Skip to main content

Stores | Art and Culture

Nurturing and Sharing Our Creative Spirit

At Simons, we believe that art makes the world a more beautiful place and sparks new ideas. Whether through architecture, design, or visual arts, each of our stores is an opportunity for you to learn about an exceptional local artist and for us to share the art we love best.

arts and culture

Each visit is unique

Morphodynamique by Julie Tremblay

Old Quebec

La visite
Pierre Laforest

Commissioned by Peter Simons, La visite celebrates the colourful past of our store in Old Quebec. In 1648, when Quebec was home to a mere 500 people, this was the site of the town's first inn. The aptly named proprietor, Jacques Boisdon, was required to discourage drunkenness, cursing, gambling, and scandals, and to close his establishment during church services and on feast days.

Pierre Laforest used this story as inspiration for a scene that takes us back to the everyday life of Quebec's first residents. A muralist living on Île d'Orléans, Laforest uses a technique similar to that of the Dutch masters of the 17th century.

La visite by Pierre Laforest

Old Quebec

The cupola of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux
Walter crane

This cupola, attributed to Walter Crane and made with Italian glass mosaic tiles, used to adorn Château Bouchart, which was built in the late 19th century by a prosperous industrial family in France. The bright and gilded work depicts the story of two knights competing to win the heart of a princess.

After being restored by two specialists from Italy, the cupola was installed in our Old Quebec store in 2005. It was lovingly dedicated to Carlo and Maria Cusan, and all Italians living in Quebec City, to commemorate their cultural and social contribution to the community.

La coupole de Saint-Amand-les-Eaux by Walter Crane
La fontaine de Tourny by Mathurin Moreau et Alexandre Lambert

Old Quebec

La Fontaine de Tourny
Mathurin Moreau and Alexandre Lambert

To commemorate the founding of Quebec City, the Simons family wanted to give their fellow citizens a gift that would show their love for the city that welcomed their ancestors. Found in a Paris antique store, the Fontaine de Tourny is today installed right in front of Quebec's National Assembly, where it is an exquisite focal point for the parliamentary grounds. This antique urban treasure was created by Mathurin Moreau and Alexandre Lambert, a pair of sculptors renowned throughout Europe in the 19th century. Winner of a gold medal at the 1855 Paris world's fair, the sculpture was cast to celebrate the first water supply system in Bordeaux. After a complete restoration, it was inaugurated in July 2007 to kick off Quebec's 400th anniversary celebrations.

Place Ste-Foy

Bubbling Sea Foam
Pascale Girardin

Located in our Place Ste-Foy store, Bubbling Sea Foam is a mobile that subtly addresses our fundamental relationship with nature. The expansive space in which this mobile gently sways evokes man's relationship with emptiness, the peaceful fluttering of objects in weightlessness, the mild caress of a breeze, and the constant, repetitive movement of waves lapping against sea clay.

Pascale Girardin is a world-renowned ceramicist as well as a designer of art objects and architectural installations.

Envolée d'écume by Pascale Girardin

Galeries de la Capitale

La cime
Giorgia Volpe

La cime represents an inverted landscape composed of wooden branches that are covered in papier-mâché and fabric recycled by Simons. For Giorgia Volpe, a Brazilian artist who immigrated to Quebec, textiles have the particularity of multiplying actions of the past in the present day. By wrapping the fragile and delicate branches that she gathered from nature, the artist aims to highlight certain actions such as caring for, saving, and repairing nature.

As a metaphor for the social fabric, the piece's fabric web calls to mind our different cultural influences and identities and reminds us of the importance of working together.

La cime by Giorgia Volpe
Éclat de joie by Mariette Rousseau-Vermette

Galeries d'Anjou

Éclat de joie
Mariette Rousseau-Vermette

A great pioneer of 20th-century textile art, Mariette Rouseau-Vermette created tapestries that played with volume, relief, and colour. In her projects, she often integrated surprising and unconventional materials for the time period, like fibre optics. Her work can be seen in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan where you'll find her tapestries in many prestigious public and private collections.

At the end of the 1960s, Donald Simons met Mariette Rousseau-Vermette and was captivated by her work in textile art. He purchased a tapestry made entirely of hand-spun wool, entitled Éclat de joie. This tapestry underwent skilled restoration work by the Centre de conservation du Québec. The Simons family is proud to present this piece to the public and in so doing, chronicle a key and effervescent period of the arts in Quebec.

CF Carrefour Laval

Au pied des grumes
Pascale Girardin

Pascale Girardin, recipient of many a prize and bursary, is a creative designer and ceramist known for her many architectural art installations. Using her favourite material, clay, she has created a paean to the substance, paying tribute to its sensitive surface and its incredible memory, which captures the material's spirit and sets its past motion in stone with a final shape that's forged in fire.

Au pied des grumes is a contemplative piece. The analogy of a forest can be seen in the vertical structures that reach powerfully skyward while its staggered silhouettes represent the process of change and evolution over time. Being in a bustling location, this static work of art invites us to stop for a moment and engage in an inner, intuitive dialogue with an object that subtly mirrors our fundamental relationship with nature.

Au pied des grumes by Pascale Girardin
Morphodynamique by Julie Tremblay

Promenades Gatineau

Morphodynamique
Julie Tremblay

Julie Tremblay was born in Quebec City in 1972 and earned a BA in visual arts from Université Laval in 1995. Using industrial and recycled materials, she creates sculptures, installations, and performance art that blend nature and technology. She questions our place on earth and in the universe in hopes of engendering a new perspective on human nature in our environment. A single overarching question underpins her work: what is the nature of nature?

In her sculpture, the artist expresses the study of the relationship between forces, movement, and form. Morphodynamique seems to be in a constant state of flux as it spills from the skylight, drawing the eye to its mobile anchorage. “My sculpture is made of variable-density, spray-painted webs of aluminum. It is inspired by the metamorphic processes that shape living and non-living things as well as the body's movements—and the clothing that flows with them.”

Carrefour de l'Estrie

Au fil d'une vie
Danielle April

Installed at Carrefour de l'Estrie in Sherbrooke, Au fil d'une vie nestles in a scrolled archway. Glass, titanium, and aluminum come together to form sinuous lines that are seemingly weightless, an impression that is reinforced by openings that create a soft, luminous vibration. Although imposing, the work captures the fluidity of a piece of cloth unravelling in the space and creates a subtle effect of sheer guipure lace.

Danielle April is a renowned multidisciplinary artist who has displayed her work in over a hundred exhibitions in Canada and around the world. For Au fil d'une vie, she was inspired by the work of William Morris, an artist of the arts and crafts movement who was known for his love of craftsmanship and the beauty of his plant motifs.

Au fil d'une vie by Danielle April

Downtown Montreal

Solstice
Guido Molinari

A veritable kaleidoscope of light, Molinari's mobile sculpture, Solstice, is a tribute to the rhythm of the seasons. The glass panel installation is over eight metres high and was set up by designer Michel Dallaire. This brilliant installation resides in our St. Catherine Street store in Montreal.

Guido Molinari was a major figure in Canadian contemporary art, a precursor of minimal art, and head of the school of geometric abstraction in Montreal. Throughout his career, he was the recipient of many prestigious awards and garnered international acclaim for his work using contrasting lines, shapes, and colours.

Solstice by Guido Molinari
Pareidolia by Brendan Lee Satish Tang

CF Fairview Pointe Claire

Pareidolia
Brendan Lee Satish Tang

Suspended above the architectural staircase that connects the two floors of our Pointe Claire store are a series of abstract wood and polyurethane cloud sculptures by Brandon Lee Satish Tang. The sculptures depict the phenomenon of pareidolia, a sensory illusion where people see familiar shapes and images in clusters of otherwise random elements. Through the metaphor of cloud computing, the artist explores how our analog selves function in the digital sphere.

Brendan Lee Satish Tang is a Dublin-born Canadian visual artist who specializes in ceramic sculpture. His work deals with identity and blends material and immaterial cultures in a way that simultaneously expresses his love of futuristic technologies and ancient traditions.

Drawn by Desire by Peter von Tiesenhausen

Londonderry Mall

Drawn by Desire
Peter von Tiesenhausen

Impressed by Simons' sustainability initiatives, Alberta artist and activist Peter von Tiesenhausen agreed to his first-ever corporate commission for our location at Londonderry Mall. Drawn by Desire is a 50-foot-long art installation that appears to be an abstract grouping of human figures cut out of aluminum plates suspended from the 2nd floor ceiling. However, when viewed head-on from Simons' first level mall entrance, the 500 carefully positioned plates come together to form a large, single human silhouette that mirrors the individual aluminum figures. Drawn by Desire speaks to perspective and discovery.

Simons Aurora by Philip Beesley

West Edmonton Mall

Simons Aurora
Philip Beesley

Simons Aurora is a hybrid installation that blends sculpture and architecture. The work forms a delicate canopy, an ocean of light that swells and ripples in time with the waves of human life. The installation reveals just what reactive architecture can accomplish as it interacts with the movements of visitors at our West Edmonton Mall location.

Philip Beesley is an architect, practicing sculptor, and digital media artist. He is renowned for his research in industrial design, digital prototyping, biochemical processes, and mechatronic engineering. His award-winning work is recognized the world over.

West Edmonton Mall

Book Photography
Cara Barer

In a world where digital technology has transformed the way we read and learn, Cara Barer questions the future of books through her work. Sculpted, dyed, and then photographed, the books are elevated to works of art by the end of her long metamorphosis.

Cara Barer is a U.S. photographer who lives in Houston, Texas. Her artistic process explores the notions of obsolescence, transformation, and evolution.

Book Photography by Cara Barer
Funhouse by Maya Gohill

The CORE

Funhouse
Maya Gohill

A large three-storey mural brings our store at the Core in Calgary to life and takes us on a magical and multi-coloured journey. Exploring the theme of childlike wonder, artist Maya Gohill has created cute characters in a whimsical home where art and literature take centre stage.

A native of the city, Maya Gohill is known for her captivating, satiric works of art. According to her, life and art are meant to be fun, interesting, and a little bit quirky. She wants the narrative of her paintings to inspire people to ask themselves, “what's the story behind this?”

Bow Tie by Douglas Coupland

Park Royal South

Bow Tie
Douglas Coupland

At the very heart of the Park Royal South store, suspended in midair, two brightly coloured striped cones come together and meet at a nearly imperceptible point. This stunning reference to fashion, culture, and engineering is a sculpture by visual artist, novelist, and designer Douglas Coupland.

Pan-Canadian Project

The National Portrait
Douglas Coupland


The idea behind The National Portrait was to make a crowd-sourced work of art with Canadian participants from coast to coast. Between 2015 and 2017, Coupland visited Halifax, Yellowknife, and Simons store locations in seven different Canadian cities, offering to make 3D busts of interested participants. Composed of hundreds of these 3D busts, The National Portrait is a cross-country portrait of Canadians and a reflection of peoples' identities in the 21st century. The installation was on display at the Ottawa Art Gallery from June 29 to August 19, 2018.

The National Portrait by Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland is a Canadian novelist, designer, and visual artist. He uses his work to explore the notion of culture and the influence of modern technology on the human experience.