Between the concrete jungle and the wild flowers along Van Horne Avenue, 80 iron sculptures have emerged.
They were all planted there by Glen LeMesurier in the space he calls “Le Jardin du Crépuscule.”
“I invest all of my time in this. From the time I wake up, to the time I drop,” LeMesurier says.
Now that the garden is full, he’s moved over to the bike path along des Carrières Street, next to the train tracks.
He spends countless hours upkeeping the art and the area around it.
“I’m maintaining close to 200 works of art in any single day. I need one of those scooters to sling across the city to get at everything,” Le Mesurier says laughing.
The artist has fronted the costs of all the work he’s displayed in the past 25 years, but now, with the rising cost of materials and his rent, he says it’s no longer sustainable.
“It’s starting to financially catch up with me,” LeMesurier admits.
So he’s raising money on GoFundme.
His goal is to raise $10,000 to keep the project going all the way to Masson Street.
It’s something people riding and walking along his sculptures would like to see.
“It’s fun,” says Chantal Charest, a cyclist who just moved to the neighbourhood.
A couple walking a long along the path agreed.
“It’s nice, it’s a touch of colour,” says Matthieu Paugam.
Loren Bettker likes seeing children play with the structures.
“Because it’s kind of interactive, with the chains and things you can turn,” Bettker says, adding she’d like to see more of them. “Having new stuff is always good to see.”
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Virginie Miljours lives in the area as well. She think the city should also support LeMesurier.
“I think it brings soul to the neighbourhood,” she says of his sculptures.
That’s the kind of feedback that keeps LeMesurier going.
“I’m trying to beautify our floating, magical island,” he says.
The area’s city councillor also praised LeMesurier’s work.
“Artists like Glen LeMesurier make a remarkable contribution to the vitality of our city, to the quality of life in our neighbourhoods and to the attractiveness of Montreal. Urban art contributes to making our city an open-air museum, while promoting the sense of belonging of citizens and visitors to the environment,” wrote Marie Plourde in a statement to Global News.
“Mr. LeMesurier not only has an artistic contribution, but also a structuring one in the Mile End district. A park is now dedicated to him,” referring to the Jardin du Crépuscule.
Aware of the many benefits of public art, the city has set up the Bureau d’Art public de Montréal, which is dedicated to the acquisition and promotion of public works of art throughout the city.
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