Art & Faces & the Art of Faces — in Montreal

4 August 2015 — Starting in Toronto’s Union Station.

Where a father cuddles his son as he doodles some music on the “Play Me I’m Yours” piano in the station concourse.

playing a public piano in Union Station, Toronto

It’s a great way to pass the time, while waiting for the train to Montreal — or anywhere else — this holiday Saturday morning. Another way to pass the time: peruse the wall display of works by photographer Edward Burtynsky, one image visible behind the piano.

Clickety-clack, soon enough I’m in Montreal. Main reason: the Centennial celebrations of the incorporation of Dorval Island, my long-ago summertime home. Bonus reason: soak up some art!

Faces seem to dominate.

There is the dragon face …

detail, dragon in Hobbit House display, Windsor Park, Dorval

of the great winged creature guarding the Hobbit House in Windsor Park, Dorval.

Hobbit House, Windsor Park

And that’s just for starters.

I spend Sunday morning downtown, primarily at the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal and its cultured environs.

There’s an anguished Scandinavian face in a film currently on view (sorry, didn’t get the title) …

from film playing in the MBAM


and an Early Classic (200-600 AD) stone mask from the Mexican Central Highlands, guarding the entrance to one of the permanent collections …

Mexican Central Highlands stone mask

and, just around the corner in a different pavilion, Karel Appel’s 1962 Portrait of Sir Herbert Read.

Portrait of Sir Herbert Read, Karl Appel

A bit more wandering, a very refreshing light lunch in the café, and then outside to the Sculpture Garden.

Where I see more faces.

A very small dog face, for example …

Labyrinth, MBAM Sculpture Garden

attached to the dog patiently awaiting the next treat from his owner.

She is doling out the goodies very strategically indeed, timing them to ensure that he follows her footsteps as she navigates Labyrinth, the Nip Paysage installation currently guiding visitors across the Sculpture Garden walkway.

See the little girl, to the left and ahead of the dog? She, too, is weaving her way through the maze.

Then there’s Claudia.

Joe Fafard's cow sculpture, Claudia

No, no, not one of the children. The cow!

Joe Fafard’s lovely bronze cow, wearing three kiddies on her back and the patient look on her face that we associate with cows. (Fafard is Saskatchewan-born. He knows his cows.)

I leave Claudia resting in the grass on the west side of the Sculpture Garden, and cross to the east side, where I contemplate Paulina, taped to a post. I learn some quite intriguing details about Paulina — but nothing at all about her face. Sorry.

appeal on a fence post

Good luck, Jack.

Time to say good-bye to the Musée and to Rue Sherbrooke as well. I angle down to de Maisonneuve, heading for a Metro (subway) station and my return trip to the suburb of Dorval.

I catch one last face over by McGill University.

Um, make that 15 faces. Or more.

The Illuminated Crowd, Raymond Mason

It’s The Illuminated Crowd, says the plaque, a 1985 sculpture by English artist Raymond Mason.

I don’t linger. I have my own date with a crowd, a very special crowd — everybody else attending the Dorval Island celebrations — and that’s what brought me to town. So I’m off to the island.

Next post, I’ll take you there with me.






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  1. Wonderful trip and Montreal is a favourite city of mine…and train trip is also wonderful 😀 lovely post again!

    • My coach was very quiet on the way home — full of happy but exhausted university students, heading back to Kingston & Toronto after a 3-day outdoor music festival in Montreal!


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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

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