Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Ottawa Art Gallery

We're spending a few days looking at art, and I'm starting with night shots. The Ottawa Art Gallery is a municipal gallery that got its start inside Arts Court. From this view, Arts Court is at the left, housed in a 19th century courthouse that today hosts a variety of artistic ventures. At centre is the old Carleton County Gaol, now a traveler's hostel. The Ottawa Art Gallery is now housed in the lit up modern building at right, still linked to Arts Court. Some years ago the decision was made to expand onto the property behind Arts Court. A partnership was drawn up, allowing for the building of a hotel (the tall building behind the Gaol), the new building to house the Gallery, and space for the University of Ottawa's theatre program.

Here we have one of the entrances from further along the street.

I came back in the daytime for a proper visit.

Inside the lobby is a table with mirrors, tied to an exhibit upstairs. In the 19th century, novel photography included the multiphotograph- making creative use of mirrors. An exhibit upstairs that pays tribute to two trailblazing French artists includes a short film that incorporates mirrors in this way.

As always, I look thoroughly disreputable.

Here we have an interior feature. This staircase was once in a home in Rockcliffe Park. The Firestone family features into one of the gallery spaces here in the Gallery; their art collection forms the core of the Gallery's permanent collection. Now their staircase is part of the new building.

The area immediately around here includes art that you can buy. Here are some examples.

There's also a view of a lower level, which includes restaurant space.

I headed upstairs, pausing for this view out a window towards the University of Ottawa campus.

The OAG displays some of their collection on a permanent basis, but features other works on a rotating basis, as well as temporary exhibits. One of the gallery spaces at the moment features First Nations artists. I'm starting with this set of three large scale photographs by Meryl McMaster, a member of the Sikiska, a Plains Cree tribe. Murmur is a 2013 work that makes use of paper cut into starling forms. Those birds have a way of moving as if one organism. She photographed herself in the midst of the paper flock.


  1. This is a nice gallery!
    The paintings that are for sale are beautiful! Are you in that picture? Really? šŸ˜…

  2. Seems to be mixed art, the classical landscapes and the modern one with a Christmas garland, lol !
    Nice old building.

  3. I love the pictures! A tad big for our home, though...

  4. It looks a marvellous place - I'm surprised they let you in at all!

  5. @Klara: me too.

    @Ella: I look like a hoodlum.

    @Gattina: it is quite a mix.

    @Iris: mine too.

    @John: me too.

  6. The art gallery itself is a work of art William ✨

  7. Warmth takes precedence over style in an Ottawa winter.

  8. @Francisco: thanks.

    @Tom: it is.

    @Grace: indeed.

    @Revrunner: mine too.

    @Janis: thank you.

    @David: it does.

  9. Hello, love the beautiful art work. It looks like you went in disguise. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend ahead!

  10. Your selfie certainly is as you described, but I'm thinking you don't wear hoody and glasses inside usually. Are you using a phone camera for most of your photos? Somehow I think not.

  11. There are cultural advantages to living in a city.

  12. I like those 3 pics by McMaster.

  13. So that's you on the left and the right. Good selfie.
    McMaster's photograph artwork has an active beauty, like reading a good novel. I'd like to see the flock on display for folks to gently be able to have their picture inside.

  14. I like the paintings of the winter landscapes.

  15. Love the selfie shot in the mirror and lovely place and photos ^_^

    Happy Moments to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  16. Those photographs are wonderful and so original.

  17. The paper flock photos are entrancing!


  18. I wish all centers had a vigorous art community.

  19. The snowy paintings are beautiful.
    The staircase is amazing.

  20. Nice to see a close-up of your cheerful(?) countenance though I'm sure, with those dark glasses and that hoodie, security was keeping an eye on you! I like very much the photos of the artist amongst the birds. And that beautifully lit exterior of the OAG is sensational.

  21. That's a beautiful modern art gallery.
    Love the Murmur collection, so original.

  22. @Eileen: thanks!

    @Barbara: actually that phone is my primary camera.

    @Anvilcloud: there certainly are.

    @RedPat: so do I. They spoke to me.

    @Maywyn: but which of us is the Prime Kendall?

    @Jan: so do I.

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Sharon: I agree.

    @Sandi: they are.

    @Red: this is a good one.

    @Bill: thank you!

    @Gemel: I've been in several times since the expansion, but have never featured the inside in the blog until now.

    @Catalyst: well, I took off the hoodie and sunglasses after this.

    @Alexandria: it is!

  23. I think the snowy paintings look beautiful.

    I enjoyed seeing the selfie shot in the mirror :)

    All the best Jan

  24. The snowy pictures are beautiful.

  25. Everyone in the cafe is looking at a screen. I'm beginning to despair of people talking to one another.
    I mean only to compliment but you really don't look all that disreputable...

  26. The Meryl McMasters series is beautiful.

  27. Not THOROUGHLY disreputable, William! Rather nice, I think. I do love the art here. Quite beautiful.

  28. really enjoy the snowy paintings. very cool. considering we never see snow (once in a blue moon, lol!!) ... only ice. i have yet to see any today, i am wondering what other folks around here did see? work with me here Miss Weather! ( ;

  29. I’m catching up on this whole tour and enjoyed every post, thank you! The paper bird sculpture is intriguing...that is the way many small birds seem to fly in real life ...they fly as If they were one organism. Love that the artist knew and recreated that in her art!

  30. I really like the 3 Murmur images.