Publié le 29-07-2013
By Rebecca Ugolini
There’s nothing more boring than a bare wall. Whether it’s on the street or in your own living room, a naked wall provides a place for self-expression, a place to exercise your own aesthetic freedom. For a few years now, local silkscreening company Station 16 has been helping Montrealers make art, sell art, and buy art—all from their one-stop-shop printing factory in the Mile-End.
Now that they’ve added a beautiful new gallery and boutique space to their turf, and they just celebrated with a BBQ and Tava vernissage, DÉCOVER thought it was time to sit down with Station 16 for a chat about art, printing, and the Montreal arts scene.
Meet Adam Vieira from Station 16. He’s a printer, businessman, arts enthusiast, and an artist himself. Adam joined forces with Station 16’s textile-printing business a few years back, and added art prints to the company’s repertoire. Here’s what he had to say.
Rebecca Ugolini: Congratulations on the new space. For those who don’t know, can you explain why you thought to incorporate art prints into Station 16’s business model?
Adam Vieira: I had met Carlo De Luca, the owner, a few years ago. At that time, Station 16 was printing apparel and products for some pretty big fashion brands, and still does, like Crooks & Castles, Le Chateau, and Reebok. I was doing my own screenprinted posters at the time, and joining forces made sense. Montreal has such a rich artistic community and I felt that it wasn’t being shown to the public as much as it should have been. So it was a way to get artists who don’t necessarily show in galleries to get exposure and to sell prints.
RU: Well, that’s it. A print can get someone who doesn’t necessarily buy originals, and might find galleries a bit intimidating, to find their way into the art world, right?
AV: Exactly, prints work from both perspectives, for fine art collectors and for people just starting out. It’s an interesting process for the artists, too, because we allow them to take on projects without putting any investment in right off the bat. We’ll split the profits halfway afterward.
RU: Let’s talk a little bit about the prints themselves. Some are really complex, like your latest work with OMEN. It has two layers, with this kind of hidden, translucent skull image. How did that print come about?
AV: OMEN’s latest print it incorporates two images that he’s well-known for into one print, the female face and the skull. He came by the shop and played around with the print in this special section we have reserved for experimental projects. Once we decided what we wanted to do, the process became really involved. That print looks like it only has a few layers, but there are tons of foil layers and lots of scrubbing involved—there’s probably five or six layers in there. The whole thing took about two weeks. But we’re happy and it looks great.
RU: You’re also able to stick with an artist’s concept even when prints aren’t something they really do. Garbage Beauty is a great example. They do calligraphy on everything but paper, but you made it work. How?
AV: When we heard Garbage Beauty would be involved with MURAL, we knew a print was in order, because their calligraphy is beautiful and their messages are always related to Montreal in some way. We wanted to do something that would keep with their concept of re-using old material, writing on used objects. So when they got the idea of using advertising, and ended up getting big ads from the Publicité Sauvage, it was perfect. We cut them up and printed over them, so every person who gets a print only has one piece of the puzzle. They also did a few others on old newspapers, mural ads, and on recycled paper.
RU: Looking around this new space, though, it looks like there are some original pieces for sale, too.
AV: That’s right, right now we have pieces up by artists who were involved in the MURAL public art festival, and at our housewarming BBQ this Friday, we’ll have a section of paintings by Antoine Tavaglione (TAVA). It’s cool because we’re at the end of St. Laurent, where the MURAL festival took place, so we really continued the festival in our own way at the gallery.
RU: That’s interesting. What kind of difference does having this space on St. Laurent make?
AV: Well for starters, there are always people coming into the gallery, people of all ages who are interested in the artwork. Our printing factory is a little far away and there’s always action going on, so it’s harder to show art to people when I’m covered in paint and there are people working everywhere. This space works too because I think that street art and urban art are gaining a lot of public interest, and that aesthetic comes across really well with screenprinting.
RU: You also share your space with LNDMRK and Saint Woods.
AV: And that makes a big difference too, because our offices are all joined together. So there are always new potential clients coming through, not to mention that having the MURAL festival every year will definitely bring more tourism and exposure to our shop and featured artists. It also creates a cool atmosphere for people in the community, something a little different. I think that it’s through creative companies like these that we’re really going to change the arts scene in this city.
RU: What’s next for Station 16?
AV: I would love to make people feel really welcome in the space. Maybe serve coffee, have a lounge area, and be able to sell some t-shirts and merchandise in the space, too. Keep things approachable and a place that people really want to be.
Station 16 is welcoming DÉCOVER for the launch of our 21st issue starting at 5pm on Tuesday, Aughust 6th, until midnight at 3523 St. Laurent. The party is being held in collaboration with Saint Woods and LNDMRK. Entrance is 10$ and comes with a fresh copy of the new mag. For more information visit the event’s Facebook page at