In 1993, enchanted by the desire to showcase in a production context, artists from the atelier L’Oreille coupée founded LOBE. In those days, a 200 square foot has been taken off within the shared working space of the following artists: Marie-Josée Beaubien, Édith Bergeron, Carl Bouchard, Claudine Cotton, Patrice Duchesne, Madeleine Doré, Gérald Ouellet. During LOBE’s first five years, the activities were entirely run, supported and funded by themselves.
Friendly, the newborn LOBE grows quickly into a venue renowned for its hospitality and the singularity of the proposed project. Under-represented, perhaps avant-garde, emerging practices found their place at the heart of a creation studio. It becomes an unprecedented sharing space. Encouraging risk-taking, the decompartmentalization of practices and innovations. These foundations are still at the core of today’s LOBE.
Starting from 1996, the year of its membership to the RCAAQ, LOBE concentrates resolutely on the dissemination of projects created in residence. This key orientation made it one of the first quebecer artist-run centre to have this feature. Despite the fact that, in between its walls, this practice is flourishing. Nowadays, it is still one of the rare venues in Quebec to dedicate its whole regular programming to the support and the dissemination of residence-produced artworks. It is within its actual objective to actively participate in the evolution and the inscription of this approach.
Since 1997, LOBE has moved and widened, but still staying within a dynamic milieu of creation. It coexists with the Centre de production en art actuel TOUTTOUT. Uniting 17 ateliers, a wood shop, a versatile room, a printing space, more than 25 artists from all disciplines, a dozen of cultural workers and 2 other professional organism (up-to-date music/ sound art, short film festival). Coexisting with a large number of artists and services offer a creative environment and a niche for inestimable encounters for artists hosted at LOBE.
From 1999, LOBE’s year-round operation is supported by the Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Québec. In 2006, following the foundation of the Conseil des arts de Saguenay, LOBE obtain a new source of recurrent funding. That same year, LOBE refines its orientations and call for submissions. From this moment, the notion of anti-practice, “casse-gueule” projects and other neologism inviting risk and artistic challenges which are promoted by the centre.
The quality and the generosity of the received artists mark continuously LOBE’s programming which welcome more than a hundred artists coming from all generations, disciplines and intermix of the current state-of-the-art. Paying close attention to emerging artists, LOBE reserve since 2006 a summer long residence, allowing the development of ambitious project. In addition, from 2008, the centre offers the PLATEFORME; interior and exterior space, located in the hall of the TOUTTOUT.
In 2015, in a perspective of organizational development and management, the members of the board opted for a General Director. The latter give the centre an efficient power of progress and privilege a healthy management.
Furthermore, in echo with past years’ Quebec and international transcendent art scene, LOBE established a project for artistic development and organizational restructuring which insure the improvement and the fulfilment of the centre. Becoming a genuine laboratory for research-creation, a new model of management, unseen in the artist-run centre milieu, LOBE inserts within its management structure a new residence project. A two years-long residence, addressed to curators, artists and theorist, putting forward theoretic research on specific actual themes along with experimentation in terms of edition. This residence based on the exchange of knowledge nurtures the centre, the curators, as much as the processes and reflexion of hosted artists throughout our programming.
Since 1993, LOBE deepen and renew its residence expertise, characterised by experimental activities issued from creation processes linked to the practice in residence. It is one of the reasons for which LOBE continues to be a reference in the art milieu of Quebec.