Ottawa Art Gallery

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Ottawa Art Gallery
Ottawa Art Gallery Logo-bilingual.png
Carleton County Court House.jpg
Arts Court
Established 1988 (1988)
Location 2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6E2 Canada
Coordinates 45°25′34″N 75°41′18″W / 45.4259805°N 75.6883851°W / 45.4259805; -75.6883851
Type Municipal gallery
Director Alexandra Badzak [1]
Website www.ottawaartgallery.ca

The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is a municipal gallery in Ottawa, Ontario that opened in 1988 at Arts Court. Representing regional art by both historical and contemporary artists, the Gallery has a collection of over one-thousand works and provides public programming for all ages. The OAG focuses on acquiring, interpreting, and sharing art as well as acting as a cultural meeting place.

History[edit]

Founded in an effort by artists to represent local art and the artistic community in the late 1980s, the Gallery at Arts Court opened in 1988, changing its name a few years later to the Ottawa Art Gallery.[4] The Gallery’s opening was preceded by a survey exhibition of local art in 1975 in the Hall of Commerce Building at Landsdowne Park, including over 300 artworks by 156 artists.[5] This exhibition was organized by artists Victor Tolgesy, Gerald Trottier, and James Boyd among others, and was one of the outcomes of the Visual Arts Ottawa coalition formed in 1974.[6] In 1985, with the support of City Council, the Ottawa Arts Centre Foundation (formed the year prior) identified the Carleton County Courthouse as its intended municipal arts centre which is located on traditional Anishinābe Aki territory.[7][8] A Visual Arts Office was included in municipal administration the same year, and a municipal art acquisition fund and percent-for-art program created soon after.[8]

Mayo Graham was hired as the director and curator of the newly opened gallery in 1989.[9] Renovations to the gallery spaces were underway by 1991, and by 1992 the OAG received its official designation as Ottawa’s Municipal Gallery, prompting the re-opening of the main gallery spaces, the inauguration of the Firestone Gallery to present the recently acquired collection, and the development of the Art Rental & Sales Gallery.[9] In 1993 the Gallery’s board of directors met for the first time and it was registered as a tax-exempt charity, as well as separating from the Ottawa Arts Centre Foundation and officially becoming its own entity.[10] Taking over as director in 1993, Mela Constantinidi led the Gallery for seventeen years, concluding this period by winning the Victor Tolgesy Arts Award in 2010 for her contribution to the arts in Ottawa.[11][12] Alexandra Badzak has been the director and CEO of the OAG since Constantinidi’s retirement in 2010.[11][13][14]

Building[edit]

Black and white photo of a courthouse building with boys standing in the foreground
Carleton County Courthouse, archival photo. William James Topley. Library and Archives Canada. 1870-80.

Designed by architect Robert Surtees and built in 1870, the Carleton County Courthouse was an important centre for local government and administration.[15] In 1985, the courthouse and its property were entrusted to the Ottawa Arts Court Foundation and later designated as a space for municipal arts in 1988.[15][16] Since its opening, the Ottawa Art Gallery has resided at Arts Court along with 25 other organizations in the artistic community including SAW Gallery, Canadian Film Institute, Council for the Arts in Ottawa, CARFAC, Ottawa International Animation Festival, and Ottawa Fringe Festival.[17]

With the support of the Canada Cultural Spaces Program and donations from members of the arts community such as collectors Glenn and Barbara McInnes,[18] the gallery has been able to acquire a new 55,000 square foot space, more than tripling its previous size.[19] In early 2018 the OAG will relocate from the courthouse to its new location at 50 Mackenzie King Bridge, designed by architecture firm KPBM Architects.[20][1]

Collection[edit]

The Gallery acquired a substantial private collection of over 1600 works of twentieth century Canadian art from local art collectors O.J. and Isobel Firestone in 1992.[21][22] The Firestone Collection of Canadian Art (FCCA) includes artwork by prominent Canadian artists such as A.Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer, Edwin Holgate, (members of the Group of Seven), Emily Carr, Alma Duncan, David Milne, and Norval Morrisseau.[23] In addition to supporting the foundation of the OAG, collectors Glenn and Barbara McInnes have also contributed hundreds of twentieth-century artworks to the gallery’s collection.[24] Containing a growing number of acquisitions of contemporary art, the OAG’s Permanent Collection includes works by contemporary artists such as Pat Durr, Barry Ace, Lynne Cohen, Evergon, Annie Pootoogook, and Leslie Reid. Artist Max Dean donated a collection of 50 of his photographs and installations to the gallery in 2016.[25]

In addition to the main gallery space, the OAG established an Art Rental & Sales Gallery in 1992[4] that sells and rents artwork by regional artists.[citation needed]

Exhibitions[edit]

The Ottawa Art Gallery presents exhibitions of artwork from the Permanent Collection and the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art (FCCA) as well as loaned work by local, national, and international artists.[4] Early exhibitions included selections from the FCCA, solo shows of contemporary regional artists such as Gerald Trottier, Max Dean, Katherine Knight, Eric Walker, Jane Martin, and Cindy Stelmackowich, as well as group shows of contemporary regional artists. The gallery continues to exhibit the artwork of regional and national artists both established and emerging in addition to new interpretations of twentieth-century art from the FCCA.[26][27]

Public, educational, and community programming[edit]

With increased governmental funding, the Ottawa Art Gallery was able to develop public programming in the mid-1990s.[4] As the Gallery continues to grow, public programming has also expanded to include programs such as ArtWise, Départ, Creative Sundays, Toddler Mornings, and Art Tent.[28] Along with ongoing programming, the OAG organizes special events that engage the local artistic community.[citation needed]

Support[edit]

The Ottawa Art Gallery is supported by the City of Ottawa, Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gessell, Paul (September 11, 2017). "The untold story of how OAG's new building came to be + a peek at their upcoming exhibitions | Ottawa Magazine". Ottawa Magazine. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  2. ^ "It's time for Canada to create a national portrait gallery". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  3. ^ "'Art attack' feared as city of Ottawa weighs cutbacks". Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Vision and Mission". Ottawa Art Gallery. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ Herbert, Walter; Ostiguy, Jean-René (1975). Survey Exhibition No. 1: The first comprehensive survey of the visual arts in the Ottawa-Outaouais and the Valley. Ottawa: Visual Arts Ottawa Committee. p. 6. 
  6. ^ Basciano, Rebecca; Burant, Jim; Gewurtz, Michelle; Sinclair, Catherine (2017). Àdisòkàmagan/Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes/We’ll all become stories. Vancouver: Figure 1. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-77327-031-9. 
  7. ^ Basciano, Rebecca; Burant, Jim; Gewurtz, Michelle; Sinclair, Catherine (2017). Àdisòkàmagan/Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes/We’ll all become stories. Vancouver: Figure 1. pp. xi. ISBN 978-1-77327-031-9. 
  8. ^ a b Basciano, Rebecca; Burant, Jim; Gewurtz, Michelle; Sinclair, Catherine (2017). Àdisòkàmagan/Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes/We’ll all become stories. Vancouver: Figure 1. p. 263. ISBN 978-1-77327-031-9. 
  9. ^ a b Basciano, Rebecca; Burant, Jim; Gewurtz, Michelle; Sinclair, Catherine (2017). Àdisòkàmagan/Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes/We’ll all become stories. Vancouver: Figure 1. p. 264. ISBN 978-1-77327-031-9. 
  10. ^ Basciano, Rebecca; Burant, Jim; Gewurtz, Michelle; Sinclair, Catherine (2017). Àdisòkàmagan/Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes/We’ll all become stories. Vancouver: Figure 1. p. 265. ISBN 978-1-77327-031-9. 
  11. ^ a b "Former gallery director receives ottawa's top arts award". Ottawa Citizen. April 29, 2011. Retrieved Dec 22, 2017. 
  12. ^ Basciano, Rebecca; Burant, Jim; Gewurtz, Michelle; Sinclair, Catherine (2017). Àdisòkàmagan/Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes/We’ll all become stories. Vancouver: Figure 1. pp. xiv. ISBN 978-1-77327-031-9. 
  13. ^ "Arts, Politics and Alexandra Badzak". Unfolding. July 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Faculty: Badzak, Alexandra". uOttawa. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "Carleton County Courthouse". Historic Places. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  16. ^ Taylor, John. "Ottawa". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  17. ^ "Inside Arts Court". Arts Court. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Contemporary art lovers help fund Ottawa Art Gallery expansion". Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Ottawa Art Gallery, Art Courts project gets $6.5M boost". CBC News. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Ottawa Art Gallery's valuable collection gets a new home - Macleans.ca". Macleans.ca. December 8, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  21. ^ "Ottawa Art Gallery". Canadian Art. 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b "Vision and Mission — Ottawa Art Gallery". Ottawa Art Gallery. Retrieved January 5, 2018. 
  23. ^ "Ottawa Art Gallery raises money for new building on Daly Ave". CBC News. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  24. ^ Basciano, Rebecca; Burant, Jim; Gewurtz, Michelle; Sinclair, Catherine (2017). Àdisòkàmagan/Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes/We’ll all become stories. Vancouver: Figure 1. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-77327-031-9. 
  25. ^ "Artist Max Dean's love of Ottawa prompts donation worth $500K to Ottawa Art Gallery". CBC News. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Three Openings at the Ottawa Art Gallery". Akimbo. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Coast to Coast: Features from the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art". Canadian Art. 2016. Retrieved December 26, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Programs". Ottawa Art Gallery. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Basciano, Rebecca, Jim Burant, Michelle Gewurtz, Catherine Sinclair, et al. Àdisòkàmagan/Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes/We’ll all become stories. Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2017. ISBN 978-1-77327-031-9
  • Bloom, Glenn A., Emily Falvey, Benjamin Gianni, and Catherine Sinclair. Contemporary Art Collection/Firestone Collection of Canadian Art. Ottawa: Ottawa Art Gallery, 2008. ISBN 978-1-894906-32-6
  • Burant, Jim. History of Art and Artists from Ottawa and Surroundings, 1790–1970. Ottawa: Ottawa Art Gallery, 1993-1995. ISBN 978-1895108163
  • Herbert, Walter and Jean- René Ostiguy. Survey Exhibition No. 1: The first comprehensive survey of the visual arts in the Ottawa-Outaouais and the Valley. Ottawa: Visual Arts Ottawa Committee, 1975.

External links[edit]