In 1986, a group of young and driven visual artists from Lévis got together, and the Regart Collective was born. Concerned to develop activities in its community and to promote art in an innovative way, the Collective chose from its inception to present occasional events in visual arts, in disused places or unusual public spaces not traditionally devolved to culture either in Lévis or in Quebec City.
The Collective brings together visual artists and poets whose researches and practices favor the possible connections between poetic and visual expression. Denis Dallaire, one of the founding members of the group, coordinates and directs the activities.
The year 1991 is a decisive step for the Collective: it now has a permanent exhibition space in Old Lévis and offers programming on an annual basis in galleries and public spaces. As a result, Regart becomes the only professional visual arts venue in Chaudière-Appalaches.
THE MODERN ERA
In 2009, Regart chose to reflect deeply on its vocation, its situation and its development plan for the years to come. This will lead to a better-defined definition of its mandate and mission, as well as a gradual restructuring of its organization. A « relocation committee » is set up to find a suitable place for the future activities of the center. The team in place, the Board of Directors, the members of Regart, all get involved in this instance and participate in the development of the plans of the current gallery and artists’ studios.
In July 2011, Regart moved into a new building located on Saint-Laurent Street, at the exit of the ferry. This move marks both a renewal of momentum for the center and celebrates its 25 years of existence. With the new location, the center sees an increase in attendance and interest in its activities. In November 2012, two of the exhibits presented by the center were nominated for the Arts and Culture Award of Excellence, in the Videre Creation Award in Visual Arts category. Indeed, the exhibition of Virginia Mercure, XYZ, presented at Regart in November 2011, won the award.
In 2014, Regart hires a new director whose mandate is, among other things, to undertake an in-depth reflection on the artistic orientations of the center. This reflection majorly impacts the annual programming of the years to come with themes like Qu’en est-il de la sculpture? (2015-2016), Qu’en est-il des expositions collectives? (2016-2017), Quelle est la place des diversités dans le centre d’artistes? (2017-2018) et Collaboration (2018-2020).
The development of ambitious programming, marked by artistic risks and questions about the current issues of our societies have allowed Regart to position itself more advantageously in its immediate environment, to contribute to the strengthening of Lévis as a cultural center, particularly in relation to the cultural offer of Quebec City and, finally, to stand out at both Quebec and Canadian level.
More recently, new approaches to cultural management have also been implemented by the center, like the creation of a showcase space dedicated to members-artists of Regart; Collaborative dissemination activities with other events, festivals and multidisciplinary organizations in visual arts, music and contemporary dance; the realization of events in public space, which have received a noticed welcome; the development of a structuring youth mediation program that promotes public artworks in the cross-section sector; and lastly, a re-evaluation of the summer activities programming in relationship to the business of the ferry area, which has transformed Regart.
This search for excellence in the Center’s annual programming is recognized in the cultural milieu. The ever-increasing quality of the artist records received is proof of this. This is an immense source of pride for the Regart team and all its members.