In June 2018, The first Soulƒood pop up debuted in Hudson, Quebec at 2 Barn Owls, a stunning, renovated barn transformed into an artist gallery. A small village located 45 minutes outside of Montreal, Hudson was a perfect place to launch our first pop up exhibition. The town overlooks a beautiful lake and faraway mountains. Visitors to the show had the unique opportunity to meet several of our artists from Montreal and Hudson. We had a special visit from Toronto sculptor Theo Willemse who traveled to Hudson to give a live demonstration of his sculpture techniques in the summer sun. Montreal artist Marc Kandalaft projected his photographic work and narrated his journey from Lebanon, via Paris to Montreal. Local artist Sonia Haberstich gave a live demonstration of her watercolor on paper technique.
The exhibition featured original works of art as well as high-end archival reproductions by 17 different artists from Canada and France: Pierre Choinière, Theo Willemse, Kristin Sjaarda, Joël Roche, Shelley Savor, Louis Au, Suzanne Paquette, Franck Turzo, Giovanni Pittalis, Véronique Roche, Barkas, Marc Kandalaft, Kathleen Finlay, Sonia Haberstich, Geza Kokai, Naty Howard and Robert Hamilton. It was especially rewarding to have several of our artists meet at our opening event. The energy that is created when a room is filled with creative minds is palpable. The instant friendships that resulted from this meeting were sincerely felt.
One of the most rewarding moments of The Soulƒood happened when Hermona Kuluberlan came in unexpectedly to the barn. A young woman in her twenties, she had left her hometown of Ottawa ten days before on foot and was walking to Montreal where she eventually arrived two days later. She was training her mind and body for an eventual pilgrimage to the Santiago de Compostela road in Spain. She was carrying her backpack and was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and still, she was moved to make her first purchase as a young art collector with a photograph by Kathleen Finlay. We shipped it to her Ottawa address after the show.
Our very first sale was a reproduction of Joël Roche's dry point etching Exubérance Végétative. This was particularly meaningful because Joël Roche passed away in 2014 in Paris and his widow has given The Soulƒood permission to sell reproductions of his work in Canada to bring his mesmerizing work to a new audience. The success of the first pop up created the momentum which led to our second pop up in Toronto in November 2018 and to our future pop up in Paris in June 2019. If all goes well, we have plans to go keep traveling to exciting new places and connecting The Soulƒood to new art lovers and collectors. Stay tuned .
Written and photographed by Kathleen Finlay