On entering Hangar 16, the space for the PAPIER 16 fair of art works on paper, one could immediately sense success. That and the lovely scent of hyacinths, coupled with lilies and tulips placed around the warehouse-type space complete with rusty riveted columns. Guests at the opening cocktail, whilst frustrated at parking challenges, were delighted to be greeted with champagne and the informative PAPIER catalogue. No coats to be checked on the warm night as le beau monde looked over affordable art ($150 – $5,000)

Bill Clarke, Christine Blais, Émilie Grandmont Bérubé, Karine Vanasse, Éric Bujold

Bill Clarke, Christine Blais, Émilie Grandmont Bérubé, Karine Vanasse, Éric Bujold (Photo credit: Jean-Michel Seminaro)

Some wandered over to sample a tailor-made cocktail. Romeo gin – made in Quebec (who knew?!) – was served with lavendar, cucumber, dill and juniper berries. Many women said ‘yes to the dress’ and wore spring styles. Some donned bright prints, others the traditional LBD. Ignoring the cobblestone walking challenges in the Old Port, many sported sexy stilettos. Aisles were well-marked à la Art Basel events, and sales were brisk. And what’s not to like?  At Art Mûr, fabulous sharp edge prints by Claude Tousignant were admired as was the fun work by Nadia Myre, artist-in-residence at the McCord Museum.

Nadia Myre, Art Mûr

Nadia Myre, Art Mûr

Galerie D’Este showed Véronique La Perrière exquisitely subtle drawings and Marigold Santos’ surreal-y watercolours.

Véronique Perrin M.Galerie D'Este

Véronique La Perrière (Galerie D’Este)

At Hugues Charbonneau along with other artists the gallery featured a paper installation by Yannick Desranleau, who was just awarded the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art the very day of the PAPIER premiere.

Daniel (Galerie Hugues Charbonneau)

Gallerist Hugues Charbonneau with work by Yannick Desranleau and Chloe Lum

Stikki Peaches caused a stir at Station 16’s area, along with sweet maple syrups by WhatIsAdam(WIA). And Kent Monkman’s work at Pierre-François Ouellette’s booth was a hit along with supremely subtle works by Roberto Pellegrinuzzi.

Roberto Pellegrinuzzi. Empreinte 1, 1999.

Roberto Pellegrinuzzi. Empreinte 1, 1999.(Art Mûr)

Fehley Fine Arts, from Toronto, showed outstanding graphic Inuit prints. Galerie Simon Blais presented the playful photos of Marie-Éve Beaulieu, recipient of the 2013 Sylvie and Simon Blais Award for Emerging Visual Artists.

Marie-Éve Beaulieu.

Marie-Éve Beaulieu. (Galerie Simon Blais)

Angela Grauerholz’ Privation Series at Gallery Olga Korper (Toronto) rendered burnt pages beautifully, culling her series from books after a fire. Galerie Youn had a fun graphite and aquarelle work, accessorized with sequins, by Toni Hamel.

Galerie Yuon

Galerie Youn

 Roger Bellemare et Christian Lambert showed a powerful photo by Jocelyne Alloucherie. Artist Daniel Erban’s strong statements were at Galerie Robert Poulin.

(Galerie Robert Poulin)

(Galerie Robert Poulin)

Battat Contemporary showed an ink drawing by Jen Aitken. Parisian Laundry, a dreamy photo by Celia Perrin Sidarous. 

Celia Perrin Sidarous. Nuit (2015). (Parisian Laundry)

Celia Perrin Sidarous. Nuit (2015). (Parisian Laundry)

Most fun? A huge, foldable paper ice cream cone hanging high above at Galerie GraffIceCreamWApart from looking at art – and buying quickly in the melée of collectors – there was the fun of people watching. Ogilvy’s vp Steeve Lapierre was noted, as was always elegant éminence grise Jean-Claude Poitras, fashion designer Denis Gagnon, founder and director of the CCA Phyllis Lambert; owner and director of 1700 La Poste Isabelle de Mévius; collectors Dagmar Guttmann and Gwen Nacos, there with her son Tom; Bernard Levy, editor Vie des Arts; and PAPIER 16 supporters, honorary president Éric Bujold, president National Bank, Private Wealth 1859, along with spokesperson Quebec actress Karine Vanasse, and ambassador Bill Clarke, executive editor Magenta magazine, and PAPIER 16 execs Émilie Grandmont Bérubé, chair of AGAC (Association des galeries d’art contemporain) which organizes the annual event, and Christine Blais, director AGAC. _Tables-RondsWTours and talks go on all week-end. It’s free.  GO!  Run. Don’t walk, as there is great affordable art that is selling quickly.