The McClure Gallery of the VAC is an exhibition venue for professional artists, community based artists and young emerging artists. The gallery serves a strong educational function in the community, encouraging public appreciation of contemporary art through seminars, lectures and tours. Accompanying exhibition catalogues are published when funding is available.
While the gallery mostly serves the Montreal and Quebec visual arts community, it welcomes submissions from further afield. We also welcome proposals from guest curators, through our Curatorial Programme.
The gallery has a long history in the community. In 1974, with the generous financial support of the National Galleries the Visual Arts Centre Gallery was established. Professor Christopher Gabriel Lacki, a member of the Centre’s Board of Directors and then curator of the Sir George Williams University Gallery was our first gallery Director and Curator. In 1991, the gallery was renamed the McClure Gallery in honour of Virginia McClure’s long time involvement with and support of the Visual Arts Centre.
Since 1998, the McClure Gallery has assumed a more prominent role at the Centre. While a portion of the ground floor already served as an exhibition space, in 1998 the gallery underwent significant renovations, nearly doubling its floor space. In 2002 it inaugurated its Curatorial Program designed to support unique and innovative projects with invited guest curators. Also in 2002, through grants from government art councils, we began to host touring exhibitions, publish exhibition catalogues and offer artists’ fees.
In 2004, the VAC introduced a Publication Programme whose main objective is to provide accompanying catalogues for gallery exhibitions. We work closely with artists, invited curators as well as other galleries or institutions to provide a lasting documentation of the exhibition along with critical texts. All books/catalogues are bilingual and, when applicable, are distributed by ABC Art Books Canada both in Canada and internationally.