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  • Writer's pictureJohn Pohl

2020: The Covid year

Some bad, but a lot of good this year. Covid cancelled MTL en Arts, the downtown Montreal street festival where I was so successful in 2019, at least in terms of the number of people who saw my paintings.

Then I learned that another annual event was cancelled, not by Covid but by the retirement of the main organizer. That was the Mount Royal Cemetery exhibition.

Then, in May, the gallery in the building where my studio is located (4710 Saint- Ambroise St. in Montreal), postponed an annual exhibition that I was making a painting for. The exhibition took place, but mostly online. The show is mounted in the gallery, but can be seen only from doors at either end. (My entry, called Altered Stakes, is shown below. The idea was how art and music might win the day).

I took the downtime afforded by Covid to do the application process for a professional membership in Regroupment des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV). In June, I learned that I was accepted -- I am now a professional artist!

But even more exciting was that Benjamin Klein, curator for McBride Contemporain ( invited me to participate with about 80 other artists in an exhibition titled Salon des refusés, a reference to the Impressionist painters who in 1862 organized their own exhibition after being rejected by the official salon.

Altered Stakes is made from transfers of photocopies of some of my life drawings onto a 24- inch-square wood panel and painted in acrylic.

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