Carolina Echeverria is an NDG artist whose large, colourful paintings are sold worldwide. In Montreal, her work can be purchased at Métèque, a store-front gallery in NDG that she co-owns with another local artist. Métèque also offers workshops and events, everything from beadwork to meditation, from craft shows to healthy living lectures.
5442 Côte Saint Luc Rd,
The Local Artist
Carolina Echeverria loves the idea of being the local artist.
“There’s the butcher and the shoemaker. I’d like to be known as the local artist,” she says. “We need artists. When you think about it, there’s an artist behind every beautiful thing in your life.”
Echeverria is a Canadian artist whose large, flamboyant paintings are
shown in museums and held in private collections around the world. Originally
from Chile, Echeverria has been living in NDG for 20 years.
Before opening Métèque Gallery, a storefront gallery in NDG in 2017, Carolina would go to her studio, paint in solitude, then sell her
work through an international art dealer.
She had little contact with the local community.
Then, on various trips to Europe, she started seeing artist-run galleries pop up. It gave her the idea to do the same thing in Montreal.
“More and more, the artist’s studio is the gallery. You can go to an actual studio and have a conversation with an artist.”
Carolina found a partner, Agata Kozanecka, the two women found the perfect location, an abandoned butcher shop on Cote Saint Luc road, and the opening date was set: March 30, 2017.
It almost didn’t happen.
Life’s Twists and Turns
A family tragedy happened just weeks before the opening. Overwhelmed, Echeverria seriously considered abandoning the project. But then the community stepped in.
A man dropped off a box of pretty tea cups and crystal glasses.
His mother had passed away, and his dad was moving into a senior’s residence down the street. The man’s parents were art lovers, and he wanted to donate his parent’s treasures to the gallery.
Someone offered to build a free website for the gallery. An old friend
donated lighting. The cafe owner next door came over to help out, as well as
“many other nice people we didn’t even know,” Echeverria recalls.
Métèque wasn’t even open yet, but it was creating something she’d
longed for since moving to Canada: a sense of community.
“As an immigrant, you lose your extended family. You are the only one. It’s
Since opening the gallery, Carolina feels right at home in NDG. “Now, when I go from my home to the gallery, I can say “Hi” to 20 people on along the way – it’s so nice.”
Métèque Gallery is a working artist’s space that is open to the public. People are encouraged to drop by, and many do, including seniors from the old folk’s home down the street.
Abe, whose son donated the pretty teacups to the gallery for the opening, is a frequent visitor. Abe sits in his very own chair, “Abe’s Chair,” which sits in a place of honour by the front door.
Carolina wants more seniors to drop by Métèque. She’s planning for a Mom and Me, Seniors Edition program in the near future, where people caring for their elderly mothers can come do activities together at the gallery.
“Besides Métèque, there are so few places for people to go in NDG. There are lots of restaurants and lots of yoga- but very few places for people to meet and just be inspired,” Echeverria says.
Echeverria’s partner at Métèque gallery is Agata Kozanecka, a sculptor and community activist.
When Agata isn’t working on a sculpture in the basement, she’s at the large glass table at the back of the gallery making jewellery. She and Echeverria have a created a line of up-cycled jewellery that they sell in the gallery. The women chat, drink coffee and listen to CBC radio as they work.
The jewellery sells well. It’s a chance to bring a piece of the warm,
brightly coloured gallery home without investing thousands of dollars on a
Workshops and Events at Métèque
Métèque is a working gallery - you can walk right in and see the two women at work - but it is also an exhibition space for other artists, a workshop site, and an event space for gatherings, discussions, and community events.
So, drop by Métèque gallery the next time you are in the neighbourhood. There’s something for everyone, including - if you’re lucky - tea in a pretty china cup with Carolina and Agata.
Mindfulness in Everyday Life (6 Week Meditation Workshop): September 26 – October 31, 6:30-8:30 PM
B.Y.O.B - Draw & Sip: Mon, 2 October 2017, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
NDG Salon D’Art: October 5-19 (Call for artists)
Etre en santé pour l’automne: With Christine Angelard, Sunday, October 22 at 9 AM - 4 PM
Sacred Gardening Lecture: Sunday, October 29 at 2 PM - 5 PM
Fait Ici NDG Craft Show - Fall Edition: November 4-5