Tag Archives: Ottawa art gallery

Fantastical Canadians: Douglas Coupland’s “The National Portrait” @OAG

An edited version of this article was published in Apt613.ca
The new Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is going from strength to strength as the creative hub of switched-on, relevant contemporary art in Ottawa.  The dramatic and beautiful interior, the quality and scope of the grand opening weekend (on par with galleries of any major international city), hosts to the vibrant Ottawa Fringe and now unveiling the latest work from iconic author and artist Douglas Coupland The National Portrait.

IMG_8993Coupland has created a garden of delightfully colourful sculptures by scanning the heads of random Canadians in nine cities across Canada, including his hometown Vancouver and here in Ottawa. The digital files were 3D printed with the resulting biodegradable plastic casts warped, brightly painted and assembled into a stunning entourage. The massive work, created in partnership with La Maison Simons, is a collection of 1000 sculptures ranging in size from 5cm to almost a meter in height covering an allotted 20×20 feet.  Certain stylized heads were named by genre, the tall willowy pieces being “asparagus heads”, the flattened ones “pancakes” and voyage around the work to find the “Gold Mine”. The longer one spends with the piece the more that is revealed. Many sculptures reside on vases from Coupland’s own home. It remained unanswered if the vessels are inanimate reflections of the human vessel they support or simply a found-use for the beautiful things acquired by the avid collector.

IMG_8995The unveiling was impeccably hosted with the sociable Coupland approaching and introducing himself to many. Equating the collaboration and teamwork involved to a traveling circus, Coupland spoke of visiting cities “Usually on a Friday, like carnies arriving in town” where a true cross section of Canadian’s: toddlers, youth, professionals, and seniors lined up to hold a pose for the 60 second long scan.  Though he doesn’t recall names each sculpture evokes a memory of the individual’s “aura” – “everyone shines from within”.  “Human beings are beautiful”, said Coupland “Which I never understood before this project.”

The work will ultimately be displayed at a to be determined Simons. It takes a village to grow a garden and The National Portrait collaborative cross-country patch of delightful human beans sprouts at the OAG through mid-August.

The contemporary art scene at its finest has arrived and it is at the OAG.

 

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Eye Spy: Local Micro Brewery joins Wonderful Waller St Businesses

Waller St is going from strength to strength.

First in, the Lunenburg Pub: a top retreat for craft beer, trivia, music, world-cup games, improv and more. There is always something going on in this pub tucked in the beautiful stone buildings at 14 Waller St.

Follow-suite The Loft which opened a few months ago in the upstairs space of 14 Waller. An airy and bright game board lounge with over 700 games to chose from as you sup a pint and enjoy tasty bites including the newly added locally-sourced Gluten-Free range of goodness.

Courtesy of WallerSt Website

Courtesy of WallerSt Website

Now add to the mix the neighbourhood’s own local micro-brewery set in the basement of this heritage building. The Waller St-Brewing company is set to open later this summer and we can’t wait to support this latest local venture. This brewing company gives it’s heritage home a significant nod with fine prohibition style branding and website.  Read more on this newcomer in the today’s Ottawa Metro.

So great to see entrepreneurs embracing and innovating while respecting the neighbourhood’s rich history.  Tucked alongside Nicholas St and Daly Ave favourites ArtsCourt, the Ottawa Art Gallery, SAW Gallery and the fabulous Albion Rooms there is no shortage of great nights out in Sandy Hill.

Wknd Roundup: Summer Festivals, Footie & Free Fun Reign Down

Here comes the weekend roundup where we never let the rain dampen good times.

It’s summertime down at the Byward Market’s Must Kitchen 41 William St where a custom Mojito features every weekend. Looking for an afterwork cocktail? Head over for the refreshing Peach-Mango Mojito today.

world cupIf you’re as crazy as I for the Footie – and looking for a good venue for viewing – give the Lunenburg Pub a try. They promise to air the games, the surrounds are comfortable, the craft beer selection is extensive while the food and prices are both appetising. Spain against Netherland’s today is sure to be a cracker!  I’m going for outsiders the Black Stars (Go Go Ghana) who are in the killer group and probably won’t last long but that’s okay cuz London was my second home. Go En-grrrrr-laannd! Clearly I’ll be actively following the World Cup to the end – join me!

The NCC Gatineau Beaches open this weekend so consider a dip to mark the occasion.

On Friday evening La Petite Mort hosts a vernissage for “Mexican Masks from the Muayes Ogazon Collection 1940-80” 7PM

Fancy a movie in the park? The Sandy Hill Health Centre is hosting a free screening of “Bend it Like Beckham” for Friday Outdoor Movie night at Springhurst Park, Lees Ave, 8:45PM, Free

On Friday and Saturday evening you get a Pay-What-You-Can dance show in Strathcona Park with Machina Nuptialis, from dance troupe Corpus. Strathcona Park 8PM.

Ottawa Explosion Weekend (OXW) opened Thursday night and keeps the grooves coming at various local venues including SAW Gallery, OAG, Mugshots, Ritual, DeKCuf and Ottawa-South’s home of pinballs & perogies House of Targ. There are more bands and shows than we can keep track of and they’re at a great price and the atmosphere at this new-style fest is tremendous so get out and get in to it.  OXW Schedule

Friday & Saturday the Festival Franco-Ontarien, head-quartered in Major Hill’s Park with artists, musicians and Kid-friendly activities it’s a local festival sure to entertain. We’re looking forward le Pique-Nique Africain Saturday noon-4PM & Pierre Lapointe who takes the main stage Saturday evening at 7PM.

Further afield – but lets face it nothing is more than a bike ride away in Summertime Ottawa – Westfest gets underway in Westboro/WelliWest/Hintonburg. This free music fest is forever a crowd pleaser so grab two-wheels and get your fun on folks.

Weekend RoundUp: Play, Books, Players and More

Image Courtesy Prix Rideau Awards

Image Courtesy Prix Rideau Awards

The event of the week has got to be the Prix Rideau Awards celebrating Ottawa’s artistic excellence and it is happening Sunday in the heart of Sandy Hill at All Saints’ Church. If you haven’t got your tickets yet you should!

Thursday evening is the vernissage for Perspectives the life’s-work of Ottawa artist Gerald Trottier at the Ottawa Art Gallery. The largest donation of work the Art Gallery has ever received the diversity is testimony to the vast range of Trottier’s styles and subjects. Trottier’s work documents not only the times in which he painted, 1940’s-90’s, but also internal every-man struggles and truths. If you can’t make the opening then see this free exhibit of an Ottawa artists whose work not only travelled internationally but also features in the National Gallery while it is here locally at our very own Ottawa Art Gallery. Perspectives  vernissage 5:30PM

The spring edition of the Ottawa International Writers Fest also kicks off tonight at Knox Presbyterian Church on Elgin with speakers and the House of Anansi Poetry Bash that promises to be a fun and provocative affair.

Head over to Hooch to discuss the art or books over a top bourbon cocktail. You won’t believe you’re on Rideau St once you take your seat amid the unique salvage-stylish design which is less Southern Comfort and more urban comfort than we expected. Staff was knowledgeable, friendly and the kitchen is open super late so stay, have a few then eat some more.

Friday take a walk on theatre’s wilder side with tickets to the delightful “The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine” at the Backpacker’s Hostel on York St. It is the weirdest theatre venue we’ve ever experienced (and we’ve done a few including outdoors in a park and one in a refurbished public toilet!) but the talent far outshines the cramped venue by a hundred watts. 8PM 20$

Down Elgin way it’s our favourite monthly at the Museum of Nature with the return of Nature Nocturne. April’s edition “Courtship and Colour” feature BPM Dance Troupe performing a reggeathon & giving a crash course in Dancehall. Feeling Hot Hot Hot!. 8PM 20$

Saturday there are a ton of great events at the Ottawa International Writers Fest throughout Central and Sandy Hill Ottawa. Check out their full listing and enjoy one or many of their wonderful thoughtful and fun events.

Saturday & Sunday are the final two days for PoutineFest on the Spark Street Mall. Admission is free and you can eat a-la-carte or purchase a 25$ PoutinePass that gets you 5 8oz poutines. Choice is vast so loosen them belts and enjoy.

All day Sunday Elgin street is closed to traffic for the annual Sens Mile street party. There is a chilli competition involving 10 restos and 10$bucks gets you a taste of each competitor. Live music and DJ’s throughout.

Sunday at 2PM is the closing performance of “The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine

There is no better time than a Sunday afternoon for a classic movie. Enter the Bytowne Cinema with “Singin’ in the Rain” at 4:20. Cue the rain, cue the nostalgia.

Sunday night the Ottawa stars come out to shine at the Prix Rideau Awards which celebrate, encourage and promote French, English and (my fave) bilingual theatre and the artists involved. The gala event will be at All Saint’s Church Bate Hall with doors at 6PM and gala starts at 7PM.

Weekend Round-Up: Openings, Parades and Plays

cfscWelcome to the weekend. Our event of the weekend is the annual Winter Bike Parade hosted by CfSC and supported with an 8LocksFlat after bike/skate party this Saturday. Details below.

Thursday evening two new exhibitions opening at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Remi Theriault’s Front captures the present-day European countryside that was the scene of epic battles and transformed by the machinery of war.  Anyone who has visited these sites will be familiar with the grassy mounds where once trenches were dug, bodies were strewn and tanks ploughed the earth. Theriaults large scale images explore the landscape – serene, often vacant, at times a memorial – and what nature tells us about our violent past.  A well timed, thoughtful exhibit coming at the 100th anniversary of the 1st World War.

David R. Harper’s Entre le Chien et le Loup equally opens on Thursday night. “Entre chien et loup” is an expression that denotes the ephemeral time that divides the day from night – a dim and uncertain time.  Harper plays with this expression hinting not so much at the fleeting time of day but the transitory nature of memory exploring the link between the present moment and history through the use of mixed media including taxidermy, sculpture and ceramics.

Hopefully everyone pre-bought tickets to Vancouver’s Destroyer at the wonderful St Alban’s on King Edward ave as if rumours are correct it is sold out! Another great local event hosted by Arboretum Arts Festival.

Friday from 11:30am-2pm it’s the Stew Cook Off in the Byward Market. There will be all sorts of delicious participants from the SmoQue Shack, Fish Market and many more. 10$ gets you all the stew you can handle from over 20 competitors and all proceeds from this event are donated to our neighbours at the Lowertown Community Resource Centre’s camp program. Go delicious, go community.

Further afield but well in the zone of good taste this Friday is the opening of Ottawa’s Premiere Spice Shop “Cardamom & Cloves” at 440 Preston St from 10am-8pm.  Be one of the first to check out this new-comer in the vibrant downtown network of independently owned, crowd-source-supported businesses.

Soulpepper's Kim's ConvenienceFriday evening is the penultimate performance of Ins Choi’s Kim Convenience at the NAC.  The ensemble cast including the outstanding Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Best Actor in a Play 2012 – Toronto Theatre Critics Award), Andre Sills, Jean Yoon, Grace Lynn Kung and Choi shine in this simple yet universal play on difficult family dynamics, love, sacrifice and the transforming urban landscape. Set in a Toronto convenience store the story of what will happen to the business as Mr Kim nears retirement goes far deeper exploring generation conflict, expectations and acceptance. This production is a shining example of the power and accessibility of live theatre when well timed comedic writing is encompassed within compelling story-telling & supported by pitch perfect performances. Don’t miss this one. “Ok see you.”

Saturday: On Yer Bike Mates!  It’s the joint Citizens for Safe Cycling & 8LocksFlat family winter bike parade & Cycle-Skate Party. Meet at 11:15 – for an 11:30 departure – at the South Side of City Hall (Lisgar at Cartier). The route, in this it’s 3rd year,  features a leisurely 30-minute ride through our own Sandy Hill!!!!

The ride will wrap at 8LocksFlat where it’s Hot Chocolate for all and you can enjoy food, beer, fires and hop on the canal for a skate.

Saturday night is the last night for Kim’s Convenience and I’m highly recommending it!

Saturday and Sunday 1-4PM there are free wagon rides throughout Winterlude in the Byward Market.  Take the family and hop on at the corner of York St & William St.

On Sunday as part of Winterlude there is a Public Ice-Carving Challenge from 11:30-2:30.  You’ll need to register in advance for this fun, slightly daunting and creative activity.

Also on Sunday at the Rink of Dreams there are 30 minute ice shows at 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30 so bring you skates and enjoy the show.

Eye Spy: Approval for OAG & Arts Court Redevelopment

Congratulations Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG), Arts Court and all of Ottawa! The City today approved the $34 million expansion of the OAG & redevelopment of Arts Court. The Redevelopment & Expansion was passed unanimously in Council the morning of Nov 13th!

OAG redevelopmentIn an overdue but profound recognition of the importance of art and architecture in the Capital, public and private funding was allocated to see this remarkable space – home to diverse artists and that provides a wealth of opportunities for visiting artists  – grow. One of the City’s most dynamic art centres we can’t wait for redevelopment to begin!  Again we hope that this redevelopment incorporates bike lanes and pedestrian improvements to the surrounding area improving this section of downtown with walkways, cafes, benches and greenery where possible.  Remember architecture is about people and places not just buildings!

Weekend Round Up: Road Trips, Retail Therapy and the Return of Creative Sundays

Welcome (almost) to the long weekend! Start off tonight by heading down to Ottawa’s only Jail bar Mugshots 75 Nicholas. It might be a bit cold on the terrace but bundle up cuz it’s fun out there. Tonight presented by CKCU Mugshots has bands Doomsquad, Blue Angel & HSY starting at 9pm 7$. It’s a lock-in!

With the extra day off we thought we’d list some fun and games slightly further afield as well as in our hood – after all time is on your side if your not cooking up a feast to feed the masses!

Fall GatineauSaturday and Sunday Mont Ste-Marie will be holding their annual Festival of Colours / Festival des Couleurs. Take a ride in the chairlift to experience the full grandeur of the fall foliage or get even higher with the helicopter rides on offer. Relax at the BBQ where there’ll be vintage cars, a euro (trampoline) bungee, musicians and family activities throughout both days. Mountain biking and walking tours are also on the program. Adults 11$ kids between 7-17 $7 and under 7 free.

The NCC’s Fall Rhapsody continues for it’s final weekend in Gatineau Park.  Stroll or bike  the over 90km of trails then take a break over at the MacKenzie King Estate Tea Rooms.  The Visitor Centre will be hosting a free 2hour tour and educational program “Follies of the Fall Forest” on Monday at 12:30 (French) and 2:30 (English).

butterfly3Want some wildlife in town?  Flutter over to Carleton University for the concluding weekend of the Annual Butterfly Show.  The free exhibit features more than 1000 butterflies representing 41 species worldwide and is open daily from 9:00-4:00 in the Nesbitt Building. 

David Heath - Untitled

David Heath – Untitled

Get your art fix at the OAG 2 Daly Ave. On-going shows include the intriguing photography of David Heath A Heritage of Meaning, An Introspective and Sook-Yin Lee’s very personal exhibit We are Light Rays.  Lee and her sister explore the immediacy of the present moment through photography following her siblings cancer diagnosis in 2011. The series spans 2 years and is presented atop light boxes creating ephemeral even ghostly images.

Creative SundaysOn Sunday the OAG welcomes back Creative Sundays from 1:00-3:00. An opportunity to visit the gallery with family and friends and even take home your own masterpiece.

Thanksgiving Monday Sandy Hill bucks the trend of store closures with the Metro on Rideau operating 24hrs, Loblaws open from 10:00-6pm and the Rideau Centre meeting your need for retail therapy and as an escape from family “fun”.

As ever our neighbours in the Byward Market will have most shops and restaurants open for business.