The Centre d’art et de diffusion CLARK is an artist-run centre dedicated to the presentation and production of contemporary art.
CLARK has many entities, both physical and virtual, each with its own function. The two main components of the Centre are its Gallery, comprised of two exhibition spaces where over 10 exhibitions are presented each year, as well as special projects, an audio listening station, screenings and performance events; and Atelier CLARK, a woodworking shop, the only one of its kind in Montréal.
The Centre also houses a library, as well as offering a residency program and several off-site projects and partnerships.
Proud of its 25 years of artistic dynamism, the Centre d’art et de diffusion CLARK’s global vision is guided by the involvement and creativity of its active members, all in keeping with its history. Guided by a mandate that promotes a balance of production, presentation, and promotion, as well as equity and equality between genders, artistic media and the artists it presents or assists – at any stage of their career – the Centre’s programming is at the forefront of today’s most innovative and risk-taking practices by artists.
In fact, our vision is guided by the community in which we live and work. It is who we work for. Therefore, production, support, presentation, risk, community, education, and collectivity are a just a few of the key words that frame the Centre’s vision, which holds art and artists at the heart of its concerns.
A brief history
Since its beginnings on Clark Street in downtown Montréal in 1988, the organization quickly took its place as an important stage for contemporary creativity in Montréal. In 2001, the Centre was forced to relocate, and a storefront space at 5455 ave. de Gaspé in the neighbourhood of Mile End was selected as the Centre’s next home. Since its relocation, CLARK has become a point of convergence for the art community and for the public it serves.
CLARK is a unique and innovative research laboratory. Over the years, it has become a founding partner with various residency programs from the Conseil des arts de Montréal (curatorial residency in Brooklyn with Residency Unlimited) and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Following its initial mandate, CLARK has put forth numerous projects. Not only artistic-minded, but also community and educational as well. In parallel to its’ programming, it has completed several projects – both here and abroad. Since the early 2000s, CLARK has confirmed its interest in presenting artistic productions it helped initiate on the international scene. Of note are collaborations with Galerie Glassbox, in Paris in 2001, with De Overslad, in Eindhoven, The Netherlands in 2003, and with the Biennale de Pancevo, in Serbia in 2004. These three projects were accompanied by publications in our “Petula” collection, created to complement these international exchanges. In response to our desire to promote art books and books on art, CLARK opened Librairie CLARK in 2012, located within its exhibition space.
We continually strive to diversify our audience. Since 2002, we have offered cultural mediation services for all age groups. We also organized the Ateliers Portes ouvertes in 2007, 2009 and 2011, where over 6000 visitors discovered our neighbourhood’s artists’ studios. CLARK was also the initiating force and main coordinator of Montréal/Brooklyn (2012-2013), a unifying project that brought together sixteen institutions and nearly 40 artists, in a highly successful event both here and in New York. CLARK is also a supporting member in the project to implement a new dissemination and production hub at 5445-5455 ave. de Gaspé. The Centre is currently experiencing unprecedented success and viewership. Its visiting public largely consists of artists and art specialists, but also students, families, and the curious. In short, a very wide-ranging public.