Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Optica Art Gallery
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
Optica Art Gallery was officially founded in January 1972 by William E. Ewing in response to pressure from artists who convinced him of the need for a centre for the public exhibition of photography. The gallery was initially called les Galeries photographiques du Centaur; it was housed in the Centaur Theatre in Old Montreal. Its mandate was the exhibition of contemporary art.
After renovations in 1974, the gallery changed its name to Optica. Although the gallery originally featured only photographic exhibitions, it was not long before the gallery welcomed, with the Camerart exhibition (December 1974-January 1975), other forms of art. It would now consecrate half of its activities to photography, and the other half to other currents in art.
During the 1976-1977 season, internal policy changes meant that the gallery opened its doors to conceptual art, performance, painting, and sculpture. In 1977, the gallery added to its name A Centre for Contemporary Art. At the same time, its programming was modified and an experimental cinema section was added.
The centre is managed by a board of directors, most of whose 15 members come from the cultural milieu. They are encouraged to take an active part in the gallery's activities and to get involved in the associations to which the gallery belongs, including the Regroupement des centres d'artistes autogérés du Québec and la Société des Musées Québécois.
The gallery is subsidized by the Canada Council, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and le Conseil des arts de Montréal.
Functions, occupations and activities
Mandates/sources of authority
Access points area
Subject access points
Place access points
Authority record identifier
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Created by the Records Management and Archives Department 2011-04. Input by Concordia University Libraries 2015-07-23.