Eunice Bélidor: the art of breaking glass ceilings
Eunice Bélidor in 2012 then in 2022
In 2012, Eunice Bélidor received a rejection letter from a prestigious Canadian university for her master's degree in the history of art. “I was in a big existential crisis, I thought I had no future,” she recalls. Ten years later, she is the first black woman to hold a major position at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA).
How perseverance pays off. But before being named Curator of Contemporary Quebec and Canadian Art at the MMFA, she had to break several glass ceilings.
+ On the occasion of International Women's Rights Day, we brought out the #10YearsChallengemothballs. The series aims to celebrate the meteoric rise of inspiring female personalities in Quebec over the past ten years. Find out more HERE. +
“The last 10 years have been quite rocky, it hasn't always been easy to evolve in the art world in Quebec”, she replies frankly when we approach interview his impressive career.
The one who grew up in the Saint-Michel district found it particularly difficult to carve out her place in the world of visual arts without having role models to identify with. When she found some – outside Quebec – she experienced a boost of motivation.
By breaking glass ceilings, I hopes to show that young black or racialized people can evolve in the art world.
The lack of diversity in the museum environment in Quebec has long made the Montrealer of Haitian origin believe that she had no place there; the only black people she saw in museums were security guards.
“I never thought I would ever have this opportunity,” she says. In my mind, it just wasn't an option.”
She was therefore the first surprise when her application to the MMFA was accepted last year. “I applied for this position thinking that if my name appeared in their bank, maybe one day, when I would be older and more experienced, they would reconsider me!” says the 30-year-old with a laugh.
For nearly a year, Eunice Bélidor has been carrying important responsibilities. Among his tasks: acquiring new works for the museum's collection, organizing exhibitions and, more broadly, reflecting on the representation of the history of Canadian and Quebec art.
A colossal task that allows him to learn every day, she rejoices. “It's hard to multi-task, but I'm still here, so I think I'm doing well!”