a creative relationship to our space.

We also welcome Meky Ottawa, Atikamekw from Manawan, who will be involved in the scenography and artistic direction of the project.

The MASSIVart team is excited with this professional and cultural exchange, which is essential to ensure the proper integration of the message CBC wants to communicate.



Welcome, Philippe!

Our creative team continues to expand with the arrival of Philippe Labrie, who is a recent university graduate. His academic career in the multimedia field led him to major in Communication, Interactive Media Creation at the UQÀM media school in Montreal. As an interactive designer, he is passionate about the world of new media and human connections. His background in technological mediation, which is influenced by the spheres of design and media art, makes him a versatile creative force.

Philippe Labrie

Why did you choose to work in the field of art and culture?

The decision was made through events and encounters that led me there step by step. My passion for the arts was formed by my passion for the artists and creators whose works crossed my path. That’s what led me to work in this area – because this field inspires us, makes us think, can upset us and bring us together. Working in art and culture has now become a conscious choice, a decision to have a role to play in awakening and inspiring new voices.

What kind of art do you like?

I have always been attracted to illumination art because of its duality between its immateriality and its impact on our physical perception. I like the universality and accessibility of light and its colours in art since it represents a common language to me. A means of visual communication shared and understood by all. Whether in projection or in sculpture, the immersive character of light diffusion allows us to shade our perception and our sensitivity to a space in order to be transported. I like the luminous arts because in my opinion, they represent what’s closest to a dream.


Son sur formes & dégradés - Philippe Labrie

Son sur formes & dégradés – Philippe Labrie


We also want to acknowledge our wonderful interns, both past and present, who are also crucial members to the team!


Stay tuned for more new team members’ announcements as MASSIVart continues to grow during this exciting time.

Our latest major exhibition design project, through the eyes of our collaborator, the Musée de la Gaspésie | MASSIVart

Our latest major exhibition design project, through the eyes of our collaborator, the Musée de la Gaspésie

MASSIVart recently unveiled its latest exhibition design project: Where Worlds Meet, the new permanent exhibition of the Musée de la Gaspésie in Quebec.

We worked closely with the museum team to find the most creative ways to tell the story of such a rich territory in only 2,105 square feet, providing them with a variety of expertise ranging from exhibition design to project management.

We wanted to give the floor to our partners at the museum – Martin Roussy, General Manager and Vicky Boulay, Curator – to tell you about this exciting project from their perspective. We invite you to listen or read them:


Introduce us to the Musée de la Gaspésie

Martin Roussy: The Musée de la Gaspésie is a regional museum whose mission is to protect the cultural and historical heritage of the Gaspé Peninsula. We have more than 6,000 objects in our storeroom, the archive center contains documents dating back to the 18th century. A dozen employees work to keep this place alive and dynamic, with nine Board of Director members and more than 20 volunteers who support us in our actions.

What about the new permanent exhibition Where Worlds Meet?

Vicky Boulay: The project of the permanent exhibition started five years ago, but most of the work has been done in the last year and a half. When we talk about a permanent exhibition, we are talking about a project of a very large scale, whether it be in the shape, the architecture of the exhibition, as much in the human, financial and material resources invested as in the content itself.

Moreover, the content of the exhibition, which follows a chronological order, has been determined to present a regional history that makes Gaspésie shine and that connects Gaspésie with the rest of the world. It is thanks to its geology, archaeology, economic activities, population but also its major events that visitors will be able to understand all these connections with the world.

What were the challenges you faced when you imagined this exhibition?

Martin Roussy: There were several challenges that had to be met on several levels. As this is a complex exhibition, even if on the surface things seem very harmonious, there were challenges. For example, the furnishings and the display showcases – the curved look, the different depths of the cases – all of that was custom built and it took a lot of work.

Another challenge was the creation of all the animations that are found throughout the exhibition: fixed illustrations that were animated afterwards by a specialized firm, Eltoro. This too, had a particular degree of difficulty attached to it. When you look at the curves of the islands, their creation was also challenging and there were many other similar challenges throughout the production of the exhibition.
Musée de la Gaspésie - Exhibition & Museum Design - Interactive immersive design

How was the collaboration with MASSIVart beneficial in overcoming these challenges?

Vicky Boulay: MASSIVart was able to listen to us, support us, but also bring innovative solutions to all these challenges. Their great skills in project management, combined with their acute sense of organization and detail have greatly facilitated all the coordination with the various stakeholders, collaborators and partners to achieve this exhibition. Something we particularly appreciated about MASSIVart is their great sense of taste, their particular aestheticism and their artistic approach that brings a unique touch to the exhibition, what I like to call a MASSIVart touch.

Can you tell us more about the involvement of the First Nations in this project?

Martin Roussy: We worked closely with the First Nations to bring this project to fruition. On the one hand, it is part of a worldwide movement of decolonization of history, which means that we are not only putting Indigenous history at the center of the Gaspé Peninsula, but we also involve the nation in the work to make sure that we integrate the subject matter properly and validate certain information.

It is in this way that we approached the Mi’gmaq Nation of Gaspésie which is composed of three communities, working with them to make sure that the exhibition was well done. Donnacona, who is an important character in Jacques Cartier’s visit to Gaspé, is an Iroquoian, so we also worked with the Huron-Wendat Nation of Stadacona (of Quebec) to make sure that we gave a point of view that is not always the one we have seen in history books, rather from an Indigenous Peoples.

What makes this permanent exhibition different from the previous ones?

Vicky Boulay: The way of telling and presenting content in an exhibition has greatly evolved in the last 15 years, especially because of the means of interpretation that have developed a lot. From the visitor’s point of view, their way of visiting an exhibition, their interaction with it and their expectations have changed a lot. We are also witnessing a professionalization and a multiplication of the participants in the exhibition projects, notably because of the use of technologies which are much more present today.

Martin Roussy: In that sense, the new permanent exhibition is a continuation of this approach that the Museum has decided to take over the last few years to update and modernize the way of presenting its exhibitions. In this particular exhibition, the technology is quite modest and not very ostentatious in its use. Instead, it’s very integrated and organic – which is how we managed to make the technology bring us back to something human, where we play on emotions. I think we have reached a more refined level of technological integration.

👉 Read the case-study

ArtWalk | MASSIVart

MASSIVart Creates Engaging Tool to Promote the Toronto Downtown West BIA’s Neighbourhood “ArtWalk”, Highlighting the District’s Incredible Collection of Public Art

MASSIVart has recently joined forces with the Toronto Downtown West BIA to help raise awareness and promote the many public artworks in the neighbourhood.

The growth of the Toronto Downtown West has resulted in an impressive collection of public art, featuring over 70 unique art installations in the district. This collection of works was curated to create walking tours in the community with the aim of raising awareness of these works.


ArtWalk is both an online virtual tour and a self-guided walking tour featuring interactive maps of themed routes that incorporate photographs, artist descriptions, fun facts and engaging questions for art lovers and newcomers to the art world.

The platform allows you to search for your favourite artwork, discover nearby attractions and architecture, or choose one of three featured tours: Colour, Steel, or Women Artists. It presents the perfect opportunity for community members to experience their neighbourhood in an entirely new way while visiting their favourite shops along the route.

As passionate believers of the positive impact that public art can bring to communities, MASSIVart is delighted to play an integral role in bringing the virtual experience to life. By writing carefully crafted descriptions about the art pieces and artists, MASSIVart utilized an informative approach to help all ages appreciate and learn about art, and foster discussions and engagement among members of the community.

Discover the virtual ArtWalk tour here.
ArtWalk Toronto Downtown West BIA - Public Art installations virtual tour

About The Toronto Downtown West BIA

The Toronto Downtown West is the concentrate of arts, culture, hospitality, sports and business to bring a unique and vibrant urban experience (Toronto Entertainment District).

Click here to learn more about the Toronto Downtown West BIA.


Artwork: Vong Phaophanit – DREAM HOUSE
Mile-Ex Montrealers, it’s time to vote for the mural you want to see in your neighbourhood! | MASSIVart

Mile-Ex Montrealers, it's time to vote for the mural you want to see in your neighbourhood!

Canderel and MASSIVart are joining forces to bring uplifting and colourful art to the Mile-Ex district in Montreal. After consulting with the Mile-Ex community about their vision for the neighbourhood’s future, a call for artists was shared with the Montreal artistic community to submit their best creative proposals linked to the survey results and themes.

The overall project aims to rehabilitate the building located at 6600 St-Urbain in the Mile-Ex through various architectural enhancements. Two murals will be incorporated into the rehabilitation of the building with the aim to promote the local arts community while highlighting the neighbourhood’s colourful past.

Canderel’s main objective is to create an impactful and engaging dialogue with the local community through art. The company wants to create an inspiring place that will bring colour and life to the building and resonate with the community.


  • The history of the area has been the prominent theme of the realized community survey. The angle is less about the industry that has been part of the creation of Mile-Ex and more about the people, the workers, and the residents of yesterday that have left their anonymous marks on what has become known as Mile-Ex. The social fabric of the area is central to this project and deserves to be reinforced in the art integration. This needs to play a key role in the murals.
  • Another key finding is that the local ecosystem’s quirkiness, past and future, should be somehow integrated. Bringing colour, geometry, inspiration and greenery, in a bold fashion that is thought-provoking are also key findings that will be promoted in the brief.
  • The community wants to have something that will lift their mood and communicate their aspirations and inspirations, combining the past, present and future, showcasing local storytelling.


👉 Mile-Ex Montrealers, click here to vote!


The local residents will once again get the opportunity to express themselves by voting for the mural they would like to see in their neighbourhood. The finalists include:


Émergences de Isabelle Duguay - Canderel 6600 St Urbain - Intégration artistique MASSIVart
Isabelle Duguay‘s work Émergences cohabits between the urban/industrial and the natural/organic. Supported by the contrast of styles, reflecting the eclectic aspect of Mile-Ex, the work’s narrative unfolds in as many lines, textures and forms that evoke the buildings of the area and are juxtaposed with unpredictable vegetation. A fingerprint on the mural is also a reminder of the human impact, whose traces remain. Over time, Mile-Ex has opened its doors to change leaders who propose inspiring models. The neighbourhood’s industrial past can now be harmonized with a sustainable future.

Canderel 6600 St Urbain - Intégration artistique MASSIVart
Inspired by Quebec’s floral heritage, the Fringe mural offers a colourful, poetic and vibrant visual. Between abstraction and figuration, Cyndie Belhumeur, Bryan Beyung, Olivier Bonnard and Cyrielle Tremblay combine their universes to create a unifying work that highlights our natural wealth. Inspired by the community’s desire to see a rich and diversified landscape, the work Fringe integrates plants native to Quebec – milkweed, blue iris, red cohosh and others.

Canderel 6600 St Urbain - Intégration artistique MASSIVart
The work of the Art du Commun collective links Mile-Ex’s past, present and future, as well as the people who have shaped it. Illustrative at close range, with meticulous detail on a human scale, the work becomes, with distance, a more abstract mosaic, supported by the clearing of surfaces. In the form of patchwork – a practice born of reused fabrics – Art du Commun incorporates visuals specific to the history of the area, creating a zone of eclectic mix and cohabitation, a reflection of this neighbourhood, its textile industrial past, and its spaces transformed over time and successive vocations.

👉 Mile-Ex Montrealers, click here to vote!

The 2021 Applied Arts Awards grants MASSIVart two award-winning projects! | MASSIVart

The 2021 Applied Arts Awards grants MASSIVart two award-winning projects!

MASSIVart is honoured to have been recognized by The Applied Arts Awards competition for two recent avant-garde projects — The W Montreal Hotel in the Environmental-Complete Environment Design category, and the “Jardin des espoirs” Winter Station in the Environmental-Experiential/Event Design category.


For 30 years, The Applied Arts Awards competition has recognized international creative excellence across the visual communications sector. The competition is also the only competition in Canada to establish the industry standard in the photography, illustration, design, advertising and interactive disciplines.

The Applied Arts Awards are decorated by a new jury every year, both Canadian and international designers, challenged with upholding the benchmark of excellence. Each jury member brings a unique background and level of experience to the table, providing an informed and fresh perspective to the competition. After all, there is no one more critical of the work of designers than designers themselves. A few notable jurors include:

  • Richard Colbourne – Executive Creative Director, Addison, New York, NY
  • John Devereaux – Creative Director, Perfect Day, St-John’s, NL
  • Rafael Esquer – CEO & Creative Director, Alfalfa Studio, New York, NY
  • Julie Gélina – Creative Director, Design, Ogilvy, Montreal, QC


Learn more about the 16 notable members for the 2021 Applied Arts Awards here.

With such experienced professionals in the design and creative industry, MASSIVart appreciates both that our passion-filled projects, the W Montreal Hotel and the “Jardin des espoirs” Winter Station, resonated with the renowned jury members and our collaborators.

Art Integrations By MASSIVart To Enhance The New Design At The W Montreal Hotel

W Montreal Hotel

Environmental-Complete Environment Design Winner


MASSIVart was challenged to amplify the hotel experience through art, specifically by curating and producing art installations that embody the hotel’s new identity and to enhance the customer experience.
In collaboration with the W Montreal, MASSIVart spent one year working with Sid Lee Architecture on the integration of artworks into their vision. The result: three main art and design pieces permanently integrated in the remarkable lobby and four artworks in the conference rooms.

As a reminder of the building’s roots as a banking institution, Toronto artist Camille Jodoin-Eng produced a luminous and golden installation in the lobby, resembling a bank vault filled with memories. To embellish the bar area, French artist Etienne Rey produced a 67’ long and 5’4” high artwork, revealing different colour combinations depending on the viewer’s position. MASSIVart further added warmth to the space with a neon heart lighting installation, as a reference to the streets of Montreal. Lastly, the hotel’s conference rooms were magnified by local artists — Cyndie Belhumeur, Jason Botkin, Derek Mehaffey, Whatisadam & Stikki Peaches — as a way to honour some of the best urban art expressions in the city.

Discover MASSIVart’s W Hotel project in the winners’ gallery of the Applied Arts Award competition here.


Stations hivernales Montreal - Creative Placemaking - Public Art - MASSIVart

“Jardin des espoirs” Winter Station

Environmental-Experiential/Event Design Winner


MASSIVart’s mandate was to produce installations capable of withstanding the Montreal winter, to improve the experience for residents and local business owners during a hard-hit winter. In collaboration with Aedifica, Körnelius and the Groupe Information Travail‘s woodworking workshop, MASSIVart created immersive artistic installations to revitalize vacant public spaces at Place du Village-de-la-Pointe-aux-Trembles and to stimulate local commerce.

Reminiscent of the colours of cargo ship containers sailing the Saint-Laurent River, the illuminated and decorated multiform structures successfully brightened up the daily lives of locals and promoted local commerce. Locals were invited to receive ribbons from nearby stores to be added to the installations, making the experience a participative one. In the end, the public art installation fulfilled two important objectives in a pandemic context: to bring back joy to locals and to encourage the local economy.

Discover MASSIVart’s “Jardin des espoirs” Winter Station project in the winners’ gallery of the Applied Arts Award competition here.

Thank you again to the 2021 Applied Arts Awards for the recognition in two prestigious categories!

MASSIVart featured in Octagon Museum’s digital exhibition for the 2020 CODAaward winners! | MASSIVart

MASSIVart featured in Octagon Museum’s digital exhibition for the 2020 CODAaward winners!

MASSIVart is delighted to be showcased in this year’s digital exhibition hosted by the museum of the Architects Foundation for the Suite 1742 John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In For Peace project in collaboration with The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth and Sid Lee Architecture.


On May 26th 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono commenced the bed-in for peace movement to speak out against the war by staying in bed for one week at Montreal’s Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel. Our project created a unique interactive experience in the very same room where John and Yoko conducted their legendary bed-in.

The installation was named the grand award winner in the Hospitality category for the 2020 CODAawards, an internationally acclaimed award program celebrating projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces.

The suite was transformed into a one-of-a-kind museum equipped with three interactive devices, a virtual reality movie, and an interactive file cabinet displaying legacy items including original photos, files, videos and objects. It also contained illustrative elements, accessories and music encapsulating the cultural legacy of John and Yoko, as well as commissioned artwork inspired by their peace message.


The suite’s fame has transcended the hotel industry and it continues to be a must-see location for tourists, fans, influencers, press and shootings, impacting direct sales for the hotel, as well as the overall asset value of Ivanhoe Cambridge. And most of all, the recreation of this historic space continues to highlight the wonderful message of peace that John and Yoko conveyed and that resonates as much today as it did in 1969.

The Octagon Museum of the Architects Foundation, launched a digital exhibition for the 2020 CODAaward winners, produced by CODAworx, while the Octagon remains closed to the public. Click here to explore MASSIVart’s John Lennon and Yoko Ono Bed-In For Peace project in this year’s digital exhibition.


The Architects Foundation, the philanthropic partner of The American Institute of Architects, is the proud owner of the historic Octagon building in Washington D.C. The Foundation aspires to attract, inspire and invest in next-generation design community through scholarships and exhibitions. To fulfill this ambitious mission, the Octagon museum hosts activations to demonstrate the value that architects and architecture bring to culture. Having previously worked with many talented architects, MASSIVart is beyond pleased to be part of this year’s digital exhibition highlighting the design community and their impact on today’s culture.

Huge thank you to the museum of the Architects Foundation for taking the initiative to move this exhibition to the digital arena! MASSIVart cannot wait to explore all the wonderful projects which are sure to inspire many!

Another moving experience from MASSIVart for Armand Frappier Museum. From our client’s point of view. | MASSIVart

Another moving experience from MASSIVart for Armand Frappier Museum. From our client's point of view.

For the Armand Frappier Museum’s new exhibition “Get Moving!”, MASSIVart has developed a physically & emotionally moving journey. Artful installations & playful activities reveal how our perception of physical activity has changed & how social context has influenced the evolution of our bodies.

To transform scientific facts into an engaging, artful, edutainment experience, the MASSIVart team partnered closely with the museum collaborating on how best to illustrate and bring to life the historical, social and scientific issues around physical activity to create a journey that leaves all ages moved in a number of inspiring and informative ways.

To present this new project in their own words, we wanted to put our partner, the Armand Frappier Museum on the podium:

Musée Armand Frappier Laval


The Armand-Frappier Museum opened its doors in 1994 to showcase the scientific heritage of Dr. Armand Frappier. Today, the Museum’s mission is to promote the understanding, for young and old, of scientific issues related to human health through exhibitions, laboratory activities, travelling workshops, boot camps and conferences.

Since 2017, we have been working on the “Get Moving!” exhibition, whose objective was to successfully demonstrate the importance of movement not only for our physical health but also for our mental health. Thanks to the collaboration with MASSIVart, we have been able to find various creative ways to popularize the physiological, psychological and social mechanisms related to the practice of physical activity as well as the most recent research data in this field.

The Museum made a point of integrating various artistic and creative means to bring not only a beautiful aesthetic to the exhibition but also different points of view on the subject of human health. It is a matter of combining the knowledge, know-how and creativity of artists and scientists alike to bring new ideas, unusual perspectives and innovative ways of doing things.

Musée Armand Frappier - Exposition Bouger - Exhibition Design by MASSIVartThe major challenge encountered in the realization of this exhibition is undoubtedly the issue of managing the COVID-19 pandemic. To remain true to the message of the exhibition, “Get Moving!” was conceived from the beginning as an interactive exhibition where visitors would be encouraged to take action. In the context of a pandemic, where one tries to limit handling and interactions to the maximum, it was necessary to use ingenuity to comply with health rules. For example, we had to make sure that the surfaces and interactives designed by MASSIVart were resistant enough to be disinfected many times over!

In spite of this challenge, it was important for us to find ways to preserve the interactive aspect that characterizes the exhibition – our audience being mostly composed of young people aged 9 to 12 – it is necessary to rely on a variety of means such as games, animations, interactives and video capsules to convey scientific popularization content. Finally, by working with MASSIVart, we managed to make “Get Moving!” our most dynamic exhibition, in which the visitor is put into action from start to finish, in respect of the COVID-19 prevention measures.

Addressing issues related to human health is part of the Museum’s DNA, so it was completely natural to mobilize ourselves to establish the best sanitary conditions and ensure the safety of our visitors. We have implemented a rigorous cleaning and disinfection protocol for the exhibition modules and equipment used during laboratory activities.

Musée Armand Frappier Laval - Exposition Bouger - Exhibition Design by MASSIVartToday we continue to offer visits to the Museum for the general public and school groups, after a break due to the second wave of the pandemic. The contents of the exhibition have also been adapted to be released online through the Zoom platform, video clips for our YouTube channel and an interactive book of the exhibition prepared in collaboration with MASSIVart for classroom, face-to-face or virtual animations. In this way, we can continue to offer content, especially to school groups, when it is not possible to physically visit the Museum.


Learn more about the project
Learn more about Armand Frappier Museum

(Finance x Art)^2 – NFTs and the Cultural Industry | MASSIVart

(Finance x Art)^2 - NFTs and the Cultural Industry

A few months ago, Maxim Cere-Marcoux – MASSIVart’s CFO – shared his thoughts on two subjects he is passionate about: Finance X Art. In this insightful article, he addressed the question of whether they had the same potential to create value.


Today, Maxim will tackle a new topic related to finance and art: Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the Cultural Industry.



2020 – A look back

2020, was at the very least, an unusual year. However, we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as encouraging news has started to continuously outweigh the discouraging.

Despite the overall social, cultural and economic impacts the pandemic has had on our global ecosystem, there have been countless beautiful stories highlighting human nature through acts of kindness which transcend cultures, races and realities.

As the deepening restrictions related to the pandemic were pushed through, we at MASSIVart, like countless other businesses, quickly had to think of how we needed to pivot. We were determined to operate our business through these challenging times while still discharging our role as a vector for the artistic community, which was especially suffering.

We are extremely grateful that through a repositioning strategy unique to each of our projects and the continuous collaboration of artists and vendors, we’ve had the opportunity to bring a number of stunning projects to life. We aimed at easing the impact of the pandemic through creative modules and installations, interactive art displays, and countless virtual meetups that our team and collaborators splashed with their usual touch of magic.


NFT and Art


With such a tumultuous year, it was almost predictable that cryptocurrency would make a comeback. Bitcoin, the most popular and highly valued of all cryptocurrencies, became as much a financial phenomenon as it did a social one back in 2017, with everyone you know talking about it, let alone buying in. As we know, after reaching the $20,000 USD mark in December 2017, it subsequently lost close to 80% of its value the following year.

This epic fall was mainly attributed to unparalleled levels of speculation, as well as high transaction volumes, which contributed to overvaluing the asset. However, regardless of the value of the cryptocurrency itself and the uncertainty of whether it would be reborn from its ashes (we all know it would), what remained was the underlying blockchain technology.

The public blockchain ledger that verifies and records every transaction proposes a serious alternative to the current fundamentals of our economy. In our current system, currency (or any other asset like investments, loans, etc.) is managed by and derives its value from a centralized system, atop which are governments and banks (and other market players). The blockchain allowed for an extremely decentralized system while providing precise validation and tracking of all transactions, which derives enormous value from the number of independent validations realized by the system, not requiring the involvement of the usual restricted number of parties that hoard the information and its access.

The proof that the financial market remained confident in the value of the underlying technology was made clear when a number of corporate players started investing heavily in the crypto market after its 2018 demise, securing mostly Bitcoin. This has contributed to the significant increase in value as Bitcoin obtained the buy-in of distinguished large players and not only riled up individual speculating investors like in 2017 and prior.


Flesh Nest installation by Andrew Thomas Huang at Chromatic Festival 2018 produced by MASSIVart

Non-Fungible Token (NFT)

The underlying blockchain, or the public ledger as mentioned above, used to authenticate Bitcoin transactions can also be used to authenticate any kind of transaction. It can allow for the authentication of individual and unique items, which was previously hard to do. For example, blockchain technology has been used to record and authenticate the origin of about 1.6 million of diamonds to date.

Specifically, this is done through the use of an NFT, a type of digital asset that has gained a lot of traction in the gaming and art industries, collectible transactions, and many other areas because of its uniqueness and the fact that it is indivisible. It represents a secure and public way to authenticate the underlying asset it’s attached to, thus protecting the value derived from that asset’s uniqueness.

Let’s imagine you go to a garage sale and find a painting in the cubist style of Picasso, for a ridiculously low price. You purchase it and later have it valued by a Qualified ISA Appraiser only to realize you’re sitting on a multi-million dollar piece. The value of your painting would now stem from the fact that it is an original piece by the Spanish painter. Its value stems not only from the painter having been the most dominant and influential artist of the 20th century but also because, following his death, the number of artworks he produced became finite as demand grew. The value of your particular painting further comes from the authentication made by the ISA Appraiser, using his certification and knowhow, to certify that yours is indeed an original.

In contrast, when it comes to digital art, value has been harder to establish and maintain overtime, given that it can more easily be copied and circulated, thus making the authentication of the original almost impossible. However, an artist now has the ability to use an NFT to authenticate its art and forever publicly mark the original as such in the ledger, regardless of all the copies that might be circulated (just like copies of your very own Picasso).

This is an exciting development in the realm of digital art and will allow for it to flourish and gain in value now that an easily accessible way to guarantee originals will allow for a true, boundless market to emerge.

While NFTs date back to 2017 with a number of people buying virtual cats (yes you read correctly), there has been a rapid increase in the number of significant acquisitions of NFT art, with the biggest to date being Beeple’s digital collage sold for 69.3M USD at Christie’s.


Deep Down Tidal by Tabita Rezaire at Chromatic Festival 2019 produced by MASSIVart

Intellectual property

Intellectual property and copyright are at the center of the art industry and the underlying laws from which they stem were enacted to make sure creators were getting the implied ownership of their work. As such, despite the large price tag, just like any artwork, the artist is the one deciding whether along the artwork sold (in this case the NFT) comes with the related copyright, which would entail giving up all future profits that could be generated from the work.

However, while the artist holds the intellectual property, the decentralized nature of NFTs makes it that sometimes, the artist might not have given permission to issue the NFT or to give the copyright along with the work. We are already seeing instances of wrongful appropriations of intellectual property in the minting process (the process of creation of the NFT) and the minting platforms will have to significantly increase their authentication process to avoid complicated intellectual property lawsuits.


Environmental impact

As mentioned throughout, the strength of the cryptocurrency and the underlying ledger is its decentralized nature, which stems from the fact that all members of the community validate transactions in the ecosystem as opposed to one or very few trusted agents like banks. As such, it is not hard to understand that the creation of yet another Bitcoin, Ether or an NFT thus requires significant computing resources, which require energy.

Since the website was created in December 2020, illustrating the energetic need and environmental impact of cryptoart, several critics pointed at the societal cost of such a proof of concept. The website was later taken down following a large amount of abuse and harassment, but has identified this other layer of complexity to the adoption of NFTs.


Despite it all, I am personally excited by the versatility of NFTs and their recent adoption, while still in its developmental stage. It exemplifies yet another segment of our economy where culture and art will be increasingly collaborating with and integrating elements of the fintech sector. Good news for the cultural market because this means one more tool available to creators and artists to finance their projects, free themselves from numerous agents and third parties, and finally propel their art into the world.


Maxim Cere-Marcoux – MASSIVart’s CFO



Image 1: by Fakurian Arts
Image 2: by Viktor Forgacs
Image 3: Flesh Nest installation by Andrew Thomas Huang at Chromatic Festival 2018, produced by MASSIVart
Image 4: Deep Down Tidal by Tabita Rezaire at Chromatic Festival 2019, produced by MASSIVart
This Is Your Chance to Participate In A Groundbreaking  University Study That Examines The ROI Of Creative Placemaking | MASSIVart

This Is Your Chance to Participate In A Groundbreaking University Study That Examines The ROI Of Creative Placemaking

As announced last fall, MASSIVart is spearheading a game-changing university study that will clearly showcase the ROI of art and creative placemaking.


We have embarked on this study with other leaders of their field of expertise, such as real estate – The Daniels Corporation, design – Entro, and architecture – Lemay. Piloted by Ryerson University’s Creative Industries professor, Louis-Etienne Dubois and his team, the information gathered is sure to be culturally transformative.

At MASSIVart, we believe that creative spaces, cultural programming, and placemaking can create a tangible ROI for brands because it brings people together and builds stronger communities. This study could revolutionize the way we build the cities and buildings of our future, while supporting the artistic community and making art more accessible to everyone and everywhere.


We invite you to take part in this survey that investigates the impact of placemaking (i.e. the process of creating quality places that people want to live, work and play in) in design.

You will be asked to visit and explore a virtual environment and then complete a series of questions online. Your participation is anonymous and involves a one-time session not expected to take more than 10 minutes.

To participate in this exciting opportunity, simply click on the link below:


For additional information, please contact:
Dr. Louis-Etienne Dubois, Associate Professor
School of Creative Industries, Ryerson University
416-979-5000 x 553778

This research study has been reviewed and approved by the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board (REB 2020-503) and is funded by The Daniels Corporation, Entro, Lemay and MASSIVart.


Photo: “The Calling” aka The Sunburst sculpture at the end of Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee, by artist Mark di Suvero.
Art Week: A Journey Through The Mexican Art Scene<br> #5 Domitila Bedel | MASSIVart

Art Week: A Journey Through The Mexican Art Scene
#5 Domitila Bedel

Due to the pandemic, all artistic and cultural events around the world are impacted in one way or another. Mexico City is no exception. This year’s Art Week -generally starring Zona Maco, Material Art Fair and Salón Acme– will take place in alternative formats.

Despite the dynamics being significantly different from previous years, MASSIVart does not want to miss the opportunity to showcase the work of talented artists and outstanding cultural agents in Mexico. During this week, we will give space to different artists and gallery owners to share their perceptions and experiences within the national art scene.

We end this special week with Domitila Bedel.



Domitila Bedel was born in Buenos Aires Argentina. Her interest in art, artists and cultural practices led her to study film, art and writing. She worked at the Malba Museum as director of the Film Department, where in addition to developing multiple exhibitions and festivals, she carried out exhibitions and edited books and catalogues for the Museum. Later in her tenure, she edited with Fundación Telefónica and Malba the book “Historia Crítica del Video Argentino” with Jorge Laferla. As a storyteller, she edited her first book of short stories “Los lobos” in 2006.

In 2006 Bedel opened Machete in Buenos Aires, functioning first as a publishing house where she published “Machete: Catalog of Argentine Artists” volumes 1 and 2 and “Puppies”. The latter is a book of stories by contemporary writers based on the childhood illustrations of Argentinian artists. The book was the result of an exhibition Bedel curated at the Miau Miau Gallery. Machete then developed into a contemporary art consultancy focused on building new art collections.

In 2013 Bedel was part of “31 grados a la sombra”, an erotic anthology of Argentine women writers with her short story “New Order”. In 2017 she published “Voy i Vuelvo”, a book of photographs by Emmanuel “Meme” del Real, with Planeta publishing house. In 2019 she was chosen by Quién magazine as one of the “31 women we love”.

In 2009, Bedel moved to Mexico City, where she founded Galería Machete @macheteart in 2012, which she has directed ever since. Machete is a gallery focused on contemporary Latin American art. The artists represented are Abraham González Pacheco (@obranegra), Ana Gallardo (@anabeatrizgallardo), Andrea Villalón (@andreavilllalon), Artemio (@artemio007), Diego Berruecos (@dberruecos), Jualián Prebisch (@julianprebisch), Hulda Guzmán (@huldaguzman), Marcos Castro (@costramark), Nicolás Bedel (@nicolas.bedel), Paula Cortazar (@paula.cortazar) and Sol Pipkin (@sol_pip_pip_pip).

Machete also has a parallel project called Trastienda @trastiendamachete. There, a selection of works by Latin American artists is shown at affordable prices, with the purpose of promoting new art collecting and supporting new talents in their first steps in the art market.


How did your personal journey with art begin?

My father is a plastic artist, already historical like we would say in my country. I grew up in exhibitions, workshops, museums and galleries. Then I took another path but always in one way or another I ended up in workshops, I was fascinated listening to the processes of artists and one thing led to another and ended up being my present.

Why did you decide to open your gallery in Mexico City?

Because I didn’t think about it that much, because I felt like it and I felt that I had a way of seeing and thinking about commercial and emerging things in Mexico that were not represented in the scene at that time.


What is the curatorial line of your gallery? What is the profile of the artists with whom you collaborate?

We choose the artists we represent based on their creative processes, thinking of it as a “whole” that goes beyond the final work itself. We believe that through their practice our artists are reflecting on their personal context and their collective context as part of a particular historical period. Our artists have “voices” and plastic languages different from each other, because we seek diversity as a complementary form trying to achieve that together they form an inclusive and plural conversation.

What are the biggest challenges and advantages of running a gallery in Mexico today?

The biggest challenge is to maintain it and keep it going; to make it a job and a source of income for me and my artists, because you can work a lot and not get it. To continue finding collectors. The advantage is that in Mexico there is demand, interest and a great influx of people who go to the galleries not only locally but also from abroad.

What are the unique values that you think characterize the art scene in Mexico?

Its diversity, its range of offerings, its professionalism.

Why do you think Mexican art attracts international collectors?

Because it has great artists, great galleries and museums that give context to these great artists, and an established scene. Because everything in Mexico is unique.

Three emerging Mexican artists to follow closely

What will be emerging for you? I don’t know, I think I would say quickly without thinking too much that Andrea Villalón (@andreavilllalon), María Fragoso (@mariafragosgosoj), Paloma Contreras (@lirio_cobra)


Image 1: Domitila Bedel
Image 2: Mañana, cenizas. Solo exhibition of Marcos Castro, 2019.
Image 3: Río seco. Solo exhibition of Paula Cortázar, 2020
Image 4: La fractura del reflejo. Solo exhibition of Abraham González Pacheco, 2019
Art Week: A Journey Through The Mexican Art Scene<br> #4 Jimena Montemayor | MASSIVart

Art Week: A Journey Through The Mexican Art Scene
#4 Jimena Montemayor

Due to the pandemic, all artistic and cultural events around the world are impacted in one way or another. Mexico City is no exception. This year’s Art Week -generally starring Zona Maco, Material Art Fair and Salón Acme– will take place in alternative formats.

Despite the dynamics being significantly different from previous years, MASSIVart does not want to miss the opportunity to showcase the work of talented artists and outstanding cultural agents in Mexico. During this week, we will give space to different artists and gallery owners to share their perceptions and experiences within the national art scene.

We continue this special week with Jimena Montemayor.



The work of Jimena Montemayor (Mexico City, 1990) focuses on the tensions in personal experiences, juxtaposing emotions and nostalgia with the permanent and the temporal and at the same time the impact of technology in our daily lives and our multiple channels of communication. What all these components have in common is their abstract presence which we subconsciously nurture and manifest in our behaviours, decisions and most importantly─the energy of our feelings.

Whether influenced by the education we have received, our culture or our social environments, it is the side effects and results of this process that Montemayor explores and translates into a visual format. The use of the straight or perplexed line, sharp and irregular angles, the repetition of graphic patterns and also the introduction of amorphous bodies and structures, contribute to the search for an ongoing language and dialogue.

Through her multidisciplinary career in the areas of art and design, her work has created an intertwined relationship with aesthetics and perspectives that have created a fusion in the way she manipulates content. Her work explores diverse materials and dimensions, from drawings and digitized 3D sculptures to pieces made of steel, terrazzo, clay and wood. She currently lives and works between Miami and Mexico City.

Jimena Montemayor - Altar Ego

How did you decide to be an artist?

Since my childhood, I always had an inclination towards visual arts and art in general. But I guess the concept of wanting to be an artist was formalized in my mid-20s when I really started producing work.

What are the key questions you seek to explore in your work?

My work explores visual and graphic composition translated into lines, repetitions, patterns, bodies. I do not necessarily look for a complex questioning, but the possibility of causing some emotional or physical reaction. Joy, humour, confusion, etc, ideally I seek to achieve an identification or understanding with the public on a social and personal level.


What do you do to encourage your creativity?

I really enjoy experimenting and learning to use new formats and materials, be it 2D, 3D or digital. Also something that I find fundamental is collaboration. Apart from the fact that it is very exciting to share the same interest with other artists, designers, or people in the creative industry, the simple experience of joining forces is basic.

What three words to describe the art scene in Mexico?

Diverse, iconic and fun.
Jimena Montemayor Penetrations

Do you think the national art scene inspires or influences your work?

Without a doubt, yes. There are too many artists in Mexico with a lot of talent that I deeply admire. There is a courage and empowerment of ideas and opinions that have never been seen in this country, or at least for me. Especially there are more and more women artists, which gives me a lot of motivation and inspires me to continue making art.

What do you think is the biggest challenge to produce art in Mexico?

The scarcity of scholarships or financial support from the government.

What is your favourite art gallery in Mexico and why?

Hard to answer, because I have several that I love. But if I have to choose one it would be OMR (@galeriaomr). Its curatorship, artists and exhibition space are exceptional and very dynamic.


Image 1: Jimena Montemayor
Image 2: Altar-ego, 2021. Printed on photographic paper. 16×20 inches. To be presented at @clavomovimiento in collaboration with @lapla_art. April 30th to the 5th of May, 2021.
Image 3: Festered, 2021. Ceramic installation at The Bass’ Walgreens Windows Project Space, Miami Beach. April 2 to September 12, 2021.
Image 4: penetrations i, 2021. NFT in Foundation ( Digital drawing
Art Week: A Journey Through The Mexican Art Scene<br> #3 Othiana Roffiel | MASSIVart

Art Week: A Journey Through The Mexican Art Scene
#3 Othiana Roffiel

Due to the pandemic, all artistic and cultural events around the world are impacted in one way or another. Mexico City is no exception. This year’s Art Week -generally starring Zona Maco, Material Art Fair and Salón Acme– will take place in alternative formats.

Despite the dynamics being significantly different from previous years, MASSIVart does not want to miss the opportunity to showcase the work of talented artists and outstanding cultural agents in Mexico. During this week, we will give space to different artists and gallery owners to share their perceptions and experiences within the national art scene.

Today is the turn of the amazing artist Othiana Roffiel.



Othiana Roffiel studied Visual Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design (US), where she was granted the Award Summa Cum Laude and the Award for Academic Excellence in Painting (2012). She won a scholarship by the FONCA Young Creators Program (2019-20) and is currently participating in the XIX Rufino Tamayo Painting Biennial.

Her work has been part of several exhibitions including 50 women, 50 artworks, 50 years in the Museo de la Ciudad de México (2020); La persistente insistencia del juego, solo show at Casa Equis curated by Leslie Moody Castro (CDMX, 2019); Nueva piel para una vieja ceremonia at Galería Karen Huber curated by Luis Hampshire (2019); Untitled (Open Space) in ICOSA Collective (Austin, TX, 2019); El castillo de los ladrillos rotos, by Guadalajara 90210 (CDMX, 2019); among others.


How did you decide to be an artist?

In the last two years of high school, I took a very rigorous art class; we had to consolidate a cohesive body of work. That’s when I entered my twenties, I knew I not only liked art but wanted to dedicate myself to it.

What are the key questions you seek to explore in your work?

In a broad sense, I wonder about the ways in which painting shapes pictorial thought and generates meanings within the contemporary imaginary. More specifically, in order to challenge our preconceptions about the way we navigate the space of painting, I question how different visual languages operate and how the viewer relates to them.


What do you do to encourage your creativity?

Observe and exchange. On the one hand, I dialogue with my artistic present and past: I do research, I talk with my colleagues, I write, I go to museums, I read and listen to podcasts. But on the other hand, I converse with my day-to-day: I walk my daily environment and observe the elements that exist in it; I also notice how my body travels these spaces and how it interacts with objects. Many times, the things that we least imagine are the ones that stimulate creativity the most — from the shapes of a cactus to the colour of a Zote soap bar.

What three words to describe the art scene in Mexico?

Fertile, complex and multifaceted.

Do you think the national art scene inspires or influences your work?

Sure, art doesn’t exist in a void. My immediate context, at this moment the art scene in Mexico, inevitably impacts not only my production but also its reading.

What do you think is the biggest challenge to produce art in Mexico?

There are many monologues and few exchanges. We forget that to continue building we need to have deeper, plural, critical and supportive conversations, and to do that, it is necessary to be more open to other points of view and to exercise more active listening.

What is your favourite art gallery in Mexico and why?

Each one has its own positive things and contributes to the scene in different ways; However, when it comes to painting, Karen Huber Gallery (@khgaleria) is doing an important job.


Image 1: Othiana Roffiel
Image 2: Through the Cactus (Nopalillo #1), 2020, oil on canvas, 52 x 38 cm.
Image 3: Please Mind the Gap Between, 2020, oil on canvas, 78 x 180 cm.
Image 4: As if time fractured and ran in several directions at once, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 150 x 250 cm.
Image 5: Through the Cactus (Zote #1, configuración espacial C), 2020, oil on canvas, acrylic on clay bricks. 27 x 17 cm, 26 x 6 x 12 cm, 10 x 15 x 15 cm.
Art Week: A Journey Through The Mexican Art Scene<br> #2 Isauro Huizar | MASSIVart

Art Week: A Journey Through The Mexican Art Scene
#2 Isauro Huizar

Due to the pandemic, all artistic and cultural events around the world are impacted in one way or another. Mexico City is no exception. This year’s Art Week -generally starring Zona Maco, Material Art Fair and Salón Acme– will take place in alternative formats.

Despite the dynamics being significantly different from previous years, MASSIVart does not want to miss the opportunity to showcase the work of talented artists and outstanding cultural agents in Mexico. During this week, we will give space to different artists and gallery owners to share their perceptions and experiences within the national art scene.

Today we present the artist Isauro Huizar.



Isauro Huizar (Culiacan, Mexico, 1985) is an artist based in Mexico City. His work is inspired by everyday life and his daily routine. From these experiences, he produces systems to reflect and understand his surroundings. In his artistic practice, he mainly explores the mediums of painting, sculpture and more recently – writing and photography. As an extension of his practice, he has carried out museographic projects for galleries and institutions, showing his skills in spatial narratives. Huizar periodically teaches the workshops La superficie, el color y la forma (“Surface, colour and form”) and Modos de presentar (“Styles of presentation”) for non-profit foundations dedicated to presenting art to children and young people.



Huizar attended the SOMA Educational Program in Mexico City. He has exhibited in national and international galleries and institutions including Biquini Wax EPS, Galería Enrique Guerrero, Casa Wabi, Museo Jumex, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, and many other world class institutions. He is currently co-editor of AAF, a print magazine dedicated to spatial themes, and maintains the Instagram project @abstractpaintingmexico, a personal exploration to learn about and circulate the work of painters based in Mexico.

Who is Isauro Huizar?

I consider myself a visual artist, habit aficionado, compulsive organizer, amateur athlete, defective respirator, a broken-down machine.

What is the first memory you have in relation to art?

In relation to the act of painting, a memory constructed from a photograph and the narrations of my parents. I was about three years old, my father was painting the garden walkway at the side of the house in red paint. In an impulse to imitate him, I approached and reached out my hand to take the brush. The photograph is a portrait of my attempt to continue painting and to turn to the camera when my name was called.


How would you define what you do?

I make systems to understand what is happening around me. Motivated by affection, I organize, arrange and work with objects, spaces and their relationships through care and attention.

If you could summarize your practice in three words, what would they be?

Leisure, care and work.

Where do you find inspiration?

I marvel at everyday life, my routines, the residues found, everything that keeps a dedication and a well-accomplished work. You could say that for my practice, I gather inspiration and when the idea seems nourished enough, I execute it or start to push it as a project.

How would you describe your style?

I like to think that what is known as “style” is a consequence of the decisions that the artist makes to resolve the situations that arise. As long as the artist continues to work, it could be said that his style is still open and could only be completely defined when the artist has stopped producing.

In that sense, how would you describe your process?

In my work, I create systems to try to understand what surrounds me. I am obsessed with systems, I propose a system for everything, this is a consequence of the obsessive habits that I possess and that possess me. Taking into account elements of the artistic process such as composition, structure, environment, process and form, I practice a productive procrastination intertwining work, leisure and care.

In the process of my work, I resort to strategies of appropriation, collection, organization, intervention and alteration, where motivated by affection. I deploy attention and care on objects and space to offer a deeper assimilation of the present moment. I am very interested in making spaces and objects look good, not so that they look pretty, but so that they can be better understood. There is a Japanese term that I would like to mention to complete the above, it is “ma” which could be translated as pause, space, opening or interval. A conscious space that allows to put in value the other parts of the work or to create new meanings. According to Japanese philosophy, this space would be full of energy and could induce a contemplative state in which it is possible to appreciate the expansion of space and time.

Finally, considering the particularities of each medium, I invoke abstraction as an instrument of perception and draw on efficiency to establish links between fiction and reality. In my artistic practice, I mainly explore the mediums of painting, sculpture and more recently, writing and photography.


What do you do to foster your creativity?

Doing nothing (leisure) is very important to me. Not-doing is important because it is the first thing you need to do, the essence of a vessel is not in its form or material but in the emptiness it possesses, from which it can be filled. Not-doing, for me, is emptying to receive the new – new ideas, new processes, new projects.

Reading is also very important to me. I am especially interested in books that contain essays, interviews and writings of philosophers, poets, artists, architects, designers and others. For me this kind of material is incredible, I take them as advice and suggestions for my work and speech, I appropriate many of them and adapt them according to my interests.

What difficulties do you encounter most often in your creative process and what methodology do you generally use to solve them?

One of the main problems is communication and communicating ideas to the viewer. To solve it I resort to questions that I have established as essential: The first one is Who is it going to be presented to? (Who is the possible viewer and what is his or her context? Or if it is the case, what kind of audience, institution, gallery, call, collector, etc.). The next question is When or where is it going to be presented? (Is it a space or event, or another context such as the Internet or a publication, etc.). By answering the above questions we can begin to answer What can we present? And finally, a question that I consider very important is How is it going to be presented? (What are the materials, how are they handled, how are they assembled, what is the possible route, etc.)?

These questions help me to better develop the articulation of the artistic experience I am proposing.

What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

For me it is a way of living, it is about practicing an “economy of existence”, by this I mean: to resort to an economy of means taking into account the characteristic aspects of a place or a situation.

This allows me to meditate on the notion of work as an action performed, a physical-mental effort as opposed to the production of goods through a transfiguration of my free time, my recreational and leisure activities into work.

I really enjoy working, I really spend a lot of time at my desk, I do a lot of sketches. When I am confident in the idea I proceed to the execution of explorations and so on until I get a satisfactory result.

Isauro Huizar - Las cosas tienen la importancia que uno les da (Mandarina)

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently collaborating with the Agenda Cero Foundation (@agendacero) to support the visibility of their cause and grant resources as much as possible. Usually in the exhibitions I organize, a percentage of the proceeds is donated to benefit the Foundation, which is dedicated to the prevention of violence in Mexico. They work with children and teenagers who are survivors of child abuse, through theatre and art to prevent them from reproducing the violence they have experienced.

I have also started an artistic exchange with colleagues through collaborations. Recently, and thanks to a meeting of mutual interests, I am working on a collaboration with Eliana Portilla She is an artist who works mainly with painting and sculpture resorting to geometric elements to transform compositions based on grids.

In the case of Fernanda Uski (@fernandauski), who works around the landscape and the perception of the natural, it was rewarding to solve a joint piece that refers to the poem “El mar” by Pablo Neruda.

The exchange with Carlos Balderrama (@carlosbalderramafelix) resulted in a work that alludes to the representation of space, its fragmentation, the stars, and the refraction of light. For the title, we resorted to a palindrome that seeks to evoke the visual solution.

Lastly, I collaborated with José Ángel Santiago (@joseangelsantiago), an artist based in Oaxaca. It is a graphic folder with texts in Zapotec language from Juchitán. The project is produced by Taller Río Blanco, a visual platform focused on graphic projects and the diffusion of the Zapotec language of the Istmo.

What is your life motto?

The less I have, the less I need.
Necessity sharpens the wit.
Words persuade, but example leads.


Image 1: Isauro Huizar. Credits: Diego Padilla @diegopadillama
Image 2: Recorridos sobre la superficie de un cuerpo, 2016. Spliced from bars of soap used and collected by the artist over two years. Variable dimensions, set of seventy pieces. Presented at @casamaauad. Photo: PJ Rountree
Image 3: Emerald Detritus, 2017. Organization of objects found walking around the city during the week prior to the exhibition. 200 x 200 x 3 cm. Presented in the exhibition Vessel curated by Moises Himmelfarb for @soilart Seattle. Project realized with the support of the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores.
Image 4: Reef-tile, 2017. Altered terracotta bricks. 190 x 220 x 7 cm approximately. Bricks found and altered by hand. Elaborated in the residence @casawabi Oaxaca (2016) and presented in the Genius Loci (2017) exhibition curated by @ariosdel.
Image 5: Las cosas tienen la importancia que uno les da (Mandarina), 2019. Orange onyx from Tehuacán, Puebla. Approximately 25 x 30 x 50 cm. Photograph by: @c129__
Art Week: A Journey Through The Mexican Art Scene<br> #1 Wendy Cabrera Rubio | MASSIVart

Art Week: A Journey Through The Mexican Art Scene
#1 Wendy Cabrera Rubio

Due to the pandemic, all artistic and cultural events around the world are impacted in one way or another. Mexico City is no exception. This year’s Art Week -generally starring Zona Maco, Material Art Fair and Salón Acme– will take place in alternative formats.

Despite the dynamics being significantly different from previous years, MASSIVart does not want to miss the opportunity to showcase the work of talented artists and outstanding cultural agents in Mexico. During this week, we will give space to different artists and gallery owners to share their perceptions and experiences within the national art scene.

We open the collaboration with artist and curator Wendy Cabrera Rubio.



The work of Wendy Cabrera Rubio (Mexico City, 1993) is characterized by a series of intersections that cross the boundaries between high and low culture, image and object, narration and action. These oppositions are presented through textile and theatrical work, or through the historical study of mass culture, specifically cartoons and animation. Rubio explores the relationships between aesthetics and ideology present in the mechanisms of production and distribution of images.

Her processes involve rewriting, archival review, and collaboration with other disciplines. Recurring themes in her work include biotechnology and the resurgence of the ultra-right and the Pan-American project, aiming to create bonds between cultures from the North, Center and South America.


Wendy Cabrera Rubio studied at the ENPEG “La Esmeralda” and later entered the SOMA Educational Program. Her work has been presented collectively at the Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Artes, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Ex-Teresa Arte Actual, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros and individually in Kurimanzutto, Biquini Wax EPS, Museo Jumex and many other world class institutions.. She is currently part of the Young Creators Program FONCA 2021-2022 in the category of Alternative Media.

Wendy fulfilled the role of arts manager as a member of LADRÓNgalería from 2016 to 2019. The project received support from the Patronato de Arte Contemporáneo in 2016 and 2018. She is currently part of the Community Museum and Reading Club of Sierra Hermosa Zacatecas. She is a founding member of the curatorial collective Rivera Galería, carrying out projects at the Museo de la Ciudad de Querétaro and Material Art Fair, among others.


How did you decide to become an artist?

Jose Vasconcelos appeared to me in a dream.
José Vasconcelos (1882-1959) was a multi-faceted man who played a key role in the Mexican Revolution as well as in the establishment of modern institutions in this Latin American nation. He was a Mexican lawyer, educator, writer, politician and philosopher.

What are the key questions you seek to explore in your work?

Does only the absolute deserve the accompaniment of eternity? Does only the absolute deserve the accompaniment of eternity? Does only the absolute deserve the accompaniment of eternity? Does only the absolute deserve the accompaniment of eternity? Does only the absolute deserve the accompaniment of eternity? Does only the absolute deserve the accompaniment of eternity?

What do you do to keep developing your creativity?

Read the free SEP (Secretary of Public Education) third-grade reading textbooks so that Jose Vasconcelos keeps appearing in my dreams.


Three words that describe the Mexican art scene?

Closed, prejudiced and sometimes sensitive.

Do you think the national art scene inspires or influences your work?

For better and for worse, yes.

What do you think is the biggest challenge to be able to produce art in Mexico?

To answer this question, I will start from art education, which is mostly centralized in the capital, which is what I know the best. The increase in the cost of housing and basic services is part of a normalization of labour exploitation where creative jobs tend to have low wages or no wages at all. As the subjects who leave higher education, we are faced with a field of economic uncertainty. This class filter allows the voices of privileged circuits to be heard the most.

What is your favourite gallery in Mexico and why?

@luisgaleria for his exquisite selection of Tik Toks.


Image 1: Wendy Cabrera Rubio
Image 2: Panamerican Art Salon, 2020. Kurimanzutto, Mexico City. México
Image 3: Institute of Pacific Relations, 2021. Peana, Monterrey, México
Image 4: ¿Cómo hacer que una pintura se comporte como un paisaje?, 2020. Jumex Museum, Mexico City, México
Video: La historia la escriben los vencedores, 2017. Biquini Wax EPS, Mexico City, México
“Over It, Art Will Grow! Art to the service of rethinking spaces” <br>Panel’s Takeaways | MASSIVart

“Over It, Art Will Grow! Art to the service of rethinking spaces”
Panel’s Takeaways

In the framework of our presence at SXSW, MASSIVart hosted a discussion looking at the positive improvements – social, cultural, spatial – that cross-pollination between art and placemaking can have on our cities’ future.


Ferdi Alici, Director of OUCHHH Studio
Malak Abu-Qaoud, Arts, Culture & Events Manager at ICD Brookfield Place Dubai

Alejandro Cardoso Mendoza, Global CEO & Managing Partner at MASSIVart Latin America

During this panel, the three speakers talked about the interaction between art, real estate and urban planning. Rather than simply discussing public art and urbanism, the approach was done from the angle of creative placemaking as an overarching concept.

Alejandro opened with this quote: “What is the definition of placemaking? “The process of creating quality places that people want to live in, work at, play and learn in”. Placemaking is an ongoing process that starts with an idea and flows to the execution to create quality spaces and quality cities through quality neighbourhoods. In plain words: quality places”.

A quality place, as defined by Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa, “offers efficient transportation, broadband, mix space use, housing options, recreation, green areas, health and schools infrastructure, and yes, art and culture. A quality place resulting from creative placemaking must be safe, accessible, connected and sociable”.



Do public art and cultural programming contribute to increasing – indirectly or directly – the value of an area or a real estate property, and what is the best way to integrate this?


Malak answered quickly by mentioning that many studies have shown that placemaking within a development project attracts people and tenants. This is exactly what they’re trying to achieve at ICD Brookfield Place; having space where you can live, work, breathe and play. It adds economic value to a real estate property and a human value because you’re building a landmark where it allows people to come, meet and share. Art fosters that conversation and makes it become a place to be, so automatically, developers and tenants will find value in it.

For Ferdi, and from his artistic perspective, the question is, how profitable value is calculated and not meaningful value, attempting to define everything with numbers. One needs to put a balance between that beneficial value and meaningful value together, making great art.

Malak continued by saying that the earlier the art is integrated into a development, the more it sets the tone and the standards for what’s to be expected. Bringing in artists and companies like MASSIVart at an early stage of the master plan, the better the overall project will be impacted! Working closely with architects, urban planners & clients from the inception will essentially create the base play for what you’re building. Through those architects, designers, and art consultants who really understand how art is built and how it’s supposed to be shown. This is how well-curated projects work seamlessly for and with the community and brings the most out of the experience.

For Ferdi, it’s really hard for the artist to get together with a large-scale client. This is why the role of companies like MASSIVart is so essential to build the bridge between the artist and the client: not so many artists can handle the whole process to bring an art integration project to life.

Malak further mentioned that you need the right ingredients from the very beginning to organically develop a space that people want to be a part of. It takes a lot of expertise and a lot of passion. The project done at ICD Brookfield Place with MASSIVart and Ouchhh created a lot of demand to directly benefit the value of the building. It automatically attracted new tenants while maintaining the existing ones: this is quantitative and qualitative ROI. Malak ended by saying that the difference between a good development and a great development is people and creating communities for people.

Is Public art able to contribute to sustainability and economic improvement of cities, urban areas or real estate properties? What is the effect on people and communities?


Ferdi shared an interesting data point that alone can answer the question of economic impact in the affirmative: Ouchhh had an exhibition in Paris, Poetic AI in 2018. More than 1 million people experienced it in 9 months! Artists are more and more working with clients like Brookfield because now they are really interested in increasing the overall value of their assets through public art. The founder of Ouchhh Studio highlighted the fact that art has a massive impact on people and that data art can be used for functional purposes, for smarter cities. Their goal is to elevate a new economy with public art based on communities.

For Malak, public art is a communal activity. It brings people together while also supporting the local art scene, as they offer their building as a platform for regional emerging and established artists to showcase their work. It automatically changes how people interact with space. People spend most of their time at work, so, in an office building with commercial areas like ICD Brookfield Place. Malak says that they’re trying to step away from “this is a workplace” to “this is a place for collaboration & fostering conversation” to create a different environment where people can think of different ways of innovating.

The Arts, Culture & Events Manager went further by saying that ICD Brookfield Place is not just a brick-and-mortar office building but they’re also a community offering a safe and inclusive space. Public art is vital because of this inclusivity to relate to it and engage with it. Malak gave a great example of that: on the night of DATAMONOLITH_AI opening, the giant black LED screens had just been installed with the huge reflective floor, and the minute the video went on, the night shift crew – cleaners, security – came swarming into the room holding up their phones to take pictures and videos, looking at it and being so immersed and excited. This is precisely what Brookfield’s criteria was: delivering an art-driven experience that would automatically engage everyone.

The convergence of science, technology and art at the service of space management projects


For this point, Ferdi explained that in the past, persistent advances in technology continued to boost the development of art forms. There is no exception for painting sculpture, music or photography. Science and scientific ideas have long inspired art and artists, from Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci to Dali and Samuel Morse. They demonstrated how scientific ideas can inspire impeccable art.

Ferdi continued by refocusing the answer on his own practice within Ouchhh, saying that every art project starts with big, meaningful questions. Their main question for DATAMONOLITH_AI in Dubai was: “What would happen if the consciousness of the world’s oldest ancient origins data and AI came together for a hybrid architectural public art?”. They collaborated with scientists and academics to create this hybrid data sculpture and then built up their team to include data scientists, AI coders and animation designers. Tech and science are in their process from beginning to end.

Finally, the panel concluded on this question. Ferdi explained that the “art behaviour” is totally changing. It’s not elitist anymore, it’s easily accessible for everyone. Now people really enjoy having immersive experiences and seeing public art. For him, we are living the future of the arts: with new technologies and social media, you can access art everywhere, anytime. Data is the new gold, and if you can bring together data, AI and science within public art, you are unique.

Data X Art: Re-imagining Art With The Help Of Technology | MASSIVart

Data X Art: Re-imagining Art With The Help Of Technology

How new media artists are using technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence to create mesmerizing pieces of art.


We believe that something amazing lies in the intersection of art and technology – To celebrate the international day of creativity and innovation, we wanted to delve into the world of some of our favourite contemporary artists and creative studios who work with technology, data and artificial intelligence, achieving incredible, ever-changing pieces of art with hundreds of possible outcomes.

“Artistic expression has reached new potentials as technology grows in capability. Art advances the experiences of technology, while technology advances the possibilities of art.”Ari Melenciano, designer, creative technologist and researcher.

Jesse WoolsonFor several years now, we have been hearing terms like data, artificial intelligence and machine learning everywhere. We hear things like the correct use of data can help a company change radically, or that artificial intelligence will be the solution to global problems. We know, broadly speaking, the importance that these terms have in our technological present, and how data can be found everywhere, from hospitals to museums. However, we wanted to understand a little more deeply why, for some artists, the use of these technologies has been essential for their creations and how is it that by conceptually handling data and algorithms, a different and innovative art form has been created?

If we were to imagine what data looks like, we would possibly think on a list of numbers or complicated algorithms. Some might also think of complex spreadsheets and graphs. And mostly, we would be correct. Data can be visualized in many ways. Sometimes the information will be scattered and difficult to understand. At other times, the information will be highly organized -and- probably difficult to understand as well. But suddenly, magic happens, and there are occasions where we can visualize data differently and creatively. A way in which data becomes an extremely attractive, changing, and a totally new form of artistic expression for the human eye.

DATAMONOLITH_AI by Ouchhh curated and produced by MASSIVart for ICD Brookfield Place Dubai

At MASSIVart, we love meeting and collaborating with artists who work with new media and who explore innovative forms of expression through complex technologies. Our most recent project is a great example of this: DATAMONOLITH_AI by Ouchhh Studio at the ICD Brookfield Place in Dubai. A cinematic experience that highlights the power of AI and the ancient origins that we all share.

The world changes constantly, and so does art. By merging technology with creativity, these artists invite us to question and explore the relationship between the real and the unreal, between the accurate and the inaccurate, and finally, the creation of a whole new art expression that is never the same and that has the ability to create all sort of emotions in our beautiful, imperfect human brains.


Cover photo: Sarah Meyohas – “Speculations”
GIF: Jesse Woolston – The Garden of Earthly Delights, a triptych masterpiece that reveals the immense creativity and imagination of Hieronymus Bosch.
Photo: DATAMONOLITH_AI by Ouchhh Studio curated and produced by MASSIVart for ICD Brookfield Place in Dubai



These are the artists working with technology who inspire us the most:


Refik Anadol


Using machine intelligence, Refik Anadol keeps amazing us by creating surreal visualizations of information that turn into data sculptures. Through a machine learning algorithm that generates visual associations as it learns, he creates mesmerizing, immersive installations that remind us of a dream.

📹 Refik Anadol – Machine Hallucination. 30-minute experimental cinema, presented in 16K resolution, that visualizes the story of New York through the city’s collective memories that constitute its deeply-hidden consciousness.

Sarah Meyohas

Sarah Meyohas

Sarah merges traditional objects and elements from nature with beauty and contemplation through contemporary digital mediums. She creates a whole new visual language and expression of systems, algorithms, and technologies that influence our daily lives by converting them into beautiful, metaphorical pieces.

📷 Sarah Meyohas – “Speculations”. This series was initially conceived for BitchCoin, a cryptocurrency as an artwork that playfully constructed value. The coin needed to be backed by a photograph, and this photograph needed to create value visually, deliberately, and perhaps with an illusory expansion of space to reference “mining” and the idea of gold.


Rafael Lozano Hemmer


Working at the intersection of architecture and performance art, Rafael creates participative art pieces where he uses diverse technologies such as robotic lights, digital fountains, media walls, sensors, sounds, and projections. In his works, he mixes different realities and perspectives where he invites the public to interact, question and reflect on technology.

📷 Rafael Lozano Hemmer – “Cloud Display”, a vertical water fountain consisting of 1,600 ultrasonic atomizers, controlled by a machine-learning voice recognition system.


Variable Studio


A digital studio based in London that works with brands and organizations by helping them to experience data and information in a whole new way. By using algorithms and millions of data points, they are able to transform it into beautiful artworks that showcase the trends found in the data sources.

📹 Variable Studio – Fibers. Visualization of Nike FuelBand data from the trainings preceding We Own The Night – Nike Women’s 10K run.

David Young


By working with Artificial Intelligence and using data sets like photos taken in nature by himself, this artist explores how aesthetic experiences can reshape the way we think about technologies like Artificial Intelligence. He creates unpredictable, non-perfect expressions of nature, creating a unique vision of our real world. Beautiful and perfect, in its way.

📷 David Young – Dandelions, AI / Machine Learning generated images.

Juan Pablo de la Vega


Artist, mathematician, and photographer. Juan Pablo’s main research areas are knowledge creation and transfer via artificial intelligence techniques, particularly deep learning algorithms, computer vision and image ontology, and the struggle between technology adoption and the surrender of privacy. We are currently working with Juan Pablo to deliver a data artwork that combines cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence with the traditional craft of Mexican weaving.

📷 Juan Pablo de la Vega – plaoSr-sefttri [Self-portraits] When we present ourselves online we are both randomised and sorted by automatic algorithms in order to maintain an online order of things. In this project Juan Pablo both randomized and ordered a self-portrait to visualize an abstract version of himself, emulating the abstract and carefully organized and randomized online versions of ourselves.

Mimi Onuoha


Mimi is an artist and researcher whose work highlights the social relationships and power dynamics behind data collection. Her multimedia practise uses print, code, installation, and video to call attention to how those in the margins are differently abstracted, represented, and missed by sociotechnical systems.

📷 Mimi Onuoha – Us, Aggregated 2.0. Using an image from the artist’s personal family archives as its starting place, Us, Aggregated 2.0 presents a frame clustered series of photographs that Google’s reverse-image search algorithms have categorized as similar and tagged with the label “girl”.

Sougwen Chung


Sougwen is a young artist and researcher exploring the boundaries of collaboration between humans and machines. Chung’s work investigates the interactions between mark-made-by-hand and the mark- made-by-machine as an approach to understanding the dynamics of humans and systems, creating visually engaging artworks as a result.

📷 Sougwen Chung – Bihua, Human & machine co-creation during the first quarantine isolation period in Brooklyn, New York.

At MASSIVart, we believe in the integration of new technologies and art as a differentiator with which we can help our clients rethink their creative strategies, to better understand the industry and the audience. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you to integrate data art into your project, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Estefania Cardoso

The creative process behind the large-scale 3D wall piece that MASSIVart is currently producing in Mexico | MASSIVart

The creative process behind the large-scale 3D wall piece that MASSIVart is currently producing in Mexico

Our team in Mexico is working on a major art integration for a real estate development project in Mexico City. FREL, one of the local leaders in the industry, called upon MASSIVart to integrate art into various spaces of their most recent project.


MASSIVart took care of the art direction and curation and is now in the production phase for two distinctive installations to be delivered in the spring. One of them is a large-scale art installation, for which we invited Canadian artist and designer Alexandre Berthiaume of Futil Inc. to create a 450sqm wall.

We wanted to give him the floor to explain all the ins and outs of this outstanding installation that we can’t wait to experience in real life. An exciting discussion that we hope will make you as eager as we are!

Alexandre Berthiaume Futil Inc.

You work in a wide range of disciplines, going from industrial design to photography. For you, where is the line between art and design?

I’ve been blending disciplines for so long that it is almost natural to me. From my studies in architecture to building an industrial design office to developing in parallel a Live multimedia performance based on sound analysis through computer programming and all for a 10 year period. I stumbled upon photography organically and found it a great way to express myself. What combines all of these practices is my curiosity to learn and each discipline nourishes the other. I often choose artistic expressions that rely on some kind of technical challenge. To me, it is what excites and motivates me. When working on large-scale projects that have so many parameters to take into account, the emotion and message must never get lost in favour of the technical.

FRAGMENTS by FUTIL inc. produced by MASSIVart for FREL Mexico City

Can you tell us more about the artwork you created for The Summit? What is the concept behind it?

The artwork I created for the Summit is called Fragments. It is a geometric abstraction of a mountain. It blends complex shapes in the form of a 3-dimensional wall piece. I see it as a fragmented presence that imposes power, strength and stillness. It’s meant to inspire and aspire for greatness. Its volumetry brings dynamism to the flat surface of the wall and imposes its place. I relied on the studies of Voronoi Tessellation, which is a type of geometric fragmentation found often in nature. This allows me to create a cell system that is then blown up in volume by triangular facets. The natural light of the sun and the complimentary artificial lighting complement each other to create a vibrant, dynamic presence. The mirror finish will amplify the luminous interactions, reflecting its environment in a fun and abstract way. People will be able to interact with the creation and see their own influence on the artwork. The artwork is composed of many dualities: heaviness vs lightness, man-made vs nature, mathematics vs organic randomness. I wanted to create a bridge between a futuristic vision and the enduring presence of a mountain.

FRAGMENTS by FUTIL inc. produced by MASSIVart for FREL Mexico City

How was your creative process for this particular project?

The process needed to be quick so I relied on past experiments. I developed a process that I use mainly on all my projects. It’s a 3 phase process. Firstly, I analyze all the parameters in depth. The site, its surrounding area, the audience, the client needs and the core feeling that the artwork will have to evoke. I then lay out all the possible techniques and building materials that could be used and focus on one. This step is crucial and saves a lot of time. Creating something that will not be feasible is not productive. It is also at this step that the technical part will give me a language to express my message. Then for the last part and this is when the magic happens – I stop and let everything marinate in my head. It’s always in the back of my mind for days. Solitude is necessary at this step and I also meditate. A solution that will bring everything together eventually emerges. I rely on my past experiences and reflections to come up with the right solution. Unbuilt projects are as important as the built ones because of the time spent reflecting on ideas. Fragments is a good example because it finalized a concept I initially came up with for another project. I spent quite a bit of time understanding how to generate Voronoi tessellation, but also how to interpret it in a 3 dimensional way. Turns out this project was the best fit to go deeper in these studies.

Volcano Popocatepl erupting | Jacek Sledzinski

What is the link you find between the artwork, The Summit, and Mexico City?

There is quite a bit actually. I didn’t mention it before but there is a resemblance of the artwork to the North face of Popocatepetl volcano close to Mexico City. When I was focused on interpreting a mountain, I started researching the geography of the region. I wanted to get a feeling of the landscape at large. I stumbled upon this volcano in my search and was touched by the mythology of it. In Aztec mythology, Popocatepetl was a warrior in love with a princess named Ixtaccíhuatl. Ixtaccíhuatl’s father sent Popocatepetl to kill an enemy of their tribe, promising him his daughter’s hand if he returned victorious, but knowing the impossible feat. Completing his task successfully, Popocatepetl died of grief upon learning that Ixtaccíhuatl had also died of grief upon hearing the false news of his death. Having pity on their fate, the gods covered their bodies with snow and changed them into mountains. The other link is a bit closer and it is actually the district of Santa Fe. I was charmed by the futuristic vision in this area. The embrace of a modern vision where skyscrapers are intertwined with superb contemporary parks. I knew that the blend of nature meets the technology of the artwork would be a perfect fit.

FRAGMENTS by FUTIL inc. produced by MASSIVart for FREL Mexico City

This is a huge mural, what type of challenges did you face for the creation of the piece?

The scale of it isn’t a challenge by itself but it surely affects the choice of fabrication techniques and materials. Pre-constructed parts have to be planned ahead to minimize the work time onsite. This is the main reason that I broke the piece into cells that would mean each element had a more manageable size. It also allows flexibility and a margin of error, installation-wise. One thing that I do with all my creations is visualizing them at different distances. You have to think of the experience from far away and at this scale, it is really far away and the experience you get close by. So from the street, you can get the whole picture and the global composition. When you walk towards it you’re beginning to get the sense of the scale of it. It’s getting impressive. Once you get close to it, you get all of its 3 dimensionalities, its intricacy. Lastly, on the mezzanine, you get the overview of it all – the birds-eye view that showcases the reflectiveness of the environment enhanced by all the people passing by.


How important was the selection of materials?

Crucial! There aren’t that many choices of material with a mirrored finish. And when you account for a reasonable budget and a low maintenance solution, only recent developments in composite material could do the job. We then needed to find a manufacturer that not only could work with the material but wasn’t afraid of this complex challenge. The material also had to be relatively light because the structure doesn’t touch the ground. We had to build upon one of the major structural components of the building. It’s a massive thing but we needed to keep its integrity.


What emotions do you hope to convey with this piece?

I basically want people to feel like a kid again. I wanted to feel some sort of power and strength. One way by the pure magnitude of the piece and the other by the mystery of its fabrication. I see it like a clam and gentle giant. It is still but you can feel the passage of time in its reflectiveness. A mountain has significance for everyone. A challenge for the brave. A peaceful place for the nature lover. A majestic place for the painter. And even a scary place for others. A mountain is a stable and time resilient thing and a perfect analogy for a skyscraper.

FRAGMENTS by FUTIL inc. produced by MASSIVart for FREL Mexico City

What does this artwork represent to you?

To me, the artwork is probably the best representation of what are my strengths at this stage of my career. Basically the amalgamation of 20 years of research and efforts. I spent countless hours learning how to work with the latest 3D tools to be able not only to create such things but also to communicate them to builders. My studies as an architect have allowed me to understand the context and physicality of the building. My work as an industrial designer led me to understand different materials and learn welding skills to better communicate with a builder. My work as a multimedia artist helps me to understand the time factor of an art piece and to make it evolving with its lighting. Lastly, it is to understand a client and their needs. It’s important for an artist to express themself but on projects like these, one should always take into account the original purpose. And sometimes it leads you into interesting new avenues and makes you grow.

Alexandre Berthiaume of Futil Inc.

Artist Spotlight: Natalia Ramos | MASSIVart

Artist Spotlight: Natalia Ramos

Each year, on 15 April, UNESCO’s World Art Day celebrations help reinforce the links between artistic creations and society. These celebrations encourage greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlight the contribution of artists to sustainable development. This is also an occasion to shine a light on arts education in schools, as sharing cultures is a gateway to inclusive and equitable education.

“Bringing people together, inspiring, soothing and sharing: these are the powers of art, the importance of which has been made emphatically obvious during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. With hundreds of thousands of people directly affected by the virus and billions more either in lockdown or battling the pandemic on the front lines, this World Art Day is a timely reminder that art has the power to unite and connect in times of crisis.” – Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO

Today more than ever, we leave the floor to an artist who inspired us! Happy World Art Day 🙂


Natalia Ramos is a visual artist from Guadalajara, México. She studied visual communication and art direction. Natalia is especially interested in abstraction and decontextualization of objects and materials, proposing new and atypical compositions. For Natalia, composition is crucial to change the perspective of any object and the visual values of the viewer. Natalia communicates these ideas through “still lifes” of people, objects, and sculptures. The act of inhabiting a space and our relationship with objects is a constant in her work. Today we have the opportunity for Natalia to tell us more about her trajectory.


Natalia Ramos - Chicatana

This series of photographs represent the human body through rudimentary materials which create abstract human skeletons. These works include hints of Mexican Pre-Hispanic art styles while still simulating the authentic Mexican ability to improvise with a unique perspective. In this case, the work displays a vision to create bodies from objects.



Natalia Ramos - Botana
Botana (Snack) is a compilation of still lifes that portray ingredients found in the San Juan Market, one of the oldest and most traditional markets in Mexico City. It is known for being a market where you can find Pre-Hispanic and exotic ingredients such as crocodile meat and countless varieties of insects.

This series plays with balance, equilibrium, and the idea of highlighting the beauty and simplicity of the ordinary. The monochromatic backgrounds are the central component of each still, creating a feeling of flatness that I have been exploring in my current work. I like the simplicity and immediacy the flatness can achieve. I am attracted to its anti-sophistication.



Natalia Ramos - Jardin
Jardín (Garden) is a group of nature abstractions. They are drawings translated to sculptures through a process of fragmentation of reality, with the will of reducing the bodies to a synthesis of icons. The futuristic flowers, made of steel, ceramic, and ostrich eggs, break with the rigid aspect of the steel – a hard, stable, and rigid material. In this case, the steel creates subtle and organic lines simulating the movement of plants. It is about finding certain erotism in a material made for industrial purposes.

The ceramics and porcelains are the aspirations for corporeality of the flat world. As they are assembled, the sculptures emerge to inhabit a space. Certain shapes are represented as close proximities to reality, while others break and disarticulate the familiar to let the audience perceive it from a new, unknown direction. The materials used for these pieces are porcelain with smoke, soil from Zacatecas, clay from Tapalpa, and high-temperature paste. The lines go round and round to provide corporeality to flat fragments.


In the past year, I have been focusing on creating illustrations specifically for the editorial market, either newspapers or books. I feel very comfortable in this field because I am interested in the relationship that is developed between a written piece and a visual piece. I believe that the message gains much more strength when the viewer has the freedom to make subjective and unique connections between both parts.


Honoring Montreal’s entrepreneurial community with creativity | MASSIVart

Honoring Montreal's entrepreneurial community with creativity

A few months ago, PME MTL turned to MASSIVart to pay tribute to its employees and entrepreneurs with a creative gift.

The idea? A mural inside each of the six PME MTL poles designed by Paprika, with QR codes integrated to present the entrepreneurs that their experts were able to support throughout the year. This interactive mural allows them to highlight their different stories in an engaging and fun way.

This project has a certain significance for MASSIVart, firstly because we believe that their mission is essential and also for the fact that we are happy to help in return those who have supported us before. It is thanks to the CDECs, the former name of PME MTL, that MASSIVart received its very first start-up grant in 2011.

This is why we are proud to give the floor to PME MTL to present you this project where creativity and design are once again effective ways to convey messages while embellishing spaces.

PME MTL is the City of Montreal’s business support network.
With 6 service centres on the island, our mission is to support Montreal’s entrepreneurs through a support and financing offer adapted to their needs. In 2020, we celebrated our 5th anniversary!

The project we worked on with MASSIVart met two main objectives. First, to pay tribute to Montreal entrepreneurs, but also to highlight the importance of the huge amount of work accomplished by all the professionals of the PME MTL network since the beginning of the pandemic.

Like the entrepreneurs we have been supporting, we have rolled up our sleeves and worked hard to offer them help and advice since the month of March 2020. This project makes it possible to humanize the work of our experts, while still putting forward the Montreal entrepreneurs who are at the heart of our mission.

Office Space Design - PME MTL - Interactive Mural by MASSIVart and PaprikaThe challenge to realize this project? To highlight the territorial particularities of each of the PME MTL poles that represent the Montreal entrepreneurial fabric from east to west and north to south. In addition to quickly dispelling this apprehension, the MASSIVart team immediately understood the essence of our project. The mural allows us to bring a proposal that unifies and links our poles. It is a magnificent collaboration between the MASSIVart team and PME MTL’s team.

We wanted to make an artistic and creative commission for this project because art and creativity amaze. They have a unifying effect, each eye finds its own interest. MASSIVart had a genius idea (!) by proposing to integrate QR codes to the murals, allowing each PME MTL pole to promote its own contents. They will be able to evolve over time simply by updating the QR code redirection links. Through blog posts, we can highlight the inspiring stories of our entrepreneurs endlessly.

This occupation of the space allows us to discover – and rediscover at each visit – the talent of creative Montreal companies – MASSIVart and Paprika – but it is also a way to remind everyone who passes by (entrepreneurs, partners or visitors) of the importance of supporting local businesses.

It is also a creative way for us to highlight the exceptional work that our colleagues have been doing for the past 5 years and the essential role they play with Montreal entrepreneurs. A role that is more crucial than ever since March 2020.

To quote one of the general managers of PME MTL, we often play a modest role at a critical time. For us, supporting entrepreneurs is not only about providing financing but also about helping them go through important steps, with the goal of making them stronger.

Office Space Design - PME MTL - Interactive Mural by MASSIVart and PaprikaPhotos: Myriam Baril-Tessier
Artist Spotlight: Ignacio Aldana ‘Soltero’ | MASSIVart

Artist Spotlight: Ignacio Aldana 'Soltero'

Recently, Be Grand® – one of the leading Real Estate Developers in Mexico – entrusted MASSIVart to reimagine the showroom of a major development project in the heart of Mexico City.

Be Grand’s showrooms already set them apart from other real estate developers so we took this unique brand property to another level, reflecting their exclusive brand positioning & elevated lifestyle through art installations.

For this project, we had the chance to collaborate with artist Ignacio Aldana ‘Soltero’ to bring to life CLARO/OSCURO – a giant monochromatic mural. As well as being a stunning daytime art-piece, by night the mural transforms into a glowing, neon-infused spectacle creating a stunning landmark out of the wall within Colonia Del Valle.

On this occasion, we wanted to give Ignacio the floor so that he could tell us more about his artistic approach and the place that public art has in it.

BE GRAND Showroom Art Integrations by MASSIVart - CLARO-OSCURO-Ignacio-Aldana-Soltero

Can you tell us how you entered the art world? How did you decide to be an artist?

The major reason was the influence of my mother, who is a surrealist artist and she also plays the piano. She opened up the door to the art world for us. One key aspect of my work is something my mother used to tell us: “If we are starting something, we will finish it the best way we can”. I follow that everytime, in each canvas and each mural I have made.

You have very different styles when working on canvas and walls. Why is that? Is there an intersection point between the two styles?

At the beginning, you care about having your own language and artists might become lost in the search for originality. Only practice and time can give you your voice, they show you where to go. In my case, I started with geometric murals just because of how friendly they are, they can fit in every space, they can transform every space. You then add colour and with more experience, one can start transmitting what the space is telling – in my case, with patterns, geometric shapes or colour palettes. The abstract language of my work on canvas came years after, when I felt capable to develop my own style. My objective was for people to understand the piece without reading the title or seeing the signature. I hope both styles will confirm my own personal brand.

Ignacio Aldana Soltero

Focusing on your work on walls, how would you describe your creative process?

My creative process starts by studying the space. I like to know what is happening, or what will happen, in the space where the mural will be, and also to know what the surroundings are. I like to provoke change, so it is not just about painting a mural. With this in mind, if there is already an art direction, I start sketching my idea for the space. I like to create 3 different sketches, two following what the client wants and one proposing my own idea. I feel that when you have a pre-established idea, sometimes your creativity gets blocked and making this third sketch helps me to activate the full power of my creativity. In many cases some details that came up stay in the final mural.

After the final sketch is selected, I always create a skeleton of how I will paint. You don’t always start from the top, it depends on the design and what is very interesting to me. Once we are ready to paint, I always go with blocks of colour, so the mural will never feel incomplete.

How did you start working on public spaces?

Illegally! I mean, at the beginning when nobody hires you or gives you a space to paint, you find your own spaces. I went to the outskirts of the city and this is where I practiced my lines, my shades, and later, thanks to social media, several businesses started contacting me to create small murals. I got very interested in trying to revive forgotten spaces or places where people spend a lot of time. That was when I started working with the DIF (Office for the Integral Development of Families) in Guadalajara, and the Black Coffee Gallery Foundation. Then the DIF Zapopan, Jalisco, and everything else grew when we realized that people wanted colour in their office spaces. We painted buildings in vibrant colours and the change in the people’s state of mind was very noticeable. It is not just about the colour, it is about Mexican folklore and the idea is to transmit it worldwide.

Ignacio Aldana Soltero

What is the biggest challenge when painting in public spaces?

For everybody to be satisfied. Sometimes the artist knows the mural could have been better, us artists are like that. Sometimes the public does not like it. Sometimes the colours did not turn out as expected. The beautiful thing is that all these things have a solution. But there is nothing like finishing a wall and seeing everybody’s faces when everything turns out perfect.

In the particular case of the mural you painted for Be Grand in Mexico City, what message did you were interested in conveying?

To me, Be Grand is proposing the same thing I am trying to do with my work: to be ahead of the times with elegance and minimalism. The brand also talks about transforming and evolving, and I feel that the work I have conveyed those details. The idea was to offer a mural for the daytime that can be also enjoyed during the night. The neon lights transform the mural and provide the perfect spot to get a good photo or selfie. That is something I have always wanted to offer.

What impact do you wish your work has on the community?

The impact started with us painting there, because in those days we saw how everything was already changing. The neighbourhood is going through a great transformation right now, so the impact will be positive and I hope it can be an example of how art can provide a deeper value beyond the visual aspect.

Ignacio Aldana Soltero




Join us for a MASSIV discussion in the framework of our presence at SXSW! | MASSIVart

Join us for a MASSIV discussion in the framework of our presence at SXSW!

Titled Over It, Art Will Grow! Art to the service of rethinking spaces, this panel will be the opportunity for us to discuss art, technology and more!


MASSIVart proposes a discussion looking at the positive improvements – social, cultural, spatial- that cross-pollination between art and placemaking can have on our cities’ future. As a tool and put at the forefront of development projects, art has the potential to bring economic benefits and tell stories and enrich daily life. For the creative minds invested in the rethinking places, every space is a blank canvas; every new project is an opportunity to push the envelope of traditional development.

Ferdi Alici, Director of OUCHHH Studio
Malak Abu-Qaoud, Arts, Culture & Events Manager at ICD Brookfield Place Dubai

Alejandro Cardoso Mendoza, Global CEO & Managing Partner at MASSIVart Latin America


Join us live on Thursday March 18th at 11 am (EST)
📅 Register here


More about our panelists and moderator


Malak Qaoud ICD Brookfield PlaceMalak Abu-Qaoud, Arts, Culture & Events Manager at ICD Brookfield Place Dubai
Malak Abu-Qaoud is a creative lead, experiential designer and art consultant skilled in interpersonal communications, emphasizing the relationship between humans and art, artists, experiences and spaces. She is currently the arts, culture & events manager at ICD Brookfield Place Dubai. As a cultural place maker, she uses her surroundings to offer a platform for regional emerging and established artists by presenting free for the public, world-class cultural experiences.

Ferdi Alici, Director of OUCHHH Studio
Ferdi is New Media Artist, Director and Founder of OUCHHH Studio.
Ouchhh is a global creative new media studio with a cutting-edge innovator in the creative field who have been showing outstanding results in the art science technology scene in 10 years. The Studio is a pioneer of data paintings&sculptures, a mind-driven approach, discovering new technological models to reflect the variety of context and experience that “the roots of art, science, and technology are mysterious”,  that shape their futuristic perspective. The team currently consists of  engineers, academics, creative coders, designers, media artists, motion graphic designers, and other talented individuals from a variety of fields with one synced vision that knowledge creates an epic public experience.

Alejandro Cardoso Mendoza, Global CEO & Managing Partner at MASSIVart Latin America
Alejandro is the Global CEO and Managing Partner of MASSIVart Latin America. Under his oversight, MASSIVart Mexico opened its doors more than a year ago and is steadily sailing toward success with crucial public art projects with real estate developers. Before joining MASSIVart, Alejandro was CMO or a CEO for different world-class companies such as Citibank, Aeroméxico and Yahoo. He spent the past 16 years with Paris-based giant Publicis Groupe, ending his tenure there as the Group’s Executive Chairman for Latin America. During this part of his career, he achieved sustained growth for 8 years in a row and was the 1st Mexican ever to hold that role for any international Advertising group. Alejandro is one of the few professionals that has had the opportunity to work on all four sides of the marketing communications industry: Advertising, Experiential, Digital and as a Client. Alejandro is a fantastic keynote speaker, entrepreneur, women’s equality subject expert and supporter – as an advisory board member to the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society – and a board member for different companies, who brings knowledge and enthusiasm to all the projects he is spearheading.

ICD Brookfield Place: at the forefront of the integration of art programming | MASSIVart

ICD Brookfield Place: at the forefront of the integration of art programming

Currently exhibited in the heart of an office tower in Dubai is the hybrid architectural art installation DATAMONOLITH_AI from the international award-winning studio, Ouchhh. The public art installation will be on display at ICD Brookfield Place until March 23rd, 2021.

With the purpose of fostering a greater sense of community and connection, ICD Brookfield Place entrusted MASSIVart to bring this public art installation to life in these complicated pandemic times.

For MASSIVart, it was a privilege to work with a client whose visions for the future align with our own: Brookfield Properties, one of the largest real estate groups in the world, has received outstanding recognition for its arts programming, “Arts Brookfield.”

Ben McGregor, Investment Director of ICD Brookfield Place says, “We are incredibly proud to launch our public art program with DATAMONOLITH_AI. ICD Brookfield Place has always aspired to be a creative, forward-thinking community and cultural institution, and this striking installation is the first in a program of world-class cultural experiences. We hope the installation will inspire not only those in our immediate community of Dubai but also foster further creativity and growth in the burgeoning art scene here in the UAE.”

DATAMONOLITH_AI by Ouchhh curated and produced by MASSIVart for ICD Brookfield Place Dubai

DATAMONOLITH_AI by Ouchhh. Curated and produced by MASSIVart for ICD Brookfield Place, Dubai.


To follow up on all this, we wanted ICD Brookfield Place to tell us more about their relationship to public art as a real estate developer. Here are their answers.


As a leader in the Real Estate Industry Brookfield has been at the forefront of the integration of art and cultural programming. Why is it important to bring your spaces to life through art?

We believe the industry needs to worry less about bricks and mortar, and concentrate on creating places where people want to visit, live, work and play. Attention to placemaking and the experience, is a real estate value proposition and it’s a human proposition too. It creates better places and cities. At ICD Brookfield Place, we care a lot about creating special places and so our mission is to present free for the public, world-class cultural experiences.


What effect does this have on the space, public, clients, employees?

Public art, whatever the medium, enriches places for people. Art can trigger the imagination, tell a story, make us happy or simply create a beautiful visual display.


Brookfield Place Toronto

How do you measure the ROI of art integration and why is it important to invest in placemaking?

We are creating a community. By investing in our place, we are investing in our tenants and visitors. We champion the fact that great places attract more tenants, and more tenants equate to greater profit all while supporting artists and young creators.


Can you tell us about the recent art installation DATAMONOLITH_AI that we collaborated on with Ouchhh?

Our objective was to kick off the art program at ICD Brookfield Place by featuring an established regional artist. We wanted to feature an immersive installation which tells a story. Ouchhh’s DATAMONOLITH_AI is so rich in experience that anyone can enjoy it regardless of age, background or nationality. It is universally accessible.


What were the challenges you faced when you imagined this project?

During the time of the pandemic, it is difficult to travel and coordinate a project of this scale from across the globe. However, MASSIVart executed this project flawlessly and managed to coordinate for the artist to fly in and out of Dubai. The line of communication was always very clear, so we were able to predict and solve any challenges before we faced them.


In this pandemic context and after, what can be the role of public art in improving people’s daily lives?

Public art is important in so many ways. It enriches the soul and provides a cultural context and completely changes the way people interact with a space. Now more than ever we need to support local artists and our communities.


The art scene in the Middle East is rich and public art is developing more and more. In what way do you think it would be strategic to position yourself at the forefront of this artistic sphere?

We are so lucky to have so much talent coming from the Middle East which we need to highlight and support! As cultural placemakers, it is our duty to offer our building as a platform for emerging and established regional artists. In some ways we are connecting our talent with our tenants to create a wholesome ecosystem and future opportunities for these artists. Most importantly, all of our events and exhibitions are free of charge and open for the public to enjoy.

Inspiring women in the art world that are making a difference | MASSIVart

Inspiring women in the art world that are making a difference

It’s still surprising to learn that the path to fight gender equality is something so recent.

In the last few years, we have been lucky enough to witness several changes – albeit somehow minimal – in various social spheres. One of them being the art world, which has undergone incredible transformations in relation to the inclusion of female artists and how women are revolutionizing this industry.

Let’s not forget that art has been mostly managed by men and that the number of works exhibited and produced by male artists, to date, surpasses those made by female artists.

Here are just a few hard facts to refresh our memory:

According to a study conducted by the University of Luxembourg in 2017, at auctions, women’s art pieces fetch prices 47% lower than those made by men (1).

A study by PLOS (Public Library of Science) showed that of the 18 largest museums in America, 76% of the art on display belonged to white male artists (2).

Nevertheless, museums such as El Prado in Madrid or the MoMa in New York, to name just a few, have recently decided to make efforts to increase the number of works and / or exhibitions by female artists, trying to balance the inequality that has existed between the two genders, slowly helping to close the gap.

2020 was definitely a promising year internationally with a greater number of exhibitions (both virtual and presencial) by women artists, the inclusion of the female gender in the industry, and of course, the numerous women’s movements around the world that mobilized thousands and raised awareness within our society.

Last year, we witnessed incredible movements and protests against female violence, from historic marches in Mexico, Chile and Eastern Europe, the #MeToo movement in North American and Middle Eastern countries, to the legalization of abortion in Argentina, among others.

2020 was possibly the weirdest year of our lives, however, let’s not leave behind that it was a year full of changes; of great and small revolutions, of national and international movements that have somehow reformed our society.

Let’s take a look at how 2020 was a year where women played an important role through art expression and who are some of these women who have inspired us the most in wanting to make a difference and getting involved in social movements and gender matters, to make this 2021 even more exciting.


Cover image: Malika Favre
Image on the right: Beau Dunn


Julieta Gil / @julietagilg – Mexican artist that works with different art forms including 3D renderings, animation, installation and sculptures. She is interested in both physical and digital realities, reflecting themes like feminism and technology and how these can be used to reshape our understanding of our institutions.


Eréndira Derbez – Mexican illustrator, writer and activist. In her work, she represents themes such as missing women, femicide, and awareness of the female body.


Alisha Davidson / @alisha_lucia – Toronto-based illustrator that creates feminist designs celebrating women. She brings to life beautiful and thought-provoking illustrations, spreading feminist cues about gender equality and feminist values about sisterhood and acceptance.


Malika Favre / @malikafavre – French illustrator and designer with bold, minimal style. She has a deep commitment to celebrate and empower women through her striking designs.


Genesis Belanger – Characterised by their soft and muted colour palette, New-York based artist Genesis Belanger’s outlandish renditions of everyday objects in ceramic examine visual themes like consumer culture and misogyny.


Chila Burman – Multimedia artist with Indian roots that uses vibrant, colourful, bold materials to transmit important messages like women empowerment and politics. She made this colourful installation covering Tate Britain’s facade to give some hope during the pandemic lockdown.


Ojima Abalaka – Illustrator from Nigeria that explores human rights throws a spotlight on issues of equality and race through her work, with her honest and contemporary digital illustrations.


Renata Petersen / @renatapetersendlt – Mexican artist that works with different media such as drawing, painting, photography and ceramics. Her work touches religious and social issues through objects of our everyday lives.


Beau Dunn / @beaudunnart – USA artist that works with sculpture, neons, photography and painting; she has developed a practice that is instantly recognizable for its vibrant colours, and bold social commentary on social pressures and stereotypes.


Erika Harrsch / @erikaharrsch – Mexican artist addressing social issues like immigration and conservation through immersive art installations.


Although there is still a long way to go on issues of gender and racial inclusion and equality, it seems that we are making progress. We can’t wait to see more inspiring women taking part of creative movements that fill our hearts with hope for a better world!


– Estefania Cardoso, General Manager of MASSIVart Mexico

(1) Adams, R. Kräussl, M.Navone, P. Verwijmeren, 2020. Gendered prices. Review of Financial Studies
(2) Study by PLOS/ quoted in The Art World Needs More Women, 2020, written by The Representation Project.
OUCHHH: The Combination Of Art And Technology In Public Spaces | MASSIVart

OUCHHH: The Combination Of Art And Technology In Public Spaces

More than ever, cities are turning to artists, architects and designers to create meaningful, future-proof projects for public spaces. Public art is often used to create and strengthen a sense of belonging, but it can also be used to challenge our relationship with those around us, to spark conversation, and to inform and educate.

On the occasion of our first project in Dubai at ICD Brookfield Place for which we collaborated with the famous new media art studio Ouchhh, we wanted to give them the floor to express themselves about their artistic approach and their relationship to public art.

Can you tell us more about Ouchhh?

Ouchhh is discovering the boundaries of art by conducting research on the relationships between architecture, art, science, technology, new media arts, and artificial intelligence. We consider each project a challenge and take a fresh and unique approach to all of our work. Our studio journey started 10 years ago. The in-house team (25 people) consists of varied talent from AI Artists, engineers, academicians, creative coders, designers, motion graphic designers, and media designers, all with one common vision that knowledge creates an epic public experience. Ouchhh has created approximately 52 public art projects for cities in nearly every continent.

How would you describe your studio’s creative process?

Every art project starts with big, meaningful questions in our studio. Our main question for DATAMONOLITH_AI was: “What would happen if the consciousness of the world’s oldest ancient origins data and AI came together for a hybrid architectural public art?”. We collaborated with scientists and academicians to create this hybrid data sculpture. We then built up our team to include data scientists, AI Coders, and animation designers. Generally, we invent our experimental creation process for each installation, on a case by case basis. By using the generative adversarial network (GAN) and AI algorithms, we created a DATAMONOLITH_AI, which learned from Gobeklitepe data (dating from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period: 9600–7000 BC).

Why have you focused on new media arts? What makes you want to mix art and technology/AI?

In the past, persistent advances in technology continued to boost the development of art forms. There was no exception from painting, sculpture, music, photography. Science and scientific ideas have long inspired art and artists, from Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci, to Dali and Samuel Morse. They demonstrated how scientific ideas can inspire impeccable art. Masters in history are our greatest inspiration. In this sense, as Ouchhh Studio, we always love to push boundaries in our works through the light of science and technology. New Media Art celebrated the connection between art and science from the very beginning. Digital technologies allow us to develop data sculptures, immersive experiences, and new alternative worlds. The rise of virtual art also allows for more creative opportunities, so we are excited to see the development of New Media Art happening every day.

DATAMONOLITH_AI by Ouchhh curated and produced by MASSIVart for ICD Brookfield Place DubaiWhat types of data do you usually work with?

Our data comes from wildly different sources like the human brain, space, ancient origins, sounds, visuals, texts etc… We use data as a brush and algorithms as our canvas which transforms the data into an aesthetic asset to be experienced by audiences in many ways. For example, our Poetic AI project is not just an immersive experience. Poetic AI can be read as a book and touched as a physical sculpture made by 20 million lines. We love to make invisible data into an art piece that can be seen. Our aim is to make people feel close to it by touching a data sculpture with the 20 million lines and theories made by AI. We think this is a nice middle ground between traditional and contemporary art.

Can you tell us more about the installation of DATAMONOLITH_AI? What inspired you to design it in this way?

Sci-fi movies and famous scientists are always our main inspirations. Stanley Kubrick and 2001: A Space Odyssey heavily influenced our concept design for this installation of DATAMONOLITH_AI.

How did you come to work in public spaces?

We have a dream about secret codes of cosmic multidimensional hybrid universes made by AI without physical architectural boundaries in public spaces. That’s why we are actively trying to hack public spaces with New Media tools.
DATAMONOLITH_AI by Ouchhh curated and produced by MASSIVart for ICD Brookfield Place Dubai

What is important about making art accessible to everyone at all times? How does it create an impact?

It is important for us to make people see and feel things that they do not always experience in their daily lives. Our main inspiration comes from physics, geology, science, geological environments and nature. These inspirations shape our design principles. We started to apply our knowledge of them to design across disciplines: new media and canvases – from the micro to the macro scale. Every feeling that we wanted to experience greatly influenced our own design style. We like to focus on the emotional response to the scientific connection between people and art.

What is your vision for the “city of the future”?

We predict that art and technology will appear in more bold and ambitious immersive experiences in cities. Technology is changing the way in which we make, experience and share our ideas. Art collectors love to explore this fascinating area of technology and creativity. In our works, the integration of science and technology in art should firstly serve the feelings of the audience. Many of us know the feeling of being touched by a piece of art. When a piece of art touches our souls, we are affected. We are teleported to a different place that is parallel universes. Art pleases the eyes while science communicates. As Albert Einstein said: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.” So the unknown, the mysterious, is where art and science meet. Mixing two disciplines generates a new way of thinking, for both the artist and the audience.

Reclaiming Our Spaces: Design, Community and Co-Creation | MASSIVart

Reclaiming Our Spaces: Design, Community and Co-Creation

On January 29th, MASSIVart’s Founding Partner and Global Creative Director, Philippe Demers, was invited by Entro to speak on a panel centered around the importance of inclusivity and public space design. Welcoming the opportunity to discuss how MASSIVart champions diversity in its projects, Philippe also wished to emphasize that art is a proven vehicle for social change and holds great power in its ability to create safe spaces. Joining Philippe in this conversation were fellow industry experts, whose insightful and inspiring responses have been summarized on this page for you to reflect upon.

Heela Omarkhail, Vice President, Social Impact at the Daniels Corporation
Dr. Julie Nagam, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Collaboration and Digital Media
Rochelle Maresh, Strategist at Alliance Architects
Pru Robey, President at Pru Robey Consulting

Vedran Dzebic, Head of Research and Development at Entro


Over the last year, global events have caused us to re-examine our relationship to place, while social movements have asked us to critically examine who had access to these spaces to begin with. As our understanding of the human connection to place shifts, inclusivity might just be the guiding principle by which we can reclaim and re-energize our spaces. But a simple desire to build them is not enough.


How can we create welcoming and inclusive environments? What shifts in our thinking are required to create inclusion? And what value does such design thinking create?

According to Heela Omarkhail, inclusivity won’t happen by accident. It won’t be a byproduct of the design process as it requires intentionality. For example, the Daniels Corporation identified three organizing elements that can help facilitate inclusion:
– arts and culture
– food and urban agriculture
– sports and physical activity

These can be used as tools, incorporated in the design of both places and programs, that encourage people to come together regardless of cultural language, racial or socioeconomic backgrounds.

For Dr. Julie Nagam, the design and creation process of community spaces should be in the hands of BIPOC leaders or, at the very least, in direct collaboration with them. The decision for inclusion has to be deliberate, from the onset of a project. One of the best ways to ensure this is by focusing on hiring people for internal teams or consulting gigs that actually reflect the communities in which we’re building and designing for. In this case, recognizing that expertise may not come from formal or professional training but rather from lived experiences, is incredibly beneficial.

Echoing Dr. Nagam’s feelings, Pru Robey offers a powerful quote: “Racism is not the shark, it’s the water we swim in every day.” Acknowledging toxic systems and being honest with our communities about them will help us to imagine a future together: one in which people will have a real and meaningful stake.

Speaking to the emotional and social values of inclusive design, Philippe Demers proposes that architecture and created spaces act as canvases for life. Building beautiful structures, or blank canvases, is only the first step toward welcoming people in so that they may figuratively paint their own scenes. The injection of cultural programming is essential as it not only fosters new stories and connections, it keeps communities interested and engaged.

Convincing developers that there is concrete financial value for inclusive design, however, is quite the challenge. MASSIVart, Entro and Ryerson University are hoping to pioneer change as they are conducting a study to discover ways in which we can quantitatively measure the ROI of creative placemaking.


What tools are we using to engage people? How do we create a meaningful co-creation process?

Referencing commonly used tools, Rochelle Maresh emphasizes that they are often not able to reach diverse, more inclusive groups of people, who may not have been able to take time off of work to attend virtual workshops or town hall meetings. Technology can be a hindrance. While it opens doors for some to become involved, it can close those doors for others. We should be actioning ways to reach broader demographics such as utilizing storefronts to advertise to people walking past how they can answer a community call. People shouldn’t have to have a phone or internet access to be able to receive information about getting involved or about how they can have a place at the table.

When gathering information, practicing empathy will help designers understand who their most engaged users will be. It is so valuable to hear what their life is like, what their experiences have been, what has influenced the way in which they think about space differently or how they’d want to participate in it. We should ask ourselves how the spaces we build can make people feel safe and secure enough to be able to express their whole selves.

At MASSIVart, Philippe notes that empathy has also become a large part of curatorship. Now more than ever, art selection for a public space is focused upon what makes sense for the community it is based in, or for the collective. Gone are the days of academic views determining what art or culture is. Curators are developing a capacity to listen to their audience and to be sensitive to their needs, understanding that they are designing for spaces that people will actually be living in and hopefully engaging with often. Artists should not only play a role in beautifying spaces, as they are attuned to what is happening in their communities and vocalizing it, they should be included in design processes at the very earliest stage.


How can we deem a design project “inclusive”?

As Dr. Nagam says, there’s a reason why people are drawn to projects that are grassroots driven. They feel more organic. Design and architecture firms have to learn how to collaborate better with artists, to stop seeing them as aesthetic workers but rather as peers. It’s all about listening to embodied knowledge, learning by doing, making sure that there’s a reciprocal relationship. What’s the end result? What does the community get out of it? Where do they see themselves sitting? Evaluating the aftermath of a project is something that she doesn’t think we do a good job of in general in almost all fields.

The overall consensus? The push for inclusion does not end when the project does. For Heela and the Daniels Corporation, they’ve learned that it’s not simply “build it and they will come”, it’s “build it, program it, outreach and market it” and eventually people will begin filtering in. But, if we can prioritize early on that people feel like they have a stake in the project, the transition to using created spaces will likely happen more naturally.

Artist Spotlight: Victor Pérez-Rul | MASSIVart

Artist Spotlight: Victor Pérez-Rul

The creative team of MASSIVart would like once again to honour an artist that they love. This time they talked with Victor Pérez-Rul to enter his inner world and learn more about the inspirations and motivations behind his work. Thank you to him for allowing us to discover so much about him!


The work of Víctor Pérez-Rul (Mexico City, 1983) is an ongoing artistic research in which art, retro-futurism, Natural Sciences, cosmology, engineering, design, and subtle pop references converge. His solar sculptures are collaborative experimental projects, large scale installations, landscapes, physical and virtual objects that propose and explore new ways of understanding, perceiving and imagining the universe, energy, and life.

To facilitate his artistic, creative and experimental exercise, in 2010 Víctor founded Studio Víctor Pérez-Rul; an art studio that investigates energy and living beings as systems of energetic processing, converging sculpture, installation, physical and virtual environments and landscapes, experimental architecture, object design, futurism, reflections on technology and a vision of the world far from the Anthropocene such as post-humanism or nahualism.

His work has been presented in several countries including South Korea, Holland, Germany, Italy, the United States, Costa Rica and Mexico.

Exoskeleton 1.2, sketch & piece by Víctor Pérez-Rul


MASSIVart: What is the main purpose of your work?

VPR: Sharing my amazement for the world and experiment its mysteries. I look to submerge myself through the heterogeneous experience of art into the great questions of our species, such as what is the Universe? What is life? Living and sharing my work is always an inconclusive adventure in the quest of freedom, wonder and knowledge.

Stella and Voyager, concept diagram & piece by Víctor Pérez-Rul


MASSIVart: What are your inspirations? From where do the ideas that lead to the creation of a piece come from?

VPR: I am inspired by nature, landscape, insects, underwater creatures, psychedelic, anime, video games, retro-futurism, spatial exploration, cyborgs, architecture, music in general, electronic music in particular, and Natural Sciences. The ideas can come from different places: a dream, a meditation, a conversation, a reading, while walking, in an adventure, in the shower… you know. Many times the ideas come in pieces and in different places and moments and they accumulate (through texts, sketches, diagrams, maquettes, etc.) until they generate a complete idea, usually utopic. The attempt of reaching that utopic vision, to the ideal piece, is how the idea gets materialized in an artwork. In that sense, every piece I work on is an attempt, an unfinished experiment.

MASSIVart: What themes are you mostly interested in to express through your artwork?

VPR: Maybe the latest constant in my work resides in the expression of possible worlds and how these worlds can be suggested and unfold through art. Currently, I am working with themes related to theories and speculations on the origin of life and the vague limits between what we consider alive and not.

The arrival, first finished module & piece by Víctor Pérez-Rul


MASSIVart: How would you describe your process?

VPR: As an exploration adventure: one day I can be in a tropical forest, the other in a mine, the next one reading in my studio, working on the computer or watching cartoons. At the end, all experiences and knowledge that I accumulate began to transform into pieces through diagrams, sketches, prototypes, and their iteration. I try that the pieces I create can work as catalysts of complex experiences for the viewer, experiences that can’t be possible in any other way. For that, I have adapted the idea that my pieces have to be the point of convergence between different elements such as reflection, fiction, speculation, science, pop culture, the ancestral and the transcendental, all mixed without distinction. This point of convergence in the universe of my work is what I have called, Tesseract.

Tesseract, diagram by Víctor Pérez-Rul


MASSIVart: What is the most challenging when creating a piece?

VPR: The technical solutions. I like to work and experiment with processes, technologies, and elements that can take a long time and a lot of knowledge. My pieces always come from a tension between content, experimentation, formal possibilities, production expenses and quality. Creative freedom has big challenges.

Víctor Pérez-Rul ‘s Studio in Mexico City


The MASSIVart Inspires You Series – #3 | MASSIVart

The MASSIVart Inspires You Series - #3

“It is going to be fine”, but it will all be better if we are inspired.

As the pandemic hit, we rethought our lives. How we connected and exchanged took a new path. We stayed in the comfort of our homes. We reevaluated the pace at which we live. We focused on what was essential, what keeps us going. We grabbed again the book that we had started to read but never finished – we didn’t have time then. We reconnected with our well-being and concentrated on what brought us relief: food, old movies, and art.

MASSIVart is all about creating unique human-centric experiences to enjoy, connect, and be inspired by art. We thought we would ask our fantastic team to tell you a little bit more about what helps them relax, get inspired, warm their heart and feel hopeful that this too shall pass.

Enjoy this third part of the series!

Emmanuel Asperó – Project Manager

Loves music and food, pet lover and a terrible dancer. Scuba diver, drummer and painter in free time. More night than a morning person. Not a fan of loud and crowded places.

Object you can’t do without: Headphones
Favourite book: Blindness by Saramago
Favourite artist: Horacio Quiroz
Your song: Babylon Rule Dem – Groundation (bonus* Too many puppies – Primus)
Comfort food / drink: Tacos de pastor with dark beer




Philomène Deve – Art Director

Laughs in her sleep. Loves every sort of bread from fluffy naans to crunchy baguettes. She is the mommy to several house plants and cannot stop herself from adopting more. Snowboards in the winter and plays tennis terribly in the summer. Big fan of Hong Kong and aspires to live there again one day.

Object you can’t do without: My vape… hopefully, I’ll do without it one day!
Favourite book: Any illustration book by Jean-Jacques Sempé
Favourite artist: Sara Hagale
Your song: Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
Comfort food / drink: A cassoulet, a good beer or a Sortilege (Maple syrup Canadian whisky)




Philippe Demers – Founding Partner & Global Creative Director

Ex outdoor adventure tour guide, Phil is addicted to nature and can’t stay in place for too long. Loves camping, plants and brunch with friends. Currently trying to learn guitar. Dreams of diving in the Australian Great Barrier Reef.

Object you can’t do without: My bike, my kite and my Japanese kitchen knife
Favourite book: All of the Arsène Lupin, Gentleman cambrioleur
Favourite artist: David Spriggs (Vancouver) for installations and Kathryn Macnaughton (Toronto) for paintings
Your song: Mount Kimbie – Marilyn + Neil Frances – Music Sounds Better With You
Comfort food / drink: Croissants, Chicken Pot Pie & Mango Smoothies




Maxim Céré-Marcoux – Chief Financial Officer

Maxim is an eager traveller, addicted to board games and trying to cope with the desire to have more green plants while considering his need for oxygen during the night.

Object you can’t do without: The cap becomes more and more part of my life now
Favourite book: The Dune fiction book series (OMG and the upcoming movie)
Favourite artist: Corentin Laurens work has been catching my attention for a while now
Your song: All Ambar Lucid’s songs
Comfort food / drink: Without any hesitation a tuna tartare and a good Sangiovese




Sun Min Dufresne – Chief Administrative Officer, Partner

Sun is a foodie who loves to toast with friends. A little too Cartesian at times, he loves to get out of his comfort zone. He is also a great dad!

Object you can’t do without: My Excel grid?
Favourite book: I have Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing organization on my bedside table right now
Favourite artist: I discovered Nicolas Grenier in the last few years. I love his work.
Your song: Right now, I’m listening to Dominique Fils-Aimé, the whole album is great! I consume local (Quebec) 😉
Comfort food / drink: Gimme some Italian fresh pastas and some sea food please!




Take care!

The MASSIVart Inspires You Series – #2 | MASSIVart

MASSIVart vous inspire - #2

“It is going to be fine”, but it will all be better if we are inspired.

As the pandemic hit, we rethought our lives. How we connected and exchanged took a new path. We stayed in the comfort of our homes. We reevaluated the pace at which we live. We focused on what was essential, what keeps us going. We grabbed again the book that we had started to read but never finished – we didn’t have time then. We reconnected with our well-being and concentrated on what brought us relief: food, old movies, and art.

MASSIVart is all about creating unique human-centric experiences to enjoy, connect, and be inspired by art. We thought we would ask our fantastic team to tell you a little bit more about what helps them relax, get inspired, warm their heart and feel hopeful that this too shall pass.

Enjoy this second part of the series!

Christine LeBlanc – Project Manager

Christine is a painter and plays the banjo in her spare time, feels much better when she wears striped or floral patterns and has the dream of writing a book.

Object you can’t do without: My morning cup of coffee
Favourite book: Dave Beech, Beauty
Favourite artist: Allison Schulnik
Your song: Lisa LeBlanc – J’pas un cowboy
Comfort food / drink: Lasagna and a good glass of red wine




Jimena Lopez – Creative Coordinator

Foodie that particularly enjoys bread and sweet goods. Loves to explore her city to find antique libraries or new brunch spots. Her favorite season is Autumn and loves her cat more than anything else.

Object you can’t do without: A scrunchy
Favourite book: Near to the Wild Heart – Clarice Lispector
Favourite artist: Laurena Finéus & Othiana Roffiel / Elliott Routledge
Your song: Hypnotize – Notorious B.I.G.
Comfort food / drink: Pastor tacos and guava juice (Boing!) or pizza and beer




Lydia Van Staalduinen – Environment Designer

Lydia loves discovering new restaurants with incredible design and culinary delights, dreaming, sending illustrated envelopes, watching old movies, receiving her friends at home and her cat!


Object you can’t do without: 📸 Argentic camera. I limit myself to 3 for the moment, each with different films for different occasions and weather.
Favourite book: MILK Magazine
Favourite artist: Sabrina Ratté
Your song: New Error – Moderat
Comfort food / drink: 🍜 Spicy ramen egg supplement // 🍹 Moscow mule





Thomas Goessaert – Project Manager

Thomas loves Baseball, road trips, and trying strange foods. He is a community bike mechanic, and he is working on taming his fear of heights.

Object you can’t do without: My bike is my most cherished object, it’s a 1970’s Norco passed down from my dad
Favourite book: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin
Favourite artist: Evan Penny or David Altmejd
Your song: Heavy, California – Jungle
Comfort food / drink: Homemade Pizza and Bourbon Apple Cider




Take care!

The MASSIVart Inspires You Series – #1 | MASSIVart

The MASSIVart Inspires You Series - #1

“It is going to be fine”, but it will all be better if we are inspired.

As the pandemic hit, we rethought our lives. How we connected and exchanged took a new path. We stayed in the comfort of our homes. We reevaluated the pace at which we live. We focused on what was essential, what keeps us going. We grabbed again the book that we had started to read but never finished – we didn’t have time then. We reconnected with our well-being and concentrated on what brought us relief: food, old movies, and art.

MASSIVart is all about creating unique human-centric experiences to enjoy, connect, and be inspired by art. We thought we would ask our fantastic team to tell you a little bit more about what helps them relax, get inspired, warm their heart and feel hopeful that this too shall pass.

Enjoy this first part of the series!

Claire Tousignant – Managing Partner, MASSIVart Montreal

Claire lives for hiking, loves Japan and buys vinyl records at random to discover new music.

Object you can’t do without: My bike
Favourite book: The tetralogy “The Sea of Fertility”, Yukio Mishima
Favourite artist: Kim Dorland
Your song: Summer by Celeste
Comfort food / drink: Impasto 🙂





evlyne Laurin, Director – Client & Development

evlyne loves sparkling water, the colour orange, post-its, writes only in black ink and has a phobia of pigeons – she also has an obsession for snail mail, hairy cactuses and photographing her feet in her flip-flops on Instagram!

Object you can’t do without: my Lunya sleep mask
Favourite book: Culture Crash by Scott Timberg or Don Thompson’s Art Trilogy
Favourite artist: Laurena Finéus & Katherine Takpannie
Your song: Free (feat Emeli Sandé) by Rudimentals or Luscious Life by Patrick Watson
Comfort food / drink: “Dirty Chai tea” or a Dirty Martini



Annabelle Jenneau-Younès – Consulting Project Manager

Annabelle loves cats, video games, is passionate about movies and would like to go on a backpack tour of Asia. She particularly enjoys Saturday morning brunches and the fresh fall air.


Object you can’t do without: My weekend bathrobe
Favourite book: Azteca by Gary Jennings
Favourite artist: Rajni Perera
Your song: Out of time men by Mick Harvey
Comfort food / drink: Matcha latté




Estefania Cardoso – General Manager, MASSIVart Mexico

Loves animals and 80’s music. Drinks more lattes than water and reads books about astrology.

Object you can’t do without: my reusable coffee cup
Favourite book: Into the wild by Jon Krakauer
Favourite artist: Rocca Luis Cesar
Your song: Red Eyes – The War on Drugs
Comfort food / drink: Beer with Clamato






Alejandro Cardoso – Global CEO & Managing Partner of MASSIVart LATAM

Alejandro can’t stand spiders. He watches movies several times in order to enjoy them from a different perspective. He loves Stephen King’s books and always reads two books at the same time. He is a huge sports fan but practices only 2. He doesn’t step on floor lines while walking. He used to like dogs, he loves dogs now 🙂

Object you can’t do without: My MAC
Favourite book: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Favourite artist: Damian Ortega
Your song: Opening by Philip Glass or I’d love to change the world by Ten Years After
Comfort food / drink: Spaghetti carbonara / Dry, straight up, shaken Martini.
Favourite Film director (*Added rebelliously): Three: Peter Greenaway & Woody Allen & Martin Scorsese

Take care!

Artist Spotlight: Alejandra Ballesteros | MASSIVart

Artist Spotlight: Alejandra Ballesteros

As we recently celebrated the first anniversary of MASSIVart Mexico, we wanted to mark the occasion by giving the floor to a Mexican artist we love and who will bring colour and joy to your day!


We talked with Ale Ballesteros to enter her inner world and learn more about the inspirations and motivations behind her work.

Ale Ballesteros is a 28-year-old Mexican artist. She is a designer by profession but life led her to the illustration world. She loves the beach, talking non-stop and pizza with pineapple. During her career, she has collaborated with various brands such as Google Allo, Snapchat, Travel Leisure, Shondaland, Bonafont, Nike, WeWork and Gaia, among others.

Alejandra Ballesteros

Left: portrait of the artist / Right: “Spring”, illustration by Alejandra Ballesteros


Her work is characterized by the use of bright colours, simple and organic forms, dynamic compositions, and tropical themes with touches of feminine empowerment. To her, illustrating is a way of materializing her inner world:

« There are times when I have so many ideas and feelings that illustrating them frees me in some way and leaves me space to continue feeling. » said Ale.


Ale was born in Mexico City but at age 6 moved to Cancun, where she grew up and lived most of her life. Having grown up surrounded by warm, rich natural landscapes has greatly influenced the artist’s work, who portrays worlds of powerful colour and fluid lines.


Left: The natural landscape of Cancun, Mexico is an important inspiration for the artist / Right: “Sunrise”, illustration by Alejandra Ballesteros


Ale also finds inspiration in pre-Hispanic art for its organic forms and for the symbolism behind them. This art also shows a strong link to the natural world, which resonates with Ale’s work.

« Everything around me inspires me, I like to play at simplifying the shapes of things that surround me. Nature inspires me to bring its forms to everyday objects. I like to feel that my illustrations flow » said Ale.


Left: “Dancing Dogs of Colima”, prehispanic sculpture from the state of Colima, Mexico / Right: “Loving the sun”, illustration by Alejandra Ballesteros


Another great inspiration for the artist is the work of the French Henri Matisse. Ale manages to bring Matisse’s signature use of colour and the fluid lines to a contemporary Latin context:

« I try to make my work combine empathy with my tropical vision of the world to create unique and memorable images. » commented Ale.


Left: “Odalisque in red trousers”, Henri Matisse, 1927 / Right: “Together”, illustration by Alejandra Ballesteros


What a First Year For MASSIVart Mexico! | MASSIVart

What a First Year For MASSIVart Mexico!

On October 8, 2019, we officially opened the Mexican office of MASSIVart, without imagining for a second what would happen a few months later.


Like many other entrepreneurs, we started this new activity with a vision, confidence and a lot of convictions. Until a pandemic came along, hitting more than one company, new and old, on its way. Despite this crisis, MASSIVart Mexico was able to grow and prove that art and business are a winning value proposition.

Tourisme Montreal Experience Event in Mexico City by MASSIVartAnd after a year of operations, MASSIVart Mexico is here and in great shape. “This was possible thanks to the team’s determination, not to “wait for it to pass”, being resilient, not to give up despite the huge crisis and to be proactive, explaining to anyone who would listen that art, culture & technology, had its place in the middle of this crisis. Because art can help in many contexts! It entertains, it passes on strategic messages, it sells ideas and even reinforces brand positionings and company values in a unique, efficient way” commented Alejandro Cardoso.

“So here we are today, 1 year later, very proud to be able to tell you that MASSIVart Mexico has been able to attract not only extraordinary clients but also outstanding talents. Because without these last ones, we would not have attracted such great artistic collaborations” said Philippe Demers.

At the origin of this new agency are partners Philippe Demers and Alejandro Cardoso. Alejandro, former Executive Chairman of Publicis LATAM, has been appointed as the Global CEO & Managing Partner of MASSIVart Latin America. With 25+ years of experience, Cardoso is considered one of the most influential marketing & advertising personalities in Latin America.

Philippe Demers, the founder of MASSIVart Canada, has acted as Global Chief Creative Officer of the agency, bringing to the Mexican market an invaluable understanding and expertise in the art scene, a vertiginous work rhythm and a passionate spirit that employees and clients alike truly appreciate. “Never would have I imagined the insane amount of creative energy of Mexicans. It is for me one of the most art-driven countries on earth. The appreciation and the diversity of art and culture here are amazing. This vibrant country keeps seducing me every day.” said Philippe Demers.

Art Integrations By MASSIVart To Enhance The New Design At The W Montreal HotelMASSIVart designs and produces art-driven experiences, strategically incorporating to any given architectural space (private or public), contemporary art and cultural programs that enhance the experience and customer journey of visitors, guests, residents or attendees to hotels, shopping centres, stores, buildings, museums or public spaces.

Leading the Mexico operation is Estefania Cardoso, “who, thanks to 12 months of extraordinary performance and flawless client and talent management, a fair and humble recognition of all the outstanding work she has done. With Estefania at the forefront of our operation, clients and collaborators can be assured of having a talented, committed and dedicated professional efficiently leading our operation”, pointed out Cardoso and Demers.

Spearheading the financial and legal strategy of the company is Maxim Ceré-Marcoux, CPA, Global CFO, who brings to the team several years of experience working in accounting and finance consultancy firms in Canada and the United States. His implication is a clear indication of management’s dedication to MASSIVart’s long term success in Mexico and internationally.

MASSIVart was also efficient to find top talents as Jimena Lopez, creative coordinator and art curator of MASSIVart Mexico, who has a rich experience in the Mexican contemporary art scene, with more than 40 exhibitions managed under her belt. Also, Emmanuel Aspero, recently hired as Project Manager in the production area, after several years working for Cocolab.

These talents and the valuable support from our clients have allowed MASSIVart Mexico to be here, successfully, after this very special first year, and to have started promising projects that will have an international scope and that – for some – will even evolve Mexico’s place on the international art scene. We would like to warmly thank the clients that have accepted our value proposition and for having put their full trust in us”, said Estefania Cardoso.


Photo 1: Partners Philippe Demers & Alejandro Cardoso
Photo 2: Montreal Experience Event for Tourisme Montreal in Mexico City by MASSIVart
Photo 3: Art integration by MASSIVart to enhance the new design at the W Montreal Hotel – Sun Vault, 2019 – Camille Jodoin-Eng
Temporary Art, Lasting Effect. | MASSIVart

Temporary Art, Lasting Effect

This summer, MASSIVart collaborated with the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership to select and supervise the production of 7 installations in various public spaces in the city of Montreal.

“Jump Start Summer!” was a call to Montrealers to support the city’s restaurants, stores, hotels, artists and creators. How? By going out, exploring, encouraging local businesses, taking a mini-vacation in their city.

MASSIVart acted as artistic consultants and operated the production management of 7 public art installations. Relaxing stops carefully arranged by Montreal artists, designers or creative studios to (re)discover iconic downtown locations.

Among them, Judith Portier, with whom we collaborated for the installation “Ça va bien aller !” and to whom we wanted to give the floor. Judith was given carte blanche to express herself on how public art projects are helpful, even more so in today’s context. She also tells us more about the artistic process that led to the creation of the installation we collaborated on.



Judith Portier

I am a passionate human being, an entrepreneur and a Montreal designer. I am the founder of Design Par Judith Portier inc. (DPJP), a studio oriented towards event design. That is to say, the creation of spaces with a temporary vocation for the needs of exhibitions, communication, cultural gatherings, in short, contact with visitors!

Drawing on my experience in planning, layout and design for numerous festivals, scripting the space and the interactions between its users have been at the heart of my work. It has led me to produce projects in all kinds of contexts, indoors and outdoors, in all seasons, both in private or public spaces. I have managed to stand out thanks to my multidisciplinary background. I never hesitate to surround myself with people to take up challenges.

Challenges are numerous in public spaces. These places are often unsupervised and subjected to all kinds of bad weather. Furthermore, you have to carefully choose how to set up to leave everything intact after a temporary intervention, which must, however, be solid! Outside, especially in the city, we compete with a very dense visual and sound environment.

The places are large, colourful, busy, or even empty and tight. These realities are much more complex to deal with than an all-white gallery!


These constraints have always become motivating creative challenges. That’s how I founded my studio, whose approach is based on the study of the characteristics of a place to bring out its strengths through scenographic interventions that create new worlds. DPJP works in museums and cities to develop interpretation paths, installations, signage and artistic installations that stand out by their colourful integration into their space.


Public Art & Design Installation - Montreal - Public Park - Placemaking / MASSIVart & Judith Portier / Photo by Olivier Blouin

This summer, our industry was deeply shaken by the pandemic, and our work was strongly impacted. There has been a significant change of pace in design. Therefore, I took the opportunity to get involved in a collaboration with MASSIVart, for a project carried out with the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. It consisted of deploying several artistic and design installations in various areas of the city of Montreal. For Jean-Paul Riopelle Park, our mission was to create a robust, attractive scenography inspired by Montreal’s cultural identity, a UNESCO City of Design. The idea was to highlight the space to reveal and enhance it. By choosing to intervene on the trees, we wanted to pay tribute to the place by transforming it into an enchanted forest where it is pleasant to walk, even alone.

Public Art & Design Installation - Montreal - Public Park - Placemaking / MASSIVart & Judith Portier / Photo by Olivier BlouinWe wanted to focus on the park’s interior by choosing trees in its heart rather than on the periphery to promote intimacy and calm in the heart of the urbanity. The choice of vibrant and saturated colours is in continuity with the highly coloured facade of the Palais des Congrès. It was a choice to harmonize them to promote a reassuring atmosphere and avoid being at odds with the environment. Named “Ça va bien aller”, the project is a reflection of our positive state of mind. A form of withdrawing from what we can’t control. Choosing to wait for the weather to be inviting again in a shimmering place, escaping the movement of fear that paralyzes the mind.

In all my projects, the constant is to have fun in the environment by offering new points of view to the visitor. By providing a way to take a fresh look at what surrounds them. This idea of changing the relationship to a space, to make it a destination.


A new and different place where we want to go back to because it appeals to us, always brings a little spark to a neighbourhood. A project that we like to see again always has a positive effect, even if we see it for the hundredth time. A short break was well appreciated by all those who spoke to us when we were there. According to them, we managed to create a cocoon in a park that we perceived was cold due to its location.

It is animated by a discreet but well present fauna. For the lady who comes to read, the individual who comes to walk his dogs, to Enzo, a well-known homeless person, to the worker in charge of the maintenance who makes his round several times a day, to the man in a suit who took the habit to cross the street to drink his coffee, all felt a deeper sense of belonging to the park, thanks to the art which, for a few months, made it special.

Within the COVID-19’s context, this unplanned culture of art in the city is in opposition to a place like a festival where one can expect a transformation of the environment. It is why it always provokes surprise among passers-by. This moment can be very positive on a person’s journey! That is why it is important to use our vision and skills to bring a little happiness to the city, even more so in the current context.

As we, almost, do everything ourselves and always end up being on the installation’s ground, we have formed an army affectionately called the #fillesdedesign. Over time, it has become our community but also our artist’s name to communicate on social media. It was great to be away from teleworking to create our installation!


Public Art & Design Installation - Montreal - Public Park - Placemaking / MASSIVart & Judith Portier / Photo by Olivier Blouin

Earlier this summer, we were fortunate to deliver the “Bleu Tomate” turnkey project. Thanks to a request for proposals from the City of Montreal’s Design Office, which qualified more than 70 firms on its territory to create an innovative design laboratory in response to COVID-19. We were able to put to good use our knowledge of temporary and modular design, sustainable development and the creation of human interactions to rethink these transitional spaces that improve some of the city’s streets. We develop a functional and fun project that serves its users’ needs while becoming a landmark in the urban landscape.

We took up the challenge to improve a living environment that is dear to our hearts, as the project is located a few steps away from our studio and in our residential neighbourhood. The Marché Solidaire, already present on the street, attracts many visitors every week. The residents of the community are looking for ways to enjoy the nice weather while respecting the rules of social distancing.


Bleu Tomate - Judith Portier - Placemaking - Public Art - Montreal

Bleu Tomate - Judith Portier - Placemaking - Public Art - Montreal

Bleu Tomate - Judith Portier - Placemaking - Public Art - Montreal

Finally, despite the measures in place to counter the progression of COVID-19, Montreal’s strength remains in its artistic effervescence. Therefore, we would like to remind Montrealers that the city’s strength lies in investing in our public spaces and celebrating our rich artistic heritage, even without festivals or gatherings!

Judith Portier


Photo 1: © Olivier Blouin / “Ça va bien aller” – The rainbow of colours takes Place Riopelle by storm, creating a strong visual appeal and a transformed atmosphere for the passers-by who wander there.
Photo 2: © Olivier Blouin / Judith gives the interpretation workshop “Un livre sur la tête” at the Hochelaga Library, a project of the architecture and design awareness program initiated by the Bureau du design of the City of Montreal.
Photos 3, 4, 5: © Olivier Blouin / “Ça va bien aller” – The rainbow of colours takes Place Riopelle by storm, creating a strong visual appeal and a transformed atmosphere for the passers-by who wander there.
Photo 6: @fillesdedesign
Photo 7: © Olivier Blouin / Bleu Tomate offers neighbourhood residents a family space to enjoy the street despite the context of the pandemic.
Photo 8: © Olivier Blouin / Bleu Tomate’s furniture brightens up the landscape with its organic shapes and bright colours
Photo 9: © Olivier Blouin / A safe active transportation circuit is transformed into a safe, warm, ephemeral meeting place. Painted dynamically and featuring a food theme, paying tribute to the market as much as to the permanent artwork adorning the new Baril School across the street.
The Essentials: How Art Plays An Essential Role In Bringing Communities Closer | MASSIVart

The Essentials: How Art Plays An Essential Role In Bringing Communities Closer

MASSIVart recently collaborated with artist Laurence Philomène on a unique sculptural installation which helped foster a sense of community across Montreal neighborhoods through the inclusion of a unique digital, interactive component. It is from this idea that was born The Essentials project for the City of Montreal’s safe active transportation circuits.

Inspired by this sense of achieving a creative connection, The Essentials was an installation of eight interactive sculptures linked to a series of photo portraits celebrating 8 local essential workers.

The colourful and playful nature of the installation invites the public to interact with the artwork and discover each photographic portrait and the story behind each essential worker’s life through a QR code and specially designed online platform.

Public & Interactive Art Installation - Montreal Jarry Park - VASWhile artistically displaying the diversity of the neighborhood and the people who live there, this celebration of the neighbourhood’s essential workers also acts to mitigate the fear of our neighbours in the context of the COVID pandemic. The portraits also explore the premise of who is essential and makes us reflect on the crucial, varied roles we all play in our communities.

For Laurence Philomène, this project was a way to repay their gratitude and celebrate their own Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension neighbourhood – a place they call home. Through each piece, Laurence wishes to thank and elevate the proud characters who give this multicultural working class neighborhood its authenticity.

For MASSIVart, it was an essential opportunity to make art more present and accessible while supporting an artist who fosters critical conversations via their images. The project allowed the mission and values of MASSIVart to also come together through the contribution of their extensive knowledge in creating memorable, community powered experiences through art.


As Laurence asked questions to their participants for the project, we thought of inverting the roles and interview the interviewer. Here is what the artist has to say:


What do you love about what you do?
I love getting to create the kind of world I want to live in. I love sharing the beauty I see in everything. And I love using photography as a vehicle to meet and connect with new people, and to create images that make people feel good in their body.

How has the pandemic affected the meaning of your work?
Prior to the pandemic, I was doing a lot of studio shoots, which I’ve stopped doing almost entirely. It’s been a good excuse to do more outdoor portraiture like I did for this project though!! Aside from that, the way I exhibit my work has shifted as well, to outdoor projects like this, and online galleries.

My personal work is largely autobiographical / self-portraiture so that aspect of my practice hasn’t changed much, and it’s given me an opportunity to dive deeper into making work about routines, domesticity and the mundane.

Where do you find community?
I mostly find community online. I grew up with a chronic illness which means I spent a lot of time indoors / by myself, and I found a community of young photographers and queer artists I connected with at the time who got me where I am today. Similarly, most of my close friends and collaborators today are people I met through sharing my work online – mostly on instagram.

What does essential mean to you?
In the context of the pandemic, essential means acknowledging our interdependence as humans in community with one another, and respecting the value of each others’ needs and skills no matter what they are.

How did the collaboration and the creative process work with MASSIVart?
It went so well! It was really great to have a team motivating me to get the project going & stay on track since the timeline was quite tight. It was also great to have Massivart coordinate the fabrication and installation of the sculptures. I felt like they really encouraged and trusted my input through every step of the project and I hope we get to work together again!

Anything else you would like to add?
Don’t forget to add some colour into your life to make it through the grey days ahead!



A little bit more about the artist
Laurence Philomène is a photographer based in Montreal, Canada. Laurence makes colourful work that centres queer and trans experiences, often through long-form and autobiographical projects. Laurence’s work is informed by their lived experiences as a chronically ill, non-binary transgender artist coming of age amid the rise of social media. Through high-saturated, cinematic and caring images, their work celebrates marginalized existences, and studies identity as a space in constant flux. Laurence aims to work in collaboration with every person they photograph – creating striking, intimate portraits that celebrate the beauty in every human being. Instantly recognizable by their signature use of colour and daylight, Laurence’s photographs act as a love letter to their community.

We are inviting you to discover our collaborative project, The Essentials, physically while respecting social distancing measure at Parc Jarry, Montreal – on St-Laurent Boulevard between Villeray and Gounod streets till November 2nd or online at

Project funded through the Montreal Cultural Development Agreement and the Réflexe Montreal Agreement between the City of Montreal and the Government of Quebec.

New University Study, Spearheaded By MASSIVart, Will Finally Show The ROI Of Art | MASSIVart

New University Study, Spearheaded By MASSIVart, Will Finally Show The ROI Of Art

MASSIVart has been a champion of the arts transcending beyond traditional institutions for more than 11 years. Art is powerful. Art can engage in difficult conversations. Art creates emotional connections that rally people together. We are convinced that those experiences should be lived, revisited and shared. While we always have soft arguments on our side to substantiate our claim. This brand new study coming from a reputable partner and endorsed by industry leaders will give us the undeniable tool that art placemaking is a valuable and tangible value-added to private and public projects.

From public art, creative seating arrangements, monuments, cultural programming, landscape design and architecture, our surroundings impact our health. While this has been a general belief, this study will contribute to knowledge production and compile tangible data to measure the ROI of art placemaking.

Our years in business have proven to us, and our clients, that art placemaking is beneficial to increase traffic, transform spaces and enhance events by creating memorable experiences. Cultural programming and the inclusion of art in architecture, real estate and design, and many other alternative areas can transform the sense of community & belonging and contribute to the collective well-being. Art conveys the character of a place, its value, its culture, its identity and narrative.

This study’s framework will give us some much-needed quantitative analysis in a benefit we can acknowledge but till now hardly measured.

We have embarked on this study with other front runners of their field of expertise, real estate – The Daniels Corporation, design – Entro, and architecture – Lemay. The study is piloted by Ryerson University’s Creative Industries professor, Louis-Etienne Dubois and his team. As he states, “together, these metrics will generate an original dashboard that stakeholders can use to discuss, assess, and communicate the economic, social and aesthetic value of placemaking in the planning and evaluation of projects.”

At MASSIVart, we believe that creative spaces, cultural programming and placemaking can create a tangible ROI for brands because it brings people together and builds stronger bonds.

Learn more about the methodology and our partners.

We are expecting the results in the second quarter of 2021. These results will give us more data-driven results to promote and create more art-driven experiences. Furthermore, this will fulfill some of MASSIVart’s missions; to support the artistic community and make art more accessible to everyone and everywhere.

The Role Art And Culture Play In The Hotel Experience | MASSIVart

The Role For Art And Culture In Hotels

The W Montreal recently completed a major renovation in which Sid Lee Architecture and MASSIVart collaborated on interior design concepts and integration of artworks.

In partnership with the Hotel Association of Greater Montreal, MASSIVart participated in a discussion panel debating how art allows brands to cut-through in an industry that is in constant evolution.

The project’s key stakeholders discussed their vision and elaborated on the processes that led to the final design of this unique, premium location.

Christina Poon, General Manager, W Montreal
Camille Jodoin-Eng, Artist
Martin Leblanc, Senior Partner, Sid Lee Architecture
Philippe Demers, Founding Partner, MASSIVart


W Montreal renovation project genesis

The renovation project began 4 years ago placing extensive consideration on delivering a contemporary design solution that would live through current & future trends yet always be ahead of its time. This future thinking has become the trademark of the W. Even 15 years ago, when the W Montreal first opened its doors, it was years ahead of its time for both Montreal and Canada so it was crucial that the renovation continued to establish this illustrious brand positioning.

In New York & Montreal, discussions and creative workshops took place between the Sid Lee Architecture, Ivanhoe Cambridge and W teams to define the ‘W Montreal’ brand for the next 10 years, and what was required to achieve that. “That’s how we came up with this exceptional product.” said Christina Poon.

What allowed the Sid Lee Architecture team to create such a coherent solution was led by the particular character of the W which owns a premium positioning at the forefront of the hospitality industry. As its relationship with Montreal is so authentic and significant, the W has more of a local, boutique-style feel than a hotel from a large international group. “That’s why we worked on this project – to give it its unique character. There was first a period of active listening and then we came to exchange on proposals.” Martin Leblanc said.

The idea was to connect the hotel to its own history and the history of Montreal, while also finding ways to create conversation – which art played a major role in achieving.

The strong narrative of the W was the main aspect taken into consideration. There is an authentic relationship between the hotel associates and the guests which is why the architecture team worked extensively to connect the dots between these 2 groups by finding stories with topics beyond the surface, all told through thoughtfully curated artworks.

What role does art play in the architectural experience of a hotel?

W Montreal Hotel Renovation - Art Integration - Guest Experience“It’s always been important for me to integrate art in our projects – especially outside of galleries & museums. Hotels are a good canvas for art. If you don’t expect artworks, you have more of a kind of a raw relationship with it, and this is what I’m seeking.” Martin Leblanc said.

From the perspective of artist Camille Jodoin-Eng, art connects the local community with the global community within a space. It also brings out the spirit and history of the city. It is a mutually beneficial collaboration: The artists help the hotel to visually communicate their identity through aesthetics, but also embody the values of the company. In return, artists are supported and given a public platform for their visual voice. It also improves the well-being of everyone in the space, from guests to employees.

Christina Poon also sees art as a conversation-starter: “It breaks the ice and right away it enhances the sense of arrival. Guests are checking in and they’re saying that they’re coming in somewhere where they feel good. There is something that compels them to be happy here, while affirming the W Montreal’s identity of bold, edgy and colourful.”

How to integrate art into project budgets?

For Martin Leblanc, “The key is to know its inclusion and importance at the very beginning of the project, when we’re still looking at how we’re gonna tackle it. In the same way that we know we’ll need a bar, it must be obvious, it is not even a question. Even if, later on, you question if it will be a big or small bar, it was part of the original mandate of the space to have a bar. In the same way, when art becomes an essential element rather than a budget expense, our approach is very different” For Martin, art must be integrated into the architecture, not just be a painting on a wall.

From Christina Poon’s point of view, it’s okay to start small – art doesn’t have to be all done in one shot, it can be introduced little by little. It doesn’t have to be a complete renovation to make it happen. Also, even if you can’t calculate the exact ROI of art integration, Christina Poon ensures that

“You can ask for a higher average daily rate (ADR) when you have quality art in your hotel vs just a piece of art that you can buy at any common store. What we have at W Montreal is unique: There’s only our property that has it, and people are willing to pay a premium to have this experience.”


What it brings to the art community

W Montreal Hotel Renovation - Art Integration - Guest ExperienceIt’s important for the art community to have private commissions like these. Camille Jodoin-Eng told us that it’s great for artists to be displayed in a hotel as they can reach a broader audience than in galleries and museums. Also, what she appreciated was that “in the case of a private commission, you don’t have to think of the artwork as a sellable element, you can just focus on the ideas and creating rather than the sellability of the work.”

On the question of engaging local vs international artists, everyone agreed on the fact that the goal is to encourage local artists. But as Martin Leblanc said, “I also think that the way to help local artists is to mix them with global talents to help them reach a far broader audience.”

The challenge will always remain on how best to connect the two worlds of business and art and how to find that winning-balance between them. Both commercial and artistic objectives must be met, and to achieve this it’s crucial that it’s a collaborative effort.

Photo 1: Camille Jodoin-Eng, Sun Vault, 2019
Photo 2: Solaire #2, 2019 – Etienne Rey – © Etienne Rey, ADAGP Paris
MASSIVart Included in the The Globe and Mail’s second-annual ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies | MASSIVart

MASSIVart Included in the The Globe and Mail’s second-annual ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies

MASSIVart is pleased to announce its inclusion on the 2020 Report on Business ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies.


Launched in 2019, the Canada’s Top Growing Companies editorial ranking aims to celebrate entrepreneurial achievement in Canada by identifying and amplifying the success of growth-minded, independent businesses in Canada. In total, 400 companies earned a spot on this year’s ranking.

The full list of 2020 winners, and accompanying editorial coverage, is published in the October issue of Report on Business magazine—out now—and online at

“The stories of Canada’s Top Growing Companies are worth telling at any time, but are especially relevant in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic,” says James Cowan, Editor of Report on Business magazine. “As businesses work to rebuild the economy, their resilience and innovation make for essential reading.”

An honor for our team!

An International Award for the Art Experience of Suite 1742 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth | MASSIVart

An International Award for the Art Experience of Suite 1742 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

The internationally acclaimed CODAawards celebrate the projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces. The CODAawards program honors the individuals and the teams whose collective imaginations create the public and private spaces that inspire us every day.

They have recently announced the winners of their eighth annual competition. Judging the 465 entries from 25 countries – USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and China, among them – was a panel of 18 jurors from the design and art worlds, including Gensler principal and creative director John Bricker; Jennifer Kolstad, chair of the American Society of Interior Designers and Ford Motor Company global design director; and Rhode Island School of Design president Rosanne Somerson.

Installations were selected in 11 categories, such as hospitality, healthcare, education, and transportation. The jury’s top 100 picks were exhibited online, where the public was invited to vote for three favorites.

MASSIVart’s John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In For Peace project was named the grand award winner in the Hospitality category.

Jury member Audrey Koehn, Principal + Global Interiors Leader, DLR Group commented on the awarded work conceived and produced by MASSIVart: “The suite presented a seamless integration of creative and interactive art elements which preserved history in an immersive experiential way, making this project stand out.”

Discover the full story of this project



Finance x Art | MASSIVart

Finance x Art

It is Maxim’s turn – MASSIVart’s CFO – to share his thoughts on two subjects he is passionate about: finance and art.


Maxim graduated with honours from the Concordia University John Molson School of Business and later obtained his CPA designation in both Canada and the United States. The key to his success lies in the determination and professionalism he applies to each new challenge he undertakes. An approach that will continue to influence his career path in the years to come.

From his early days in the accounting and finance world, Maxim’s rigour enabled him to accept a position with the renowned firm Deloitte. Two years later, he was propelled to the city of San Francisco where he worked for BPM as Audit Manager. In this role, he worked with companies of all sizes, operating in different sectors and with diverse opportunities and objectives. Maxim brings this broad experience with him to MASSIVart.

It is in 2019 that Maxim returned to the city of Montreal, where he arrives with a heavy arsenal of knowledge at MASSIVart. A strong interest in and fascination for art drives our CFO to apply his experience to guide the company towards healthy growth and to seize opportunities that will arise. As a result, he contributes in his own way to propelling art and culture to new heights.



Finance x Art



As I celebrate one year into my new role at MASSIVart, I am taking the opportunity to share some thoughts on how finance and art, as broadly as they can be imagined, are usually considered at very different ends of any spectrum, should they even be considered on the same spectrum at all.

One usually is thought of as the pursuit of wealth and profit, or overall financial health whereas the other, as a means of leveraging creativity to express oneself, a beautifying agent and, to a certain extent, a luxury meant for those excelling in the first.

To me, this, in and of itself, is a fallacy given I believe both have the exact same objective at their core, which is value creation.


Finance, in its broadest sense, is ultimately focused on increasing value by, among other means, finding efficiencies, reducing costs and eliminating resource constraints. On the other hand, art, and by extension culture and creativity, undoubtedly contribute to value creation by significantly differentiating positioning and communications, resulting in a strong sentiment of customer adhesion and aligning interests of different stakeholders.

Given the output of one is more easily quantifiable, it tends to be associated with greater value creation whereas the other, simply because of the different nature of its output, is thought as being more superficial in its contribution to value creation and as a result tends to be considered as less necessary or urgent of an investment.

I would however argue, now more than ever in the context of a financial contraction of the likes none of us have ever seen, that, among other strategies, the combination of both financial considerations and a willingness to integrate creative and artistic initiatives will be necessary, for most players, to imagine their path back to financial strength, success and growth and will contribute to defining their new communication and positioning strategy in a highly crowded environment.

On top of the qualified, highly-motivated and experienced team, as well as the impressive track record of the company, the main aspect that made me want to be part of MASSIVart was the simple premise that there is no reason why art, culture, creativity and financial business could not be considered together as a way to address the modern, highly complex and rapidly changing challenges of our diverse economic players.

As a production and creative consulting agency, we offer to leverage art and culture to offer you creative solutions that will result in direct and quantifiable results regarding your business’ ability to get its message and positioning communicated in a unique way and ultimately gain market share through placing innovation at the core of your branding.

The Future Of Art Exhibitions | MASSIVart

The Future Of Art Exhibitions

We’ll now give the floor to Jimena Lopez, who recently joined our team as the Creative Coordinator of MASSIVart Mexico. The subject that is close to her heart is the future of the art world and in particular of art exhibitions which must take a rapid turn towards digital. She shares with you her expertise in finding the keys to adapt.


Jimena is an Art Historian and graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Since 2013, she has worked as a manager, coordinator, and curator of more than 40 exhibitions and other art projects. She has been working with artists, photographers, fairs, galleries and private collectors from around the world and has specialized in the Mexican contemporary art scene. She is also the founder of the digital platform MuMAC, focused on showcasing the work of emerging Mexican artists.



The future of art exhibitions

Virtual art exhibitions are now a reality; and this is not only because museums and galleries around the world had to close their doors due to the pandemic. Online shows are a direct consequence of the changes in the way people are consuming culture and the technological progress of recent years.

Since the last decade, museums and galleries have been experiencing a decrease in the number of visitors, seeing not only their economic sustainability threatened but also their primary objective – bringing art close to the people. One of the factors that led to this fall in attendance is the predominance of social media, as it has completely changed the way people consume art and culture. The tendency up until now was to put the discourse -the concept- as the main element of an exhibition; but now the importance has been transferred to the experience and the instagrammable art -being this a trend in every aspect of the consumer’s behavior and not exclusive to the arts and culture. Some examples are found in the immersive museum TeamLab Borderless or the Magritte retrospective presented in the SFMoMA in 2018 which included interactive installations at the end of the show aimed to offer a “selfie” moment.

Social media has impacted the hierarchy of the art world as well.


Before, the public depended on museums and galleries to discover new artists and to know more about their work. Now, people have direct access thanks to social media. One can talk with artists and buy their work directly on Instagram, without a gallery as the intermediary. In curatorship and marketing terms, museums and galleries had years debating between keeping their traditional strategies or exploring new ways.

The rise of COVID-19 and the subsequent pandemic forced cultural institutions to close their doors, making their deficiencies even more visible. With the lockdown, museums and galleries had to embrace new technologies and implement virtual tours -the digital experience of an exhibition shown in a real, physical space- to keep their spaces alive. Now with the extension of the confinement and the implementation of health measures, the efforts will have to be directed to develop online-exclusive shows.


Virtual exhibitions have been implemented by galleries since 2015 as a tool to improve their sales –being David Zwirner Gallery one of the pioneers–, but in the post-COVID world, this format is also allowing museums and cultural institutions to keep offering free access to art. Being this –the free accessibility– one of the pillars of the internet, virtual exhibitions represent a step forward to the democratization of art.

Many in the art world might say that the online experience cannot replace the physical encounter with a painting or a sculpture, but the reality is that both collectors and viewers are more and more comfortable with this format. For galleries, virtual exhibitions besides improving sales, represent reaching a global audience. For viewers, they mean the opportunity to access and explore art from anywhere in the world. In terms of curatorship, the disappearance of the spatial barriers will allow one exhibition to happen in different parts of the world, giving a large number of artists an opportunity to showcase their work, and attracting a wider audience as well. This technology could change the structure of the art world completely.

“Expo Roblox”, group show curated by Julio Alexander Millán Villanueva available on the online game platform Roblox, 2020

Another positive aspect is the fact that virtual exhibitions dissolve the intimidating connotation of the physical art spaces.


As people can access from the comfort of their own homes, they will live a more intimate experience and engage more freely with the artwork. The translation from physical to virtual spaces will bring the opportunity of exploring new ways of presenting art and other exciting challenges in terms of curatorship and exhibition design; even as we return to our new reality.

The current development of online shows will impact the way physical exhibitions are going to be curated in the future. We predict the proliferation of hybrid models in the years to come as incorporating technology, such as virtual or augmented reality, will increase the engagement with the viewers while giving the institutions an excellent opportunity to enhance the general experience.

With the pandemic, museums and galleries saw the opportunity to finally move to the digital arena. The challenge now is not to make the jump from offline to online strategies but to understand how to make the aesthetic experience through a screen equally rewarding.

The question we should ask is how to re-design virtual exhibitions to not only align them to our new reality but also to enrich the aesthetic experience they offer.


“El silencio de las cosas”, online exhibition by Iván Krassoievitch in Casa Equis, 2020

Visiting several online exhibitions, three persistent formats stood out. The less complex one is the presentation of the artworks as flat images, which is a photo gallery with descriptive texts, as it is the case of the valuable platform of Google Arts & Culture or the shows presented by Hauser & Wirth. In the next level are the 3D spaces that literally translate the white cube to the digital realm but keeping the artworks as flat images, as the recent exhibitions developed by Casa Equis. Lastly, we found more experimental spaces where the pieces are finally three-dimensional but generally the platforms are difficult to navigate making the experience short and very confusing, as the initiatives by Centro Cultural Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola.

Whichever is the chosen format, what is clear is that the aesthetic experience is undoubtedly changing and that the materiality of the artwork is no longer the principal factor to engage or connect with the viewer. The problem is that these types of exhibitions, although efforts worth recognizing, are not offering a satisfactory alternative to the physical experience.

“La ciudad de los inmortales”, online exhibition by Víctor Pérez Rul in Casa del Lago, 2020

The viewer does not feel attracted or motivated with these formats because they were thought of following the traditional criteria to exhibit physical artworks in physical spaces.


We cannot continue designing exhibitions for the digital world following guidelines of the physical world. We need to explore them with tools that are digital as well, such as incorporating 360º views of the artwork, videos, audios, links, among other types of content already living in the web, to build a holistic experience that will stimulate all our senses, provoke curiosity and generate more engagement. The objective of the design and curatorship has to be to offer a deeper level of immersion and participation for the viewer.

An area of opportunity is found in real-time strategies such as webcams showing the artists working in their studios, online chats to have conversations with the artists and/or curators or even to develop online artworks that are not only interactive but participatory. These make us think that changes in the creative processes will also occur as the artists will have to conceive their work to be seen through electronic devices, and will have to give a more active role to the viewers. It is exciting to think of all the new art forms that are going to be developed.

“Contactless”, online exhibition by Felipe Pantone for Albertz Benda, 2020

Like everything, the art world will have to adapt and evolve rapidly to stay current. In MASSIVart we think that the answer might not be developing new technologies but learning how to use the existing ones more creatively. Artists, cultural institutions, curators, and other members of the art scene, will have to rethink the digital space as an autonomous one, with infinite new possibilities to create, show, and sell art.

If people are spending more and more time in the digital world, the art world needs to follow and meet them there.


Photo 1: Rene Magritte: The Fifth Season. SFMoMA, 2018.
Photo 2: Virtual tour available at Google Arts and Culture
Photo 3: “Expo Roblox”, group show curated by Julio Alexander Millán Villanueva available on the online game platform Roblox, 2020
Photo 4: “El silencio de las cosas”, online exhibition by Iván Krassoievitch in Casa Equis, 2020
Photo 5: “La ciudad de los inmortales”, online exhibition by Víctor Pérez Rul in Casa del Lago, 2020
Photo 6: “Contactless”, online exhibition by Felipe Pantone for Albertz Benda, 2020. The artist’s work aims for physical interaction, but due the current health guidelines, he developed digital copies of the works to translate the physical experience into our devices.
Some See Empty Spaces, We See Opportunities | MASSIVart

Some See Empty Spaces, We See Opportunities

On the eve of the announcement of the winner of the international call for artists organized with MIRA for the iconic public art installation that will be integrated into their real estate development project in Mexico City – Neuchâtel: Cuadrante Polanco, we would like to introduce Evlyne Laurin, a new member of our team, who speaks on the subject of public art – crucial now and in the future.


Evlyne recently joined MASSIVart as the Director – Client & Development. Seasoned art administrator, she brings a pan-Canadian and international network and experience as a liaison agent, account manager, event and curation, strategic planning and production direction with her. She has been working with artists, photographers, non-profits, cultural enterprises, both private and public, fairs, galleries, and private collectors on two continents. She worked for Roger’s Cup & Tennis Canada, the VIP team of Frieze Art Fair, Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts, amongst others.


With over a decade of experience in various positions within the cultural sector, she understands the power of arts and how to leverage it. It is her mission to make it more accessible. Evlyne loves to play the role of the connection agent; bridging the client’s vision with the creative one. Her in-depth understanding of both sides makes her projects carefully planned, well-executed and on point.



Toiletpaper Exhibition in Montreal - MASSIVart / Galerie Blanc / Chromatic


The past few months brought drastic changes in our everyday life. Our homes have been turned into multipurpose spaces; our daily commute was cancelled. We went for more walks, discovered uncharted territories in our neighborhood. Statues have fallen, while murals have sprung. Art has also been at the forefront of conversations. Many find solace in painting rainbows, embellishing those non-descript spaces that became precious overnight.

Oscillations - The Urban Conga / Photo by Eva Blue / PQDS / MASSIVart - Art Public - MontréalArt, especially Public Art, the one you can see outdoors, for free, accessible to everybody, took on a new meaning. As we are moving into the very early days of the new normal, we measure how important the outdoors has become in our lives. That park, that street we walk on to get coffee simply to get out of the house. We want to enjoy our surroundings; they foster relationships; it makes us engaged with our communities. Sculptures have been scrutinized, many have been taken down their pedestal and will need to be replaced. Murals are being painted to pay homage, to get attention, to remember and to reflect our current time and struggles.

Looking forward, what will be the future of Public Art?


As outdoors is now playing a central role in our daily lives, cities turn into urban planning. Public Art takes many forms; murals, large-scale sculptures, installation, site-specific; it can stand alone or be part of a sculpture garden or a punctual event. It can be up in the air, perched in a tree, under your feet, standing next to you or inviting you in. It transpires the value of the artists that creates the project, the people who supported it and commissioned it. It reflects on what city, space or company wants to express about itself; that they are a place for creativity, a way to retain their creative classes, to engage with their communities. Art enriches life. The general expectation is that Public Art relates to time, reflects our stories, and is accessible to a broad and diverse public.

In the past 30 years or so, Public Art moved from grassroots to mainstream; projects are now almost expected to present it in one form or another. Art, and especially Public Art is becoming more and more understood as a value-added feature. It activates a city, a place. From old fashion monuments which were passive, new sculptures become a vessel. They are about activation and engagement, pushing deeper their social commitment. One good example of involving the public in the decision process is the 4Th plinth project in Trafalgar Square in London, UK. While there is a committee selecting the shortlisted, the public is invited to see the submission, give comments and vote, and take a step further in deciding what will throne at the top of the plinth left unused for more than 150 years.

New proposals for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth 2018 & 2020. In order top left to bottom right: Damián Ortega, Huma Bhabha, Michael Rakowitz, Heather Phillipson, and Raqs Media Collective.

Public Art transforms, enhances, pays homage, tribute, and is a tribune for our times.


It revitalizes, highlights, gives a second life and beautifies place – think of a mural under a viaduct – instant game changer. Urban furniture pops up overnight. Suddenly, it is alive, activated. It changes the perception of an overlooked area by which we walk thousands of times. We pay attention, and we want to experience it, sit on it and enjoy that place to a degree we wouldn’t connect with otherwise.

Partnering with the Partenariat du Quartier des Spectacles, Palais des Congrès in Montreal, Hullmark in Toronto or MIRA in Mexico, MASSIVart actively work towards bringing lively, festive, uplifting destinations infused art and design, contribution to enhancing the visual landscape as well as the spirit of the space. It transforms how we experience places, changes the way we interact, gives us a breather and cuts the monotonous. While its quantitative impact is harder to measure, it’s qualitative impact shows to be reliable. Public Art commands attention, attracts your gaze, gets you to look up from your phone, engage and sparks conversation.

Commissioning Art has a mission; it is a platform to engage, and one that private companies and cities will move more and more forward to.


It is a dialogue about the social fabric of our cities. The rewarding effects are numerous. On a human level: happier population, less stressful commute, mental health benefits, lower crime rate. From an economic perspective, it creates jobs for artists and more – someone needs to design, construct, install and take care of those projects. It requires materials that are more than often sourced locally. It also fosters tourism – let’s think of Prada Marfa in Marfa and how Marfa became a destination since Donald Judd decided to create some major permanent installations there. It creates a buzz, makes the city vibrant, promotes its competitive edge, lives for its innovative thinking – the vital signs are strong.



As we see more vacant storefront; some will see empty spaces, while we will see opportunity.


This is an occasion that building owners and real estate companies should take advantage of. It is part of our mission at MASSIVart to work with cities, real estates, promoters and developers to increase the presence of art in their projects that have a strong impact in how we navigate our cities. With the current movement for shopping local, it is time to rethink the offer and push further their entertainment and well-being in the infrastructures they are part of. To push the envelope and for companies to promote their values through their implication in daily life and enhancement of multipurpose public spaces. MASSIVart puts at the service of its partner actionable insights due to our years of experience in conceiving desirable destinations that create uplifting, and engaging spaces.

Chromatic Paris - Dominique Pétrin - Public Art

Public Art can also transform and re-activate older buildings, cover-up design mistakes, and mitigate sterile streetscapes or buildings’ effects. A mural can prevent graffiti from reoccurring, and vandalism decreases. A new installation contributes to foster conversations, to engage with the locals as well as the visitors.

It leads to thinking back to programs like the Federal Art Project that ran from 1935 to 1943 and which was part of the New Deal after the Great Recession. At its core, the goals of building morale, creating jobs and reducing crime. In times like now, when we need more than ever to move from generic experience to unique ones, when alternative narratives are needed, the ideas of creating a program or investing funds in inspiring people, in giving some a purpose while enriching our everyday life seem like the way to go.

MASSIVart’s vision is aligned with this thinking; we strongly believe in creating memorable art driven experiences that the communities in which they are delivered will want to live, revisit and share. We are proud to support and offer new possibilities to artists as well as giving back and working with other communities and partners in our common goal to foster a local cultural ecosystem which is deeply rooted in creating relevant experiences delivered in unexpected ways.

We can expect to see Public Art flourish as cities will rethink themselves for smaller gatherings, engage with their communities and regional visitors, and expand their outdoors, as we know this virus is here to stay. This summer shows us the power of standing together for what we believe in and being advocates for the changes we want to see in our communities.

Let’s all contribute to bring more Public Art by a diversity of artists, with a strong creative vision, developing a human-centric experience that has soul and a vibrant personality to which we can all relate. The future of Public Art is in the value of it.


Photo 1: Toiletpaper’s Exhibition – Galerie Blanc, Montreal by Chromatic, MASSIVart, Le Village / © JF Savaria
Photo 2: Oscillations, The Urban Conga – in Montreal by Partenariat du Quartier des Spectacles and MASSIVart / © Eva Blue
Photo 3: New proposals for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth 2018 & 2020. In order top left to bottom right: Damián Ortega, Huma Bhabha, Michael Rakowitz, Heather Phillipson, and Raqs Media Collective.
Photo 4: Left: Prada MARFA, and installation by artists Elmgreen & Dragset in collaboration with the Art Production Fund & Ballroom Marfa, right, Donald Judd, 15 untitled works in concrete, 1980-1984. Permanent collection, the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas / © Evlyne Laurin
Photo 5: Dominique Pétrin, Chromatic – Cité de la Mode, Paris by MASSIVart
Photo 6: Judith Portier, It’s going to be okay! – in Montreal by Partenariat du Quartier des Spectacles and MASSIVart / © Eva Blue
How Fast Can The Retail Industry Adapt To The Challenges Of The New Normal | MASSIVart

How Fast Can The Retail Industry Adapt To The Challenges Of The New Normal

By Alejandro Cardoso – Global CEO, MASSIVart

The retail industry will have to quickly adapt and evolve in order to remain current. Retail analysts, retail space owners and operators along with academics around the world, are getting e-together to discuss the future of brick and mortar retail and how to cope with the huge challenges this industry will face.


We, at MASSIVart, have been able to participate in several recent forums as well as discussion with our real estate development and retail clients. Here are some thoughts we have and have seen emerging in the industry.

Covid-19 has already forced shopping centers and stores to implement sanitary measures. They will stay with us for a while so we better get used to wearing a mask, have our body temperature checked and our shoes sprayed with chlorine solutions to be able to walk into a mall or store.


The challenge now is how to make the experience less stressful and more enjoyable, given these sometimes uncomfortable sanitary protocol conditions.


It is perhaps time to rethink how shopping centres function. How can they be redesigned to meet today’s way of living. such as green spaces, secure environments, well equipped working areas, beautiful (or at least nicely designed) social and eating areas, plus all the stores. We have helped some of our Clients to evolve in this direction and gain prominence and awareness that then translates into traffic that creates a great shopping experience, which is the ultimate goal of our services.

But when we refer to the experience, we mean the whole sensorial and perceived shopping experience, not only the decor or promotions.


And we mean all the factors that surround a shopping experience, which now includes the known sanitary measures. And for that, we mean on line service, merchandise pick up or home delivery, in store service, window display, in store decor, promotions and cultural programs as ways to attract and please shoppers. Every touch point, online and offline will count. Every interaction between a customer and the retailer will count, no matter how small it might look or sound. Retailers must aim at a ZERO DEFECT shopping experience. That means no flaws, no service errors and an improved shopping space for shoppers to feel safe and rewarded as they enter the retail space and walk through the now ample store aisles.

The shopping experience will remain dual: online & offline. While COVID19 forced former non online users to start shopping online, the physical shopping experience can not be replaced by the online only experience. Shoppers, beyond online shopping, want to be attended by a human being a place where you are physically seeing, not only listening over the phone or on a chat on your computer. People love to go to the shopping centres or stores because it is – or must be – entertaining and self fulfilling. The physical shopping process is fun and despite the technological progress, with virtual dressing rooms and AR technologies (Ie: Gucci, Uniqlo, Inditex, Ralph Lauren to name a few) the shopping experience will never be 100% replaced by online shopping.

With the global trend of residential living space becoming smaller, young couples and families will tend to look for a space to feel free, liberated from a constrained home space and have fun in a secure manner. That’s where THE SHOPPING CENTRE model falls in and makes sense.

While in some countries the consumer behavior was to go to a store and go back home, so you just have one opportunity to make them happy at your store, in many other countries – and this trend is growing – going to a mall could be a full day of activities including eating at a high end restaurant, going to the movies, even an amusement park and of course shopping at multiple stores, all within one space. Going to a shopping centre in some Latin American countries and some cities in the USA, could be a full family day. We believe that this trend will soon be embraced by many countries around the world.

So what do retailers must do when COVID 19 allows consumers to go back to the retail stores and shopping centres? How to attract those customers and offer them a great shopping and entertainment experience?


Here some ideas and marketing principles to consider:

    • As permanent working space developments might also suffer from the behavioral changes driven by COVID, designing communal working spaces inside the shopping centers is an area to explore.


    • Imagining and designing beautiful rooftops is a global trend, Shopping Centers have a unique opportunity to re-design their roof and make them green, sustainable and thus being able to appeal to younger audiences.


    • Online services must be aligned with the offline experience. Now more than ever retailers will have to synchronize both worlds: online & offline. As a result, several changes and adaptations in the service must occur. Here are some to them:
      – Procurement departments and the back house processes end must be prepared to have just in time inventories to optimize margins.
      – Home delivery and pick up services must be out in place.
      – Parking spaces might be repurposed and go through a pick up area and also a face lift improvement process as consumers will spend more time at parking spaces picking up merchandise. Embellishment of parking spaces can make your customers happy while waiting in line to pick up.
      – At the sales floor inside the stores, there will be several structural changes, for sure. Potentially even a reduction of sales personnel as safe distance will be an issue and lots of sales reps might be perceived as not safe. However we believe that personal shopping services might grow as a customer would like to have all the merchandise at her/his disposal but interacting with just one person.


    • As a result some types of technology might take over some service process such as Voice Recognition devices, virtual reality dressing rooms and touch less screens and intelligent video to assist the shopper with ideas, promotions and suggestions. Alibaba is trying to develop VR lenses so the customer might feel they are walking the aisles but actually be seated somewhere else. So everyone is experimenting. In summary, technology, especially AI, will become gradually more used and more important to analyze and predict the shoppers desires, merchandise must be sought after and even looked at (Ie: Ebay’s Retail Associate Platform) to be able to decipher the customer’s new shopping patterns.


    • Build new revenue lines. More than ever, attracting customers will be key to the retail industry. So in order to become a hot ticket in town, Shopping Centers must find ways of innovating and entertaining audiences in an effort to sell more products and services available at their mall. One way, being the use of vacant floor space by creating immersive art experiences that will not only attract shoppers but also create new revenue lines, as retailers could charge for the entrance to high level art shows (digital art, new media, immersive installations, etc.) all this without costing the benefit of creating incremental traffic in the mall/stores.


    • The retail industry must engage on a commercial cultural crusade to support artists and incorporate into their daily activities, cultural programs that will not only attract shoppers and the media, but provide a cultural output to the community where they operate, that can create a virtuous cycle of culture, entertainment and commercial results by helping the art community and enlightening the society.


    In a world where space will be offered the challenges that the retail industry faces are huge, but with a strategic mind and outstanding creativity, we at MASSIVart believe that offline retail will come back strong and we are here to help retailers capitalize on the upcoming market opportunities with art and technology enhanced brand experiences.


Photo 1 – Leandro Erlich, Le Nœud Mécanique © Gabriel de la Chapelle
Photo 2 – Chiharu Shiota, Memory of the Ocean © Gabriel de la Chapelle
Photo 4 – CYRCLE, Present Futurism: Space is Everything © Lune Rouge & LNDMRK
Alice: Curator By Day, Artist By Night | MASSIVart

Alice: Curator By Day, Artist By Night

Every month, we spotlight one of our amazing team members! We open the floor so that they can express themselves, share their passions and unique skills… Today it’s Alice’s turn!

Alice has been part of the MASSIVart team since 2018, first as artistic director of the Chromatic festival and now as artistic consultant and a curator of the agency’s projects.

A valuable member of our creative team, she is also an inspiring artist. We wanted to give her carte blanche to talk about her background and artistic approach, and showcase her work.



Alice Pouzet - At Home #1

After obtaining my master’s degree at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art de Clermont Métropole, in France, I initiated, with 10 other artists and friends, the creation of the venue La Cabine. This place thought as a collective workshop and exhibition space allowed me during two years to deepen my practice and to curate different exhibitions and events.

During the year 2015 I took part in several exhibitions including Les Enfants du Sabbat 16 at the art center Creux de L’enfer in Thiers, France and S’allonger sur une ombre, at Home Alone in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

In 2018, I decided to move to Montreal where I took on the role of Artistic Director for the 10th edition of the Chromatic Festival. At the same time, I benefit from my first European exhibition: the collective exhibition “Six Memos” which will travel between Spain, England and Poland during the year 2018-2019. In July 2018, I exhibited for Art.Art with Roxa Hy in Montreal. Since 2019, I have been an art consultant and curator at MASSIVart and I continue my artistic practice in parallel.

Alice Pouzet - CanevasAs for my plastic work, it revolves around the notion of daily life. It questions the landscape and the geometrical forms found in it, whether natural or man-made. I collect elements of reality and I avoid their forms to keep only the edges. The forms, once purified and rethought, are the result of emptiness / fullness. I am therefore interested in the form itself and in what it is as such.

I like to think of environments that oscillate between sculpture and drawing and where the border between the two is thin. Free of all attributes, I like to give its forms a new dimension.


The installations that result from this formal research give birth to silent universes where structures can be contemplated like a stroll in a ghost town.

In the manner of Italo Calvino, who in American Lessons: Six Memos for the Next Millennium crosses literary eras like a journey, I seek to perceive the landscape as a journey from which a multiplicity of plastic forms results.

About the “Multiplicity” on page 173: “Gaddafi knew that “to know is to insert something into the real, therefore it deforms the real“. This is exactly what I want to show through my work. How to perceive the landscape, the changes that can occur on it, the “speed” at which it evolves. The idea that an image as such is not “correct”. To seek to transcend the images of everyday life, to seek the special perceptible by all: “visibility”. The “coherence” of the landscape is therefore the internal idea that we have of it.

For my part, I see sculpture in the broadest sense as a drawing in space. A form of “lightness” that plays with visual contingencies.

Alice Pouzet - Hauteur
The sculptor Georges Sugarman, in the 60s, when talking to Fred Sandback, said “If you’re fed up with all these pieces, why not just stretch a line with a ball of string, that’s all?”. It’s with this minimalist spirit freed from the full and the base that I think about creation in order to direct my work and my research towards the recess and the arrangement of pure forms organizing themselves in space. Taken from reality, I only keep the edges, contours and skeletons of these formal references.

I observe the nomenclature of the landscape, whether urban or natural, its architecture and buildings to understand how it functions and evolves. Through my research and installations, I apprehend the landscape as a flexible setting that can be decomposed ad infinitum.


Visit Alice’s website.


Photos © Alice Pouzet


Gentle Monster Masters Experiential Retail | MASSIVart

Gentle Monster Masters Experiential Retail

In the age of the experience economy, retailers are adding layers of richness to their offerings. ‘Attention-grabbing’ is an oft-recurring strategy, which can be achieved through the art of storytelling. Knitting a narrative into a design may encourage visitors to potentially spend more time and result in more sales in the process of discovery and understanding.

At MASSIVart, our greatest inspiration for applying this approach comes from Gentle Monster. The eyewear brand is internationally recognized for its outstanding boutiques, which are the very symbol of the retail experience.

Brand & Consumer Experience - Experiential Retail - Gentle Monster - MASSIVartThe South Korean brand has exploded worldwide with its experimental and avant-garde space designs in the highest quality and has retail stores that would transport you to a different dimension. Each with its own theme and concept reflecting the city or the glasses.

And it works! Since its launch in 2011, Gentle Monster shows no signs of slowing. The company began making a profit in 2014, with sales figures rising close to USD$40 million. In 2016, Gentle Monster reached USD$60 million in annual global sales, and in 2018 the brand was up to USD$200 million.

Though most of their glasses are purchased online, the stores specifically target Millennials by providing a uniquely exploratory, Instagrammable experience thanks to creative, experiential ‘story’ that blends retail with art.



Brand & Consumer Experience - Experiential Retail - Gentle Monster - MASSIVart



Brand & Consumer Experience - Experiential Retail - Gentle Monster - MASSIVart



Brand & Consumer Experience - Experiential Retail - Gentle Monster - MASSIVart

See other stores.

Photos © Gentle Monster
Artist Spotlight: Julieta Gil | MASSIVart

Artist Spotlight: Julieta Gil

Artists are at the heart of MASSIVart’s mission. We wish to give them even more space by giving them a voice through our channels in different ways. We start with the Mexican artist Julieta Gil who presents her virtual exhibition.


Her work oscillates between the physical and virtual space. Computational media is rapidly evolving and becoming ubiquitous and influential in our everyday life. The ontological reality, the simulated reality, and the mediated reality are a group of layers clustered in a complex, multidimensional way. Her work searches for the possibilities of simultaneous realities that form and interact with each other, creating objects and narratives that reflect upon our past, present and future.


Julieta Gil Nuestra Victoria 1

Nuestra Victoria / Our victory – 2020

Project made from the register of graffiti tags painted on the Angel of Independence in Mexico City, made during the feminist protest march #NoMeCuidanMeViolan, in August 2019. The controversy generated by these tags open a discussion around memory and heritage. Without trying to solve these, the project is summed up to the discussion and presents itself as an effort of keeping this state of the monument alive, vandalized and appropriated by the society, showing how the “Angel of Independence” achieves new meanings in the current times. The piece allows the intervened monument to stay in the collective memory of the citizens as a communicator of peoples’ urges and demands. The digitized monument can even be seen as a testimony for future research, as it concentrates and preserves evidence of the claims for justice.


Julieta Gil Mapeo Colectivo

Mapeo Colectivo (2019)

is a parallel project In collaboration with artists Livia Radwanski y Concepción Huerta. It consists of a 3D model of the monument created through the translation of multiple photographs into a digital space.


Julieta Gil - Rigid Bodies

Cuerpos Rígidos / Rigid Bodies (2018)

The piece deepens in the archeological interpretation based on the ornaments of the facade of the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City. This commission for Satelite, an online curatorial project, shows some of the ornamental neo-indigenist elements of the palace and, through VR technology, generates a new dialogue with the narratives, both architectural and muralist, that the building has had since its construction. The video places us in a future territory and guides us to rethink the meaning and the relationship we have with our monuments.


Julieta Gil - fragments

Fragmentos: Los Verdaderos Colores de Bellas Artes (2016)

Future possible archeology of the architectural elements of The Porfiriato. Through scanning and 3D modeling methods, the pieces reconstruct the narrative of an architectural style. The series questions the notions of archeology, not only as a method to analyze the values of an era, but also their reformulation.



Ornamentos / Ornaments (2016)

Ornamentos juxtaposes an architectonic space generated by a computer with the current architectural context of Downtown L.A. The piece is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and his appropriations of the Mayan ornaments, and the contrasting minimalism of the Californian art movement called “Light and Space”.


Julieta Gil - Beach

23-3d-beach-sand-wallpaper (2015)

Representation of simultaneous spaces that confront and break the linearity of time and space, opening a new dimension. These scenes are simulations of interior and exterior spaces at the same time. The exploration was made through processes of texture mapping on 3D modeling programs. It is a process in which a bidimensional image is projected on a 3D surface to add texture to a model. This technique is used to give more realistic details to virtual objects. In this case, 2D images of landscapes were projected on 3D surfaces of domestic spaces in a recursive way, where the resulting image is used as a new texture. Through this recursion, the final image results in an abstract simulation.


→ Learn more on Julieta Gil

Post-Covid, Can Brands Get Closer to Consumers? | MASSIVart

Post-Covid, Can Brands Get Closer to Consumers?

At a time when the return to the new normal is slowly taking place, Alejandro Cardoso, MASSIVart’s Global CEO, discusses, in an article, the future of marketing and brands.


The virus is still here. And will be with us for a while.  In a world filled with economic crisis, health challenges, huge political differences almost everywhere, millions of people immigrating causing huge disruption to even solid, well established economies, racism, populism, religious conflicts and even some civil wars, it is imperative  that corporations and mid and small size companies alike, develop alternative business plans and brand development models that would allow them to survive and eventually recup grow.


It used to be that CMO’s at global organizations would have an acceptable  period of time for their tenure and results to be evaluated. I was one of them. Well, not anymore. Over the last few years, CMO’s and CEOS’s have been challenged to the maximum in order to produce short term results that would satisfy the shareholders. This has pushed brands to seek new Brand 2 Consumer engagement models that could generate results in the short term w/o ideally, affecting the brand in the long run. Some senior execs have succeeded but many have failed. As a result, communication agencies, ad agencies and digital agencies have been challenged equally by Advertisers in order to adapt to the new business and marketing reality. Some agencies have succeeded, some have failed in the attempt to adapt to the new reality.

So while COVID 19 has been a major issue over the last 6 months globally – where governments and health authorities have been put to a huge test – the reality is that for marketeers and communications experts the situation is a new challenge on the list, while certainly, a bigger one as compared to previous health challenges due to its economic implications, but one more challenge in the world of marketing. So, how do you adapt to a new reality where reunions, getting together, even having a coffee or eating with someone, force you to maintain a distance, when in fact one of the big challenges brands have is centered on creating memorable, enduring, unique experiences?

How can brands, in this new context, learn and be able to get closer to consumers?


The key words are: learn, listen, investigate, get close to your consumers – even if at distance – in order to understand their concerns, wishes and different and alternative ways of interacting with brands. Whether it is a FMPG or a Service, the premise is the same: Don’t try to guess what they want, what their fears are and what their expectations are. Be sure before you improvise.

For some industries the forced shift of their model and their success, have been the result of consumers demanding their services not necessarily them being smart. Companies in the logistics and delivery services have experienced significant growth. Health and personal care brands have sold almost every SKU. Supermarkets have sold more food, beer and wine as people are not going out to restaurants. On-line services, both educational and entertainment services, have shown exceptional results, but in all honesty most of these success stories come from consumers forcing them to fulfill their needs, rather than these companies doing something exceptional, marketing wise. Even beauty and some luxury brands have sold more – as it is customary for these categories – whenever there’s a crisis, as ironic as it may sound.

The art world has experienced an awakening as well, when it comes to people being inserted in museums and art and culture progress streamed live or on demand. So, while some businesses like tourism, restaurants, bars, airlines, co-working spaces, car manufacturers, small corner stores, among many others, have suffered a lot, others have capitalized on the crisis. That’s the way it has always been.

Brand experience will determine the success and future of brands.


Looking forward, we as marketers, are now forced to develop strategies that could bring the brand closer to the consumer in an entertaining, attractive, relevant manner.

In order to listen to the relevant audiences, data is crucial and how you use data can lift up  your business or in fact, bury it. Data produces insights that drive the strategy. Strategy leads to the Idea and the Idea is then executed and measured to start the cycle again. In this model, the idea and execution are critical. How you create a brand experience that is relevant, meaningful, unique memorable and that creates the need for customers to want to revisit it and share it with pals in their social media communities, will be crucial.


We, at MASSIVart believe and have shown over the last 11 years, that creating art infused ideas can certainly change the consumer’s experience and interaction with the brand, whether it is on-line or off- line, in order to create brand preference, loyalty and advocacy.


Of course, brands must get closer to their audiences and art & culture are an effective way to achieve that. An advertising campaign – even if highly creative – won’t do the trick anymore. Being able to make tangible the brand promise through experiences, will create the buzz, the awareness, the sales and the growth.

As months go on and we go back to the new normal, whether you’re a packaged good, in the hospitality industry,  in the real estate development, or in financial services, brands will have to make sure they get noticed, they attract the consumers attention and get chosen by consumers, as disposable income might be constrained in some demographic sectors for a period of time. So whatever the retail space or the various touch-points or destinations where consumers interact with the brands – whichever these may be –  all of them have to be super differentiated and attractive to gain the consumers preference. As rare as it may sound, now is the time to prepare.

While advertising might affect the way consumers see brands, it is a universal truth that today, brands need a lot more than a nice ad to impact and attract consumers. Brand experiences are the ones that can make a brand promise tangible. In my career of many years in the ad world, I came to conclude a few years ago that brands need to shift from messaging to creating experiences and I’m sure that life with COVID  and post COVID will drive brands and marketers to realize this is a trend and not a fad, that can determine the bright – or gray future-  of some brands. No doubt, in the new normal, brands will need to find ways to get closer to consumers as consumers will be busy minding other things.

Art infused ideas merged with technological breakthroughs in our opinion is a way to innovate and clearly distinguish brands from the rest and get that share of market out of a more fragmented and more disputed, available market.


A. Cardoso


GIF: Daniel Iregui’s interactive piece of art for Desjardins
Image 1: 360 mapping for Chromatic
Image 2: HARA by Guillaume MARMIN & Frédéric MAROLLEAU for VQA Ontario
International Call For Artists | MASSIVart

International Call For Artists

MIRA and MASSIVart invite national and international artists to develop a proposal for a permanent public artwork to be located in the public plaza of MIRA’s latest real estate development in Mexico City: Neuchâtel’s Cuadrante Polanco.

A total budget of 6,000,000.00 MXN Pesos will be allocated to the art installation’s project to give artists the opportunity to create an iconic landmark for Mexico City while beautifying the urban public landscape.

The artist selected will be aligned with the artistic direction of MIRA and MASSIVart as well as the vision of Neuchâtel Cuadrante Polanco, which is led by a desire to create an iconic and timeless art installation that has the power to engage the community.

Find all the information about the call for artists on this page.

The Future of Accessible and Inclusive Museums During & Post COVID-19 | MASSIVart

The Future of Accessible and Inclusive Museums During & Post COVID-19

On this International Museum Day, we wanted to give the word to Jessica, MASSIVart’s Production Director and Partner, who is our invaluable expert in all museum-related matters. Holder of a Master’s degree in Heritage and Museums, another in Culture and Development and a degree in Art History and Archaeology, Jess has some interesting thoughts to share with you about the special situation that museums are currently experiencing.


The Future of Accessible and Inclusive Museums During & Post COVID-19

Museums and COVID-19 / Photo by cottonbro from Pexels


Museums, crucial for cultural democracy, are the Iceberg tip of a complex cultural and economic system. They play a key role in local economic development and are surrounded by a wide range of actors, artists, audiences, self-employed and freelance workers and creative companies.

At the heart of their social, educational and cultural missions, and in order to face the challenges of inclusion and diversity, museums have already set up numerous initiatives: community projects, travelling exhibitions, educational activities for all ages, visits adapted to people with disabilities, etc. However, despite the ambition to reach out to everyone, there is still a long way to go to have an offer that can speak to all the communities concerned. Museums must be flexible in the face of a constantly changing society. Who is our museum offer aimed at? Who decides what is of interest and how to present it? On what criteria are these decisions made? These are all questions raised by the theme of accessibility and inclusion.

These questions are all the more relevant in the context of an unprecedented global epidemic, which has seen all museums close their doors. In this period of containment, the digital offer has now become the only one available to museums, which have taken advantage of the tools they had to continue to make their services accessible to visitors. In just a few clicks, the public can access mobile applications, websites, social networks and virtual exhibitions.

In fact, there has been a remarkable increase of nearly 200% in the number of visits to museum websites since the beginning of the epidemic, which have successfully guaranteed the continuity of their museum offer.

Once this observation has been made, post COVID 19, museums will surely have to be even more creative, as the digital offer alone is not enough and visitors need different ways of experiencing and being in contact with arts and culture. If in recent years the visitor experience has been centred on participation, interaction or multi-sensory solicitation, it is easy to imagine that for some time audiences may be reluctant or afraid to move around the museum: touch screens, crowds, virtual reality headsets, audio headsets, enclosed spaces.

We are therefore entitled to believe that we will have to rethink the services offered by museums and the museographic means of sharing knowledge and heritage: a different way of plunging visitors into the heart of an experience, of engaging them, while adapting to new behavioural norms.

Even if we have to reflect on new strategies to be implemented and creative means to be put in place, it seems relevant to me to include in this discussion all the communities and actors concerned. A new generation of museums, combining cultural innovation, local economic development and social inclusion, may perhaps be born from a work of co-construction and listening, which will continue to support, as they already do, an indispensable ecosystem.

About Jessica Drevet
Jessica oversees the production department at MASSIVart with more than 40 large-scale productions every year. With over 7 years of experience in management and event production this rigorous and skilled producer leads projects with passion and integrity. Project managers, creatives and artists always rely on her technical and logistic abilities as well as her sensibility. In the last decade she’s been in charge of high quality and landmark projects in China, Mexico, Europe the U.S. and of course Canada. Her expertise combined with her background in museology allows her to supervise, plan and succeed in various events and environments in the public (museums and cultural institutions) as well as the private sectors.
How Artists Can Change The Way We Move? | MASSIVart

How Artists Can Change The Way We Move?

Municipalities, retailers, real estate developers, museums and all other places open to the public will need to reinvent the way people will move through their streets and buildings.

For that, they’re going to have to be inventive to spread messages and be attentive to what people need most right now: find a little bit of wonder in their daily lives to feel better. This is where artists can intervene.

While being focused on the physical distance measures that are coming the signage can be helpful but also beautiful.

To get some inspiration, here are some artists who are experts in floor and wall interventions.

Trevor Wheatley Signage DesignTrevor Wheatley & Cosmo Dean (left)
Toronto-based artists Trevor Wheatley & Cosmo Dean work in collaboration to produce large-scale guerrilla signs and typographic art installations. The two have produced works for companies such as Nike, Stussy, Topshop, Converse, Nordstrom and OVO. Though simple in message, the instillation is striking, and the work and precision of Dean and Wheatley’s pieces can easily be seen and admired. From concept to execution, it is no surprise that the two are called upon by business giants for commercial employment, as their creations leave a lasting imprint on the minds of their viewers.

RoadsworthSuperkilen / Topotek 1 + BIG Architects + Superflex (cover)
His ground paintings, murals, and installations have been commissioned throughout North America, also in South America, Europe, and Asia. He has showcased his work with the LAF, the Cirque du Soleil, the Tour de France and Banksy’s Can’s Festival, to name a few. His unique approach of blending art and activism can be seen in his collaborations with such organizations as Greenpeace and Amnesty International. His recognizable brand of street art has been featured and discussed in many of the leading publications on street art in the past two decades.


SUPERFLEX (above, on the right)
SUPERFLEX was founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen and Rasmus Nielsen. With a diverse and complex practice, SUPERFLEX challenge the role of the artist in contemporary society and explores the nature of globalisation and systems of power. SUPERFLEX describe their artworks as tools – thereby suggesting multiple areas of application and use.


Gummy Gue - Orbital - Floor artistic intervention

Gummy Gue (above)
Gummy Gue (Marco Mangione) is an artist who works mainly in the public space. He knows the graffiti writing environment in the early 2000s, investigating and experimenting with the expressive possibilities that will bring him to contemporary urban art. His work is an open dialogue with the architecture and the environment. Some of his works, such as Playground and Skatepark, have been recognized by magazines and platforms dedicated to design and architecture such as Domus, Designboom, AD Magazine, Architectural Record and many others.


Michael Lin

Michael Lin (above)
Lin orchestrates monumental painting installations that re-conceptualize and reconfigure public spaces. Using patterns and designs appropriated from traditional Taiwanese textiles his works have been exhibited in major institutions and international Biennials around the world. Transforming the institutional architecture of the public museum, his unconventional paintings invite visitors to reconsider their usual perception of those spaces, and to become an integral part of the work, giving meaning to its potential as an area for interaction, encounter, and re-creation.


Our team of experts is ready to help you bring this type of project to life on your streets or in your buildings. Contact us!


The Power of Art In Time of Crisis | MASSIVart

The Power of Art In Time of Crisis

Historically artists have been at the forefront of cultural and societal issues initiating discussions and pushing boundaries. Art has the ability to create an emotional response, communicate complicated and opposing messages, drive social behaviours and create societal change. It also has the power to inspire communities during uncertain times and the current COVID-19 global pandemic is no exception.

We are facing an unprecedented period that requires all of us to be resilient. We want to take the opportunity to showcase various initiatives of the arts community during this time. We have been inspired by artists from around the world who have risen to the challenge to help people get away from it all, or to convey engaging and poignant messages.

Duyi Han - The Saints Wear White - COVID-19 art

The United Nations has called on creatives around the world to help stop the spread of misinformation and promote public health precautions. The UN has a global call out to artists and has created a library of artwork to educate, uplift and inspire. You can visit the library of artwork at UNCovid-19 Creative Content Hub.

Additionally UNESCO has launched the #ResiliArt movement, which, among other things, will consist of a series of global virtual debates with renowned artists and draw support for the cultural world throughout the crisis.

In Canada you can also check out the Social Distancing Festival started by Toronto artist Nick Green. The Social Distancing Festival is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing.

Because we can’t forget what the frontline workers are going through, you can also check out some work by artists Duyi Han who’s celebrating health workers with a fresco-inspired mural in a chapel.

Thierry Geoffroy - Social Distancing - COVID-19 art

Artist Thierry Geoffroy uses tents to speak to those who cannot go back to their homes in these times of confinement, because they are homeless or are refugees.

Finally, Til Kolare decided to use his digital art skills to portray the world’s current situation. He gives us a new look at some classic paintings through which the characters distance themselves from others and reveal the reality of a lot of people now: the loneliness and solitude.

We like to see that the creativity of the arts community is not locked in! They always find ways to spread messages through their art, and we will always support them.


Cover image: Heads up – This Isn’t Forever
Image 1: Duyi Han – The Saints Wear White
Image 2: Thierry Geoffroy
Palais des congrès de Montréal and MASSIVart expand partnership by launching the Palais Seasons | MASSIVart

Palais des congrès de Montréal and MASSIVart expand partnership by launching the Palais Seasons

Palais des congrès de Montréal and MASSIVart are joining forces once again for the Palais Seasons, a series of art installation projects inviting Montrealers to rediscover their convention centre. The new initiative will get started in the month of love, with many bold ideas to be implemented throughout the year to bring a creative buzz to the downtown venue.


This ongoing project is building on Les Printemps du Palais, which featured a variety of creations by local artists and artisans. Highlights of the spring 2019 event included public pianos, collaborative workspaces, creative ping-pong tables, and self-service libraries. The Palais Seasons is being introduced in an effort to keep this excitement going throughout the year. MASSIVart has put together a program that will once again showcase Montréal ingenuity.

Paysage Divers - En Temps Et Lieu, Palais des congrès de Montréal / MASSIVart

“At MASSIVart, we have always believed that art and culture have the power to revitalize public spaces. We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to help Palais des congrès de Montréal bring more creativity to its premises. This iconic institution is a perfect showcase for the city’s creative talent, an open window into Montréal’s culture. In a place where the future of our society is constantly being reshaped, it is important to bring in local artists and creators to reimagine these public spaces as meeting places where surprise and the unexpected can be experienced. Just one more example of how art and culture can be compatible with public and commercial spaces!”
– Philippe Demers, Founder & Creative Director of MASSIVart.

Seuils de Michel de Broin au Palais des congrès de Montréal - MASSIVartThe highlight of the program is without a doubt Seuils by internationally renowned Montréal artist Michel de Broin. Comprising a series of Montréal subway car doors, the art installation forms a path for people to follow. The experience recalls the digestive tract’s ingestion process—the installation breathes and swells to the rhythm of the traffic passing through it, creating a contrast between mechanical structure and organic movement. The work repurposes the door-opening components of the city’s original subway cars, first introduced for the Expo 67 world fair. Recently replaced by newer models, the now obsolete MR-63 subway cars have become an iconic part of Montréal’s public transit history. Seuils will give Palais visitors from all over the world a glimpse into that past.

“After the resounding success of last spring’s program, I am pleased to offer the Palais Seasons year-round to Montrealers and visitors alike. The artwork had an immediate impact on the atmosphere in our creative spaces and this second phase designed by MASSIVart promises to be just as exciting.”
– Robert Mercure, President and CEO of Palais des congrès de Montréal

1, 3: “Seuils” – Michel de Broin
2: “Paysage divers” – En Temps et Lieu

Visit the Palais des congrès project page to learn more about what we’ve already implemented!

Our Curator’s Picks for AGO Massive Exposure | MASSIVart

Our Curator’s Picks for AGO Massive Exposure

MASSIVart collaborates with the Art Gallery of Ontario as Creative Partner for their annual fundraising party which will take place on Thursday April 16 in Toronto!

Our team of art curators had the chance to collaborate with the renowned gallery to select these 4 talented artists: Andrew Thomas Huang, Charline Dally, Rihab Essayh and Eli Schwanz.


Andrew Thomas Huang

Andrew Thomas Huang

With a background in fine art, visual effects, puppetry and animation, LA-based filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang crafts hybrid worlds rooted in Sinofuturist folklore, mysticism and spiritual realism. His list of collaborators include Icelandic artist Bjork, among others including Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and FKA Twigs for whom Huang is Grammy-nominated for his fantasy epic “Cellophane.”

Charline Dally

Charline Dally

By using installation, printmaking or visual performance, Charline questions different notions such as ambivalence, otherness and porosity. Her work tries to dissolve boundaries between absence and presence, real and virtual, synthetic and organic. By integrating slow progressions, video becomes for her an hypnotic tool inviting the audience to feel oneself in the present. Her work has been presented in Paris, Brussels, Toronto and Montreal.

Rihab Essayh

Rihab Essayh

Rihab is a multidisciplinary artist exploring the subject of resolving interpersonal and personal emotional distress through a research-based practice. Her process starts with a need for resolving or translating an issue occurring in her personal life in order to move forward or create a sense of communal understanding.

Eli Schwanz

Eli focuses on animation in potential forms and contexts as well as its representation and exploration in alternative media, including installation, light, sculpture, and video. Eli Schwanz has been profiled by Vice and was Exhibitionist in residence at the CBC. Exhibitions include Chromatic Festival, Gardiner Museum, Animocje Poland, Onsite Gallery, Ignite Gallery, Robert Kananaj Gallery as well as commissions for The Drake and Four Seasons Hotels.

Early bird tickets are on sale until February 29, visit

New Collaboration with the AGO | MASSIVart

New Collaboration with the AGO

MASSIVart joins forces with the Art Gallery of Ontario as a Creative Partner for their annual fundraising party AGO Massive, which will take place on Thursday April 16 in Toronto!

Our team of art curators had the chance to collaborate with the renowned gallery to select 4 artists that will be unveiled very soon.

Together for one night only, AGO Massive will feature immersive art installations, exciting performances and irresistible food and drink.

With this event, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s mission is perfectly aligned with our leitmotif which is to bring people together with art to see, experience and understand the world in new ways.

Early bird tickets are on sale, go buy yours on

Our Founder is a “Creative Revolutionary” | MASSIVart

Our Founder is a "Creative Revolutionary"

Philippe Demers, MASSIVart’s founder and global creative director, has been recognized as a “Creative Revolutionary who has lead the way for positive change” by CODAworx this week!

MASSIVart has been included in their list of 25 leaders who have taken a stand through their artwork creations and the spaces they transform.


“Representing a new breed of producers and curators, Philippe Demers, Founding Partner and CEO of MASSIVart, runs an international art consultancy agency in Montreal, Toronto, Mexico City, Shanghai, Paris, Dubai and Los Angeles. Working at the intersection of art and commerce, he collaborates with emerging and established artists, architects, developers, designers and other creatives on architectural design, original works of art, and art-driven cultural programs. His passionate support of innovative art programs have brought MASSIVart a who’s who of high-profile clients.”

Learn more

Bringing Burning Man’s creativity to the streets of Shanghai | MASSIVart

Bringing Burning Man's creativity to the streets of Shanghai

As a part of a Public Art festival in the shopping centre Ruihong xintiandi Hall of the Moon in Shanghai, we worked with Beijing Modernsky Culture on a multimedia installation project. We collaborated with artist Christopher Schardt and Building180 agency to produce this large-scale outdoor immersive installation.

Constellation is a star-shaped canopy of 5,400 LED modules. The structure weighs 2000 kg, measures 26′ in diameter and hangs from a single point which will be displayed from November 26 to January 5, 2020.

In 1998, Christopher Schardt’s first Burning Man experience inspired him to apply his engineering and computer skills to art and he has participated in—and brought a major art project to—the event almost every year since. Now widely known for his LED sculptures, he is also the author of LED Lab, an app used by thousands of LED artists worldwide.

Entering the Japanese art scene with a bang | MASSIVart

Entering the Japanese art scene with a bang

MASSIVart has worked in partnership with Chromatic and UltraSuperNew Gallery as well as FRAMED* and MUTEK JP to produce a digital exhibition featuring amazing video artworks by Canadian artist Sabrina Ratté and Japanese artist Yoshi Sodeoka.
We are proud of this cultural exchange between these talented Japanese and Canadian artists! The exhibition took place December 1st-12th, 2019 at the UltraSuperNew Gallery in Tokyo.

Learn more about the exhibition

Exhibition - Tokyo - by MASSIVart

Artwork: Yoshi Sodeoka – Sprindrifer

Meet Our New Global CEO! | MASSIVart

Meet Our New Global CEO!

Alejandro Cardoso, former Executive Chairman of Publicis LATAM, has been appointed as the Global CEO & Managing Partner MASSIVart Latin America. With 25+ years experience, Cardoso is considered one of the most influential advertising personalities in Latin America, he left his position in June to join the leadership team at MASSIVArt. Read the press release.

Alejandro, you have held several Executive positions in Mexico and abroad, including: Yahoo, Aeromexico, TBWA, JWT and over the last decade at Publicis Groupe as Executive Chairman for Latín America . Can you tell us about your career path?
Of course. I started as an actor. Mostly theater. To support myself I mixed theater acting with a paying job. So I found the opportunity in the hotel industry where I grew from bell man to CMO. It was a great journey. I quit acting and decided to be part of the advertising and marketing world. I decided to leave the CMO role and moved to the advertising world where I worked at TBWA, Leo Burnett and JWT. I then went back as a client as Aeroméxico’s Sales & Mktg Senior VP , then Citibank’s regional CMO and Yahoo’CEO. My last corporate venture was with Paris based Publicis Groupe where I held different regional roles, my last being Publicis Groupe Latin America Executive Chairman where I led all creative, digital, technology and media operations.

Why did you choose to join MASSIVart?
World class creative work, awesome team, a differentiated, relevant value proposition and huge business potential in Mexico and all around Latin America. I love art and marketing. This partnership brings it all together.

With your arrival, MASSIVart takes a new turn with the opening of a new office, the first in Latin America. What can we expect from MASSIVart Mexico for the coming months?
I aim only at producing spectacular work. Work that will make our competitors jealous, prospects mouths water, clients highly satisfied and the press praising our work. This will result in growth for MASSIVart Inc. and MASSIVart Mexico. I believe Mexico will be the 1st step into MASSIVart’s expansion in Latin America. In the next few years our ambition is to see a MASSIVart operation in the most important markets in the region, incorporating and leading the new trends in the Real Estate, Public Art, Museum Design and Marketing services industries.

How does what MASSIVart offers fit into Mexico’s cultural/art scene and is there a need for it?
It is the perfect fit. Mexico is proud of its cultural and artistic heritage. Mexico has been is and will be an influential country when it comes to art in its many expressions, be it in contemporary art, literature, architecture, music, film making , gastronomy and even in street traditional arts and crafts. Art is everywhere. Massivart will merge this strong cultural heritage of Mexico with a marketing value proposition that combines the best of Mexico with the best of Massivart Inc. it’s a win-win proposition.

Why did you choose to work in the art and culture space?
It is in my DNA. As said before I started my career as an actor. Culture and art have always been around me and has been a passion for me. My father was an actor for some time in his early years then became influential in the advertising industry . My wife is a sublime artist. Most of my family, including my daughter, have a background in the creative industry. So it is part of my DNA, I guess, and an important part of my life. Now, through Massivart, I can combine my passion for art and culture with my extensive business experience.

What kind of art speaks to you the most?
Hard to choose. I’m open to everything . Probably my mind is most blown away with contemporary art. Visual arts and innovative sculpture/art installations get my attention. However, I love cinematography, theater, dance, literature, photography and music. I am an admirer of daring, innovative architecture. I also express myself through cooking, which I consider artistic. Art and culture is a cool way of staying alive and connected.

We won Environmental/Signage Design Award from Applied Arts Magazine 🍾 | MASSIVart

We won Environmental/Signage Design Award from Applied Arts Magazine 🍾

Since 1992, the Applied Arts Awards have been an internationally recognized standard for creative excellence. It’s the only Canadian competition that recognizes the work of both professionals and students across the visual communications spectrum – covering everyone from image-makers to advertising creatives, marketing gurus to graphic designers.

We won an award with Iregular, Ædifica & iGotcha Media under Environmental/Signage Design category, for the project “RIVER”. This artwork was commissioned by Desjardins to permanently occupy their branch in downtown Montreal. “RIVER” is a 11 meters LED mesh sculpture and a software generated pattern. It listens to the environment to represent it evolving constantly and infinitely, day and night.

Learn more about the project

Meet Maxim, Our New CFO! | MASSIVart

Meet Maxim, Our New CFO!

We interviewed Maxim Céré-Marcoux , the new CFO of MASSIVart.

1. Tell us a little about your background and past work experience?
I am born and raised in Montreal and studied accounting at Concordia University, after which I obtained by CPA title and left to work in San Francisco for a few years. I have worked in financial and accounting advisory for 6 years now, providing consulting to companies of various sizes, operating in different industries and with their respective set of opportunities and challenges. Little did I know that working at an art gallery as a student would spark an interest for the art world that sadly very few people with a background such as mine get to have.

2. What drew you to MASSIVart?
The magnetic energy and dedication of its partners, the ability of the agency to uniquely position its service offering by enhancing them with local and international art and its restless desire to grow without losing its originality.

3. What do you bring to MASSIVart?
I bring a set of skills in the financial and accounting fields coupled with a strong interest and fascination for art that I hope will allow me to help MASSIVart in a distinctive way to be well positioned to successfully seize opportunities as they emerge given the company’s continuing success and growth.

4. How does what MASSIVart offers fit into the global cultural/art scene and is there a need for it?
MASSIVart, in thriving to remain unique and differentiated, always delivers its services to undoubtedly exceed customer expectations but also actively engages our global community in making room for art in our everyday lives. MASSIVart plays a critical role in the art community by carefully curating the inputs of its creative process in a way to highlight the artistic community and further its exposure.

5. What would be your dream project and/or client?
I am especially excited to be joining the company at a time where so many growth and diversification opportunities have presented themselves and hope to assist the partner group by bringing another perspective to the table as well as a different set of skills which will hopefully help in determining which ones, if not all, to pursue, when and how.

6. Why did you choose to work in the art and culture space?
For quite some time now, my intention has been to transition to the artist/cultural field. Perhaps my interest stems from my personal lack of artistic creative energy. By working, even in a financial advisory capacity, in the artistic field, I feel like in my own way I contribute to furthering a community of creative spirits by other means than by creating art myself.

7. What kind of art speaks to you the most?
Regardless of the form it takes, art plays a crucial role in shaping public opinions and in initiating cultural shifts. Art speaks to me the most when it takes advantage of its unparalleled ability to touch people while at their most open state to purposefully expose a societal issue and compel awareness.

8. What about the future of art are you most looking forward to?
I think art is mankind’s most unique contribution to the world and will most likely play out to be the hardest concept for artificial intelligence to decypher and understand. While it will eventually be able to copy certain pieces and/or artists and perhaps even understand art by channeling the analysis of other art enthusiasts, it will never truly be able to innovate and create art in its true form, which entirely relies on the ingenuity of the human mind. I am most excited by the role art will play on artificial intelligence as it may be one of the only areas that does not show any potential for it to be completely overtaken.

Making diversity count | MASSIVart

Making diversity count

MASSIVart is looking for artists, creators and professionals working in the digital sector. We are currently developing a directory to support more inclusive organizational practices and cultural diversity. This directory aims to provide a platform for professionals of the digital sector from visible minorities* through which they can be contacted for potential projects and job offers that match their expertise.

Therefore, we are launching a public campaign in cultural communities and digital networks to gather profiles interested in joining this directory. To do so, interested people are invited to complete the online form here.

Targeted digital sectors: Interactive media, Digital arts, Video games, Photographs, Visual arts, Design, Music, Podcasting, Sound recording, Animation, Film, Television



*Visible minorities are defined based on the Employment Equity Act definition as persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour and include Chinese, South Asian, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Southeast Asian, Arab, West Asian, Japanese, Korean, other visible minorities and multiple visible minorities. (Source: Statistics Canada)

Bed-In For Peace | MASSIVart

Bed-In For Peace


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bed-in, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s iconic performance to promote peace that took place at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal.

MASSIVart worked with the prestigious 5-star hotel and Sid Lee Architecture to curate a unique experience for the famous Suite 1742 where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their Bed-In back in 1969.

In this very room, the couple stayed in bed for a week, receiving guests and conducting interviews with the media. On the last day of their performance they recorded the now-famous song “Give Peace A Chance” while still in bed.  

Our team researched, produced and curated a 360 immersive throwback experience for the suite, allowing the guests to witness an exclusive glimpse of the hectic ambiance that took place in the room. The unique museum experience we developed includes three interactive devices, a virtual reality movie, an interactive archive cabinet displaying  photos, archives, videos and heirloom objects, as well as commission artworks inspired by the performance.

We are extremely proud to have been able to revamp this historical space using art and culture to highlight the wonderful message of peace that John and Yoko delivered and that resonates just as much today as it did back  in 1969.

A Heartwarming Story! | MASSIVart

A Heartwarming Story

Our team has always believed in the power of art to transform spaces and this story shows it can change lives too!

Kian Nojoumian, a talented 16 year old pianist who recently moved to Canada without his piano found joy in the new public pianos we recently installed at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. While playing he caught the ear of everyone passing through with his own compositions. Maddy Samaddar visiting from New York, was passing through the space and was so moved by his exceptional talent she learned more about him and posted Kian’s story on Facebook. The post caught the attention of Jason Howland, Grammy-award winning musical theatre composer, playwrite, conductor and musical director & producer who has gifted Kian with a new piano to practice at home. Jason  asked that he continue to play at the Palais and to spread joy to the visitors.

We’re so proud to have been a part of this project. Read more below:

Piano painted by Cyndie Belhumeur

MASSIVart Expertise on the Arts Selection Committee of Burning Man | MASSIVart

Canadian Expertise on the Arts Selection Committee of Burning Man

Philippe Demers, CEO & Founding Partner of MASSIVart sits on the global arts grants jury for the renowned desert festival.

MASSIVart CEO & Founding Partner, Philippe Demers, was invited to be a part of the Burning Man Arts global grants committee for the renowned festival that takes place annually in the desert of Nevada, USA. Dedicated to funding artistic projects that are inspiring, interactive, accessible and most importantly, community-driven, the program funds various projects that become part of the festival and beyond. The arts grants offers up to $10,000 USD per project and has contributed over $750,000 USD to date, funding in total more than 160 projects from over 25 different countries.

The selection committee is comprised of nine members with various creative backgrounds. Having a cultural ​expert from Montreal (Canada) at the jury table for a​ global ​event of this size shines a spotlight on the country’s influence and expertise in the arts.

For over ten years, Philippe has been a part of the global cultural and artistic scene and looks forward to contributing to the development of these high-caliber artistic projects. “I am very happy to be able to participate in the selection of artists that will be receiving a grant. Supporting creators in their artistic process contributes not only to their growth, but also to the development of the artistic and cultural scene by making it more accessible. Platforms such as Burning Man also enables international discussion and makes it possible for relationships to form between people, cultures and nations.

Philippe is deeply passionate and committed to the Montreal and international cultural community and through his experiences in cultural management and artistic production he continues to demonstrate his creativity and leadership skills whether in Canada or abroad. Demers also founded Chromatic, a non-profit festival aimed at promoting artistic entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation in Montréal. Prior to the Burning Man Arts global grants jury, Philippe was a part of other like-minded committees such as South x Southwest (SXSW) festival that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries from 2016 to 2017 and the Printemps Numérique, a non-profit organisation whose primary mission is to boost digital creation and creativity through various local activities from 2013 to 2015 as an art consultant and curator for both platforms.