• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Rigaud’s history captured in work of art


Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. flanked by local artists Richard Caplette (left) and Daniel Guindon (right), creators of the artwork displayed in the new Town Hall’s main lobby.

The Town of Rigaud unveiled the artwork displayed in the lobby of its new town hall September 29 and the creation of artists Richard Caplette and Daniel Guindon incorporates a number of elements that represent the town’s many cultural facets and history.

The overall description of the artwork issued by the town states that the nests made by the diverse avian fauna of the area served as the starting point for the creative process. The circular patterns that adorn the artwork are indeed reminiscent of birds’ nests and also serve to represent the idea of home for both avian wildlife and the residents.

The most prominent feature of the artwork is the wooden lath structure that serves as the background for all the other elements of the piece. It stands over two storeys high and is meant to represent the first great Wharf of Rigaud’s Seigneury. The other main elements of the piece include a digital clock imbedded in a metallic airplane wing that represents, among other things, a Quebecer airman from WWII who was honored by Rigaud’s twin city of Courseulles-sur-Mer in France.

The artwork is the result of a cooperative project between the Town of Rigaud, the Fondation André-Daoust jumelage Québec-France, the Conseil des arts et de la culture de Vaudreuil-Soulanges and various other Rigaud groups and stakeholders.

“When we receive a governmental grant, it’s not necessarily the council that decides how things go. Fortunately, in this case, we did not get a grant from the government. So, the municipal council could take all the decisions, which accelerated the process,” Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. said. “We worked hard to involve as many stakeholders as possible. The Fondation André-Daoust and the Conseil des arts et de la culture de Vaudreuil-Soulanges contributed financially. Everyone helped; everyone was consulted.”

“We salute the Town of Rigaud that elected to give art its rightful place in its new town hall. By calling upon local Vaudreuil-Soulanges artists to create the piece, by selecting a project that respected the 4R principles – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover – and by involving its residents in the creative process, the Town of Rigaud shows its leadership position in the field of maintaining a sustainable culture,” Karina De Nobriga of the Conseil des arts et de la culture de Vaudreuil-Soulanges said.

“The artwork is also like a page out of history,” Caplette commented. “It references Rigaud and Courseulles-sur-Mer, and two Quebec war heroes who landed on the beach of Courseulles-sur-Mer in Normandy.”

“We are all different. Art comes from the heart, the mind, experience, the present and the past. We can all perceive it differently. Therefore, it is up to you to decide what you see,” Guindon added.

The artwork also incorporates a number of other local elements, including seeds for the range of produce grown in Rigaud and logos from the various social organizations working in the town.