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When thinking about figurative art in Quebec, some names naturally come to mind.
Great artists like Suzor-Côté, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Leo Ayotte, Stanley Cosgrove and many others.
We also think of the teachers who trained our artists. Jacques de Tonnancour, Frederic Back, Albert Dumouchel, just to name a few.
What we often forget is the contribution of the art dealers who have been passionate about promoting our great artists and educating the public in Quebec.
We are talking about the Walter and Gertrude Klinkhoff, the Max Stern or the “Art Association of Montreal” which would become the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal.
At this pantheon of art, it is appropriate to add a name that, although less prestigious than some of these great historical names, has had a significant and undeniable impact on the distribution of figurative art in Quebec for more than five decades.
Of course, we are talking about the Beauchamp family and, particularly, Bonnitta, who has been at the head of the Balcon d’art since the 1980s.
The involvement and love of the art of this great lady goes back to her youth.
The young Bonnitta Mark, barely fourteen, devoted her first paycheck to the purchase of a pair of shoes, but most importantly, an art book!
Born in western Canada, Bonnitta’s childhood was marked by open spaces, nature, animals and breathtaking views.
At just 17 years old, she decided to study nursing, a profession that at the time offered great opportunities for the future and a certain panache that pleased this ambitious young woman.
Shortly after graduating, she met the love of her life, the handsome Denis Beauchamp who also had a passion for art and artists. In the years that followed, he would create a new profession in Quebec: that of artists’ agent. He had a simple mission: to make Quebec artists known throughout Canada.
Bonnitta, as much a lover of art, got involved in her husband’s project and discovered a passion for the promotion of art.
From the beginning of the 80s, she began to work to become a gallerist.
In 1985, along with her friend Sylvie Soulières and Denis’ unwavering support, she bought a small art gallery in Saint-Lambert. A few years later, when its space quickly became insufficient, le Balcon d’art moved to its current premises on Notre Dame avenue.
Soon, Bonnitta became “mother superior ” to figurative artists in the Montreal area. The artists know her, love her and trust her with their career with amazing results!
The ’90s were a whirlwind of exhibitions and events that gained resounding success and the gallery rapidly reached a national and even international level of recognition.
Those were the times of the mega-vernissages where fans hurried to acquire works by Bertounesque, Lecor, Hudon, Der and many others. During all this time and despite the turmoil created by such enthusiasm, Bonnitta remained the one who always takes time to know her customers whom, most of the time, became friends.
Starting in the early2000s, the illness and then the death of her dear Denis forces Bonnitta to take a more important role at Multi Art, the agency founded in 1974 which represented, at the time, more than thirty artists. She is assisted in that task by her daughter Natalie, who demonstrates the same passion as her parents!
Le Balcon d’art, meanwhile, became the responsibility of the youngest daughter, Fay, who also quickly finds herself a key figure in the art world in Quebec. All the while, of course, Bonnitta kept a watchful, loving eye on her baby, the gallery and was always available for her clients and friends.
Following some health problems, Bonnitta decided to take a well-deserved retirement in 2017.
An active woman, she does not intend to remain idle and is busy with different projects.
Today, in 2018, time seems right to move to new environment and she decided to settle in a smaller space.
She made the hard choice to divest herself of a large part of the collection of works of art accumulated during the last fifty years.
We offer here a comprehensive catalog of this collection.
Wish Bonnitta many years of happiness and health and keep a place for le Balcon d’art in her heart!
Come to admire the works accumulated for more than fifty years and raise your glass to this great lady of the art world in Quebec.
Join us Wednesday, November 28, 2018, starting at 6:00 pm to enjoy this opportunity to see and get a little piece of our pictorial history.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 from 18:00
WHERE : Le Balcon d’art, 650 Ave. Notre Dame, Saint-Lambert, QC J4P 2L1 450-466-8920
Voir le catalogue en ligne :