Mobile Arts Truck carries pop-up exhibitions in Montreal districts throughout the summer

If you see this zebra-striped truck walking through Montreal this summer, don’t expect it to serve a gourmet poutine or a soft-service cone.

While the truck looks similar to a food truck, it is actually a free mobile art gallery and a studio created by Verticale, an artist-run center in Laval.

Throughout the summer, the truck, called the Villa, makes stops in almost every district of Montreal, Laval and other places.

Stops are not announced in advance to prevent a crowd from gathering due to the pandemic. The only way to find her is to keep her eyes open.

Charlotte Penaccio-Letendre, artistic director of Verticale, told CBC’s All in one weekend that the truck is like a transformer.

“It’s a custom food truck-type vehicle to accommodate artists and citizens,” he said. “It works like a studio and a small art gallery … The exhibition unfolds in and out of the truck.”

Villa will run twice a week until the end of September, bringing exhibitions and artists directly to the public.

“It’s a much more informal way to interact with works of art. It’s less institutionalized than a museum space or even commercial galleries,” Penaccio-Letendre said.

Artists accompany the truck to its emerging locations to facilitate and answer questions about the facilities. (Christian Bujold / Vertical)

The truck features the work of five artists who have been part of Verticale’s training for the past two years, including a virtual reality piece, a video and a large textile sculpture that people can manipulate.

He said many people, often families and children, are encountering media arts for the first time.

When the truck climbs into their corner, they have the chance to experience virtual reality installations, soft sculptures, and visual or performance arts on their own block.

An artist and two performers attend the pop-ups to facilitate and answer questions.

LISTENING Charlotte Penaccio-Letendre explains how the Villa truck project works:

All in one weekend9:03Stay tuned for a zebra-striped mobile art truck for Montreal this summer

A black and white striped vehicle that looks like a food truck is really offering cultural food this summer. Villa, a project run by the Laval-based Verticale Art Center, makes unexpected stops in the Montreal area. Charlotte Panaccio-Letendre, general and artistic director of the center, explains the goal of bringing multimedia art to people. 9:03

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