Maker Monday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Jonathan Primeau

Since 2013, Jonathan Primeau has used his artistic flair, technological expertise, and love of wine in CellArt, a brand entirely devoted to creating unique spaces for wine and spirits. CellArt has designed wine spaces across the globe, reimagining cellars and shelves as artistic focal points in a variety of living spaces. Primeau finds his inspiration through a range of interests as his brand collaborates with a range of artists, architects, and sommeliers. Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, Jonathan Primeau.

Primeau designed this unique shelf in collaboration with artist Frederic Cordier.

Primeau designed this unique shelf in collaboration with artist Frederic Cordier.

Andrew Joseph: How would you define your work in three words?
Jonathan Primeau: Organic, sophisticated, limitless.

Andrew: A book that everyone should read?
Jonathan: Creative Quest by Questlove. I grew up with The Roots and it remains my favorite band today. Every new album is a perpetual reinvention, exploring new ideas: this is the spirit that guides us at CellArt. Creative Quest is not only Questlove or Black Thought, it is the sum of a larger band of ultra-specialized and talented musicians. It’s the same at CellArt: when we create a custom space, it is not only a work for our Artistic Director or Lead Designer, every single person brings something complimentary, a critical eye, an expertise, poetry, aesthetic, balance.

Primeau and Cordier’s unusual space accentuates each bottle stem in a pop of color, distinguishing each choice.

Primeau and Cordier’s unusual space accentuates each bottle stem in a pop of color, distinguishing each choice.

Andrew: What’s the weirdest thing a client has ever asked you?
Jonathan: Nothing’s too weird for us – although one client did ask for a wine space inside a working fireplace. Everyone said it would be impossible. For that reason, I wanted to try. And we did it.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Jonathan: The possibility of connections. With people, objects, passions, the potential is endless. And the opportunity our team has to create and produce unique works and reinvent ourselves with each project. We recognize the honor of being able to work in an arena that intersects with so many other craftspeople from architects, designers, sommeliers, to builders, artists, winegrowers and anyone with a passion for wine.

Stationed at the entrance of the kitchen in this Haussmannian apartment in Paris, Primeau’s wine space reminds diners to pick their choice before the meal.

Stationed at the entrance of the kitchen in this Haussmannian apartment in Paris, Primeau’s wine space reminds diners to pick their choice before the meal.

Andrew: What’s a new hobby/skill that you have learned recently?
Jonathan: I recently took up yoga. I mountain bike a lot and have broken so many bones in my body I decided it was time to do some repair work. One of the wonderful side effects of yoga – mindfulness – I have found particularly useful this past year in reimagining leadership during lockdown.

Andrew: How do you define beauty?
Jonathan: True beauty is from within and radiates outwards. Even when the aesthetic pleasure is based on a sensitive experience, it is not reduced to a raw sensation, but supposes an intellectual participation, and has a “cognitive” dimension.


About The Maker | Born in 1980 in Montreal and raised in Saudi Arabia, Jonathan Primeau is a Montreal-based Canadian entrepreneur. Beginning his career as an executive in the IT industry, where he remained for more than 15 years, in 2013 he decided to fulfill his lifelong passion for wine, design, engineering and art and formed CellArt. A serial entrepreneur, he has previously built numerous successful businesses.

With a vision to create unique masterpieces that are also highly technical, he designs and builds extraordinary wine and spirit spaces for the most demanding collectors and aficionados around the globe. From wine spaces aboard Yachts to hidden cellars in Hausmannian apartments in Paris, Jonathan thinks without limits and designs unprecedented concepts using cutting-edge technologies combined with the purest traditional savoir-faire of talented artisans. Collaborating with renowned artists, CellArt’s Artist Collection has lifted wine spaces out of dark cellars and placed them front and
center of the home as standalone works of art. He imagines unique spaces focused on the wine experience with tailored services from wine collection management and acquisition, insurance and monitoring programs to exclusive events, all around the world with his dedicated and inspired team.

Working alongside some of the world’s best-known architects, designers, sommeliers, builders, artists, and winegrowers, Jonathan has built CellArt into the world’s first luxury brand of wine spaces.

Cultivating his passion for wine, art and design, Jonathan explores the world for inspiration and unique places of beauty which are reflected in every CellArt space. Highly involved in the community, he sits on several boards focusing on governance, commerce, youth, culture and the elderly. His strongest asset: leadership.


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