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The artwork for the exterior of The Quad was created by renowned Montreal artist, Nicolas Baier. It represents a network, a weaving, branching system that simultaneously evokes references to Ivy League university buildings, and cutting edge scientific research, similar to that performed within these same campuses. The artwork draws its inspiration from a classic tree structure, evoking the great tradition of knowledge institutions.

More specifically the depicted networks describe branches of ivy, the shape of a super cluster of galaxies and the human neuronal network, expressed through a progressive multiplication of metaphorical references. The reticular system will transform into a galactic super cluster, dendrites, the vectors describing the planes of a crystal, and the easily recognized organic growth of vines or ivy. These networks will be engraved, through very precise lines that will be engraved into the aluminum panels which form the skin of the building.

With this work, Nicolas seeks to address the fact that everything – ourselves and everything around us – branches out. Everything is interconnected. Art and science have always been tied together as they advance. The great scientific revolutions have often coincided with great artistic periods. These two creative fields of endeavour are really one, in their pursuit of understanding and explaining the realities of the world.

The artwork for The Quad is part of a continuum of Nicolas’ personal creative explorations while belonging to the great tradition of universities, such as York University, and to certain recent discoveries that have helped better interpret the world and the understanding of ourselves.


Often described as a collagiste, Nicolas Baier uses digital imaging technologies to compose photographic images inspired by the places where he lives, and the places his life passed through. His work can be found in public and private collections worldwide, including those of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Harvard Business School’s Schwartz Collection.

Nicolas lives and works in Montreal, Canada.

Artwork For Phase 2 – Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune is a community beacon that promotes inclusion and participation while also celebrating the practice of daily life. This decision wheel speaks to the fact that we are constantly making choices, big and small, that impact our experiences. Akin to a Magic 8 Ball or a chance cube, the coin suggests that it can provide viewers answers to questions they may have, as if speaking directly to them. The coin appears as if it has rolled into the courtyard as it lands on the answer definitely. In any given year, one in five Canadians experiences a mental health challenge or illness, and, by age forty, half of all Canadians will have or will have had a mental illness. At some point, mental illness will impact us all. Studies have proven that when people believe they have a choice or are presented with options and can therefore make a decision, they feel better and more equipped to handle adversity.

Wheel of Fortune is a positive reminder of our shared capacity to make choices big and small. Each choice we make compounds to make a life. And, of course, each day brings different choices. For students who live here or for people who frequently pass by the Quad, the artwork will change as different words resonate at different moments. Its steadfast presence, meanwhile, will become a symbol of reassurance, of home.

About the Artist – Julia Dault

Julia Dault’s paintings and sculptures have been featured in the New Museum’s triennial and the Marrakesh and Gwangju Biennales as well as in group exhibitions at the Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam; the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; the Pérez Art Museum, Miami; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Her solo exhibition at the Power Plant, Toronto, and the Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver was accompanied by her first monograph, published by Black Dog Press. Her art is included in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the MCA Chicago; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

She is represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Galerie Bradley Ertaskiran, Montreal; and China Art Objects, Mérida, Mexico.

Quad response to COVID-19