From exploration to empowerment - how creativity is about rights and responsibilities


In Part I of our photo essay on the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, we showcase some of the diverse art works and perspectives that reflect the power of creativity.

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 215 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

Museums and art galleries play an important role in protecting and promoting culture, crafts, and design. Creativity and freedom of expression are basic rights, but are unfortunately coming under threat in different parts of the world due to the rise of extremism.

Rather than resorting to self-censorship, cultural institutions have all the more responsibility to rise to the occasion, and speak in favour of dialogue, debate, and open flow of ideas around the world.

The city of Montreal is known as a major cultural hub; see my earlier essays on the Mural Festival (2017, 2016, 2015) and the Montreal International Jazz Festival (2017, 2016, 2015). The city’s largest museum is also regarded as among the most prominent in Canada: the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Described as a “bold, innovative and caring museum,” its current exhibitions span everything from tribal and modern art to social commentary and cultural critiques.

The exhibits showcase a wide range of art from around the world, and raise questions about what constitutes art, how it has been defined by different cultures, what can be done to promote and re-interpret art from formerly colonised nations, and how modernity interacts with tradition.

The award-winning director and chief curator of the museum, Nathalie Bondil, joins us in an interview in Part II of this photo essay. With a collection of 43,000 art works, the museum received over 1.3 million visitors last year. Respected as a humanist and an icon of Montreal’s art scene, Nathalie regards creativity as a right and responsibility, along with a business opportunity for artists and sponsors.

Now what have you done today to interpret our world through art, and keep yourself open to influences even though you may not agree with some of them?

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