Tuesday was a field day for l’Affichiste!
We had the immense pleasure of visiting Mr. Charles Vien at the school he directs, École Secondaire de Mont-Royal. What on earth does a vintage poster gallery have to do with a high school, you ask? Well, it just so happens that this particular director at this particular school has decided to fill the walls of his establishment with art, including many posters from your very own l’Affichiste!
The posters can be found in every corner of the place from the hallways to the library by way of the science lab and staff offices. It is truly a sight for sore eyes for any poster lover.
Born into a family of six, Charles Vien developed a taste for the arts from a young age through pictures in the dictionary and comic books. During the past decade, he has made sure the walls of his school translate this.
One of his main inspirations is Art Everywhere, a British initiative aiming to turn the UK streets into open-air galleries, for everyone to enjoy. In the words of the project’s initiator, Richard Reed: “There is something so nourishing, exciting and surprising in seeing art in places you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see it.”
After a warm greeting, Charles guided us through the hallways for a bit of show and tell, giving us passionate explanations about each piece in the school’s art collection, from wood sculptures to historic photographs. For him, collecting and displaying art is just part of what it means to take good care of his École. “Les belles choses entrainent de nouvelles idées” he declares as we explore the building, introducing us to everyone we run into with gusto (thus making us feel like A-list celebrities; 15 minutes of fame!). The posters are used to brighten up the place, spark interest and curiosity, and even to teach (amongst other things, they come in handy when teaching students about the different art movements that have occurred throughout the ages).
Throughout the past few years, l’Affichiste has taken pride in supplying the high school with its poster fix. The collection includes vintage as well as contemporary, covering a hundred years of poster art and is a diverse as the student body and staff:
We are grateful to have had the chance to get a glimpse of what happens when teachers and school administrators put their heart and soul into creating a beautiful and inspiring learning environment!
Of course, we know schools are on a budget and to encourage their future poster endeavours, l’Affichiste is sticking to its incentive: any educator who comes into the gallery to buy art for their school or institution will, from now on, be entitled to a 10% discount on any poster(s) they buy for that institution.
We walked (all right, we drove, it’s minus a million degrees in Montreal) away inspired and optimistic. Thank you Charles, we commend you!