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by Marie-Hélène Lapointe

According to Paul “Tex” Lecor, founding president of the Institute of Figurative Arts (IFA), the group, whose aim is the promotion of figurative art, was born from a dream. As with the artists of the Group of Seven, many Eastern Québec artists met regularly in the Charlevoix region to paint, exchange views and ideas and promote their art. The idea of an association was a natural consequence of these gatherings and so in June 1986, the Institute of Figurative Arts was officially created. Its objective, then and now, is the promotion of quality figurative art and the recognition of painters and sculptors working specifically in this field.

Members are guided in their activities by clearly defined general rules; an ethics code establishes a basis for integrity in dealing with buyers, promoters, galleries and the general public. At present, there are over 100 signatory members in the IFA, many with a national and even international reputation.  Even though the majority of members are Québec residents, some are from other provinces and even from abroad.

Some renowned artists have been made honorary members of the IFA, such as the late Francesco Iacurto, Julien Bourgault and Jean-Paul Ladouceur. In recent years, other prominent figurative artists have received this honor: Umberto Bruni, Ghislain Lefebvre, Jacques Léveillé, Pierre Leduc, Littorio Del Signore, Denis Jacques, Roland Palmaerts, Fernand Gosselin, Louise Lecor Kirouac, Paul "Tex" Lecor, Pierre Pivet, Danielle Richard and Roger Alexandre.

Over the years, collectors and gallery owners have learned to appreciate the IAF or IFA letters  accompanying a member artist's signature and to equate this logo with high quality work produced in keeping with the best practices of the trade.

A number of video documentaries, publications, magazine and newspaper articles and internet reviews have focused on the organization as well as the work and career of some of its members, notably Magazin’Art, L’Aquarelliste, Reader’s Digest, Artist’s Magazine, American Artist, Art Impressions, International Artist, etc. One can also find a complete listing and description of artists and their work in the « Répertoire des membres IAF » (IFA Members Index) published by the IFA.

Since its inception, the IFA has organized many member group shows. Some of the more recent ones: Figurative Art Salon de la Figuration, Laurier Museum, (Victoriaville, 2000), Today's Leaders in Modern Figurative Art, (Québec, 2003), Today's Leaders in Modern Figurative Art, (Granby, 2005), IFA Members Group Show, (Sherbrooke, 2009), 25th Anniversary Show, May 2011, Galerie Louise-Carrier, Lévis and l'exposition «Colorful by Nature» at the Marius-Barbeau Museum, Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce (November to April 2015).

We'd also like to point out that many IFA members are regularly sought out to give conferences, to host workshops, to give demonstrations, to sit on juries or to preside over artistic events or symposiums.