Art integrated into schools forms almost one-fifth of Montréal’s entire public art collection. The artwork located on Commission scolaire de Montréal properties are a significant part of this registry.
The Commission scolaire de Montréal is the largest school board in Québec, with more than 210 schools and administration buildings. While this art is found at schools throughout Montréal, the architectural and artistic heritage of these buildings remains largely unknown. That is why, with a view to increasing recognition, developing knowledge and creating analytical tools, in 2000 the CSDM launched a research project with the Université de Montréal architecture school to document and publicize its educational architectural heritage. Results include an architectural heritage inventory, heritage studies, and publications including an intervention handbook focusing on conservation.
In 2011, a focus on public art led to surveys and studies of its artwork, both exterior and interior. Research has identified 172 artworks, of which 93 are connected to artists or architects, created from the 1950s until today . The diversity of the art is remarkable in terms of the categories of work presented (sculptures and reliefs, glasswork, mosaics, murals, etc.), in their relationships with the space or building where they are installed, as well as in the context of their commissioning. The collection continues to grow, thanks to the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications’s policy to integrate art into architecture—known as the 1% Policy.
In 2016, an initial group was selected to be added to the Art public Montréal dissemination platform. All these pieces are installed outside, visible from the street and therefore accessible at all times. This collection presents the evolution of visual art practice in many forms. It is important that the artwork in the school board’s collection become better known because the pieces help enrich many dimensions of cultural life in the school setting.
To view the collection : https://artpublicmontreal.ca/en/partner/csdm/
 Source: DEOM, Claudine (2015). «L’inventaire des oeuvres d’art de la Commission scolaire de Montréal : un outil pour la conservation du patrimoine», ARQ Architecture-Québec vol. 172, p. 10.
© Évolution, Pierre Leblanc (1983) – Crédit photo : Danielle Doucet (2017)