Food is one of the most central factors of our earthly existence. Alimentary matters shape our daily life, particularly in the Saint-Hyacinthe area of the Montérégie region, known as the Garden of Quebec. Because of this, from August 29 to October 12, 2003, Expression, Centre d'exposition de Saint-Hyacinthe is presenting the first edition of an event with a field-to-fork theme: ORANGE, Contemporary-Art Event of Saint-Hyacinthe.

The acts of producing, processing, distributing and consuming foodstuffs have evident social, political and economic dimensions. And beyond satisfying physiological needs, food has given rise to countless - and often odd - mind-sets that stem from cultural habits, religious beliefs, ritual practices and psychological quirks, among other things. With this in mind, the three curators of the inaugural ORANGE event - Mélanie Boucher, Patrice Loubier and I - have invited a broad but selective group of artists from Quebec, other parts of Canada and other countries to share the fruits of their creativity with the public.

Many people have joined forces with the ORANGE team to produce a richly diverse program of sidebar activities. Comprising literature, theatre, history, heritage, social intervention and activities for young people, as well as the visual arts, this program has been made possible through the involvement of numerous creators and organizations. The latter include the Bibliothèque T.-A.-Saint-Germain, the Bureau de Tourisme et des Congrès de Saint-Hyacinthe, Carrefour jeunesse-emploi maskoutain, the Centre d'archives du Séminaire de Saint-Hyacinthe, the Grand Méchant Livre bookstore, Jardin Daniel A. Séguin, the Société du patrimoine religieux du diocèse de Saint-Hyacinthe and 3e impérial, Centre d'essai en arts visuels, in Granby.

To produce such an event also requires the backing of generous partners, and the Expression team thanks all those who have supported us and who share our belief that boldness, awareness and vigilance are the cornerstones of a society at once conscious of its past and focused towards the future. Our gratitude goes to the Quebec and Canadian agencies that have provided funding, and to the City of Saint-Hyacinthe, which, backed by 250 years of experience, is boldly taking up today's challenges with intelligence, maturity and serenity. Lastly, but above all, we thank the artists taking part in the first edition of ORANGE, without whom this vibrant happening could not exist, and we salute the countless helping hands that, in one way or another, have made our project a reality.

Welcome! to all visitors, to all residents, to Saint-Hyacinthe, to the inaugural edition of ORANGE, Contemporary-Art Event of Saint-Hyacinthe!

Marcel Blouin
General and Artistic Director, EXPRESSION
General Director, ORANGE

July 2003