Summer is officially here, folks! Let’s celebrate by spending lots of time in some lovely, air-conditioned galleries.
In fact, there’s a couple of new shows opening at the Ottawa Art Gallery tonight: Adad Hannah: Visitors and Christos Pantieras: Your Word is Bond. Ever been broken up via email? Pantieras is a local multimedia artist, who explores the impact of digital technology upon romantic relationships. He carved an entire “Dear John” break-up letter into 999 wax bricks for his installation, “I Miss Talking To You.” The videos of Montreal and Vancouver-based Adad Hannah are take us to places as far away as Calais and as close by as the artist’s living room. In his recreations of masterpieces, his video installations become interventions to understand history. I’m looking forward to both these shows, as a lover of art history and Gmail chat. Opening of Summer Shows at OAG, Thursday, June 21st, Ottawa Art Gallery (2 Daly Ave.), 6pm-11pm, FREE.
Before you head to the party, however, there’s a Van Gogh lecture at the National Gallery called Van Gogh: Utopia and Japan. Tsukasa Kōdera, art historian and professor of art history at Osaka University, will be speaking about the influence of Japanese art on the Dutch artist’s oeuvre. Van Gogh: Utopia and Japan, Thursday, June 21st, National Gallery of Canada, 6pm, Adults $5 and students $4.
For those more interested in making art, rather than seeing it up on the wall, there are a few live drawing events happening next week:
Dr. Sketchy’s monthly “Anti-Art School” is still the cabaret meets art school extravaganza we all know and love. Expect burlesque dancers, roller derby girls, and circus performers along with booze and the opportunity to win prizes from Wallack’s. Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, Monday, June 25, Mercury Lounge, 7-10pm, $10.
On Wednesday night, if you want to put your skills to use, head over to Shanghai Restaurant to participate in the awesome-sounding comic jam: the “exquisite corpse” game for comic book geeks (I use that term lovingly). Keep the story going, or change it completely. Ottawa Comic Jam, Wednesday, June 27, Shanghai Restaurant, 7pm, FREE.
On Friday night, Wurm Gallery (aka Invisible Cinema) is presenting the work of Danica Olders in in a show called “People on the Side: New Work by Danica A. Olders.” She’s a recent NSCAD grad (good cred) and fibre artist. Check out her Tumblog for some sneak peeks into the work that will be in the show, including small oddball drawings and embroidery. I particularly enjoy this little guy (boy scout)? People on the Side: New Work by Danica A. Olders, Wurm Gallery (Invisible Cinema, 319 Lisgar St.), Friday, June 15, 8-11pm, FREE.
Over at SAW Gallery, there’s a group show of Punk photography in Ottawa called “Vacant Stares,” documenting the alternative punk scene that’s been in this city for three decades. The title of the show refers to all those soulless government employees that call Ottawa home, courtesy of Canadian punk band ‘The Red Squares.’ Featured photographers include David Forcier and Nick Shaw. This show is on for a couple weeks, so drop by when you’re downtown. Vacant Stares: Ottawa Punk Photography Spanning Three Decades, SAW Gallery (67 Nicholas St.), until June 23rd, FREE.
If you’re in the mood for photography, Greg Zenha, the artist-in-residence over at School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa, will be giving an artist talk on Saturday afternoon at the Red Wall Gallery. His work on view, “I said house not home,” is a visual manifestation of the process of self analysis he had experienced recently. Greg Zenha Artist Talk, Red Wall Gallery (168 Dalhousie), Saturday, June 16, 2pm., FREE.
Your weekly requisite art party comes to you from Patrick John Mills Gallery, who will be throwing a (open bar!) party as part of the titillatingly titled current show “Naked Naked Naked.” There is a LOT going down at this party: live nude model drawing, a drumming circle, poetry readings, burlesque courtesy of Sin Sisters, live painting, and a heck of a lot more, I’m sure. Should be cray. Let’s Get Naked, Patrick John Mills Gallery (286 Hinchley Ave.), Saturday, June 16, 5pm - whenever, $20.
Can you feel summer in the air? Ottawa is heating up (aside from those pesky thunder showers) and the weekend is overflowing with awesome art things to do. Let’s get right to it!
Tonight is the monthly First Thursday Art Walk in Westboro, where you can check out Westboro’s finest commercial galleries, chat with local artists, and have a mobile wine-drinking party along Wellington West. Highlights this month include a Meet the Artists that are participating in Patrick John Mills’ group show Naked Naked Naked and the vernissage for Stephen Frew’s new show, Body of Water, of portraits of local Ottawa art folks at Orange Gallery. First Thursdays Art Walk, Thursday, June 7th, various locations, 6-9pm, FREE.
Ottawa Art Gallery’s annual fundraiser, le pArty, is also tonight, where you can bid on over 60 works of art by tons of local artists. Be sure to check out Bear Witness’, Shannon Craig’s beautiful landscapes, and Rosalie Favell’s photo-works. This is a great way to support local artists and institutions, as all the money goes into OAG’s exhibition programming. The cocktails are also courtesy of the Mercury Lounge (rumour has it that they’ve created a signature cocktail! Guesses at what the name would be?) and the food is provided by Ottawa fav Thyme & Again. Le pArty fundraiser, Ottawa Art Gallery, Thursday, June 7th, 6-8:30pm, $150 per person ($120 tax receipt).
I got to know local artist Marc Adornato earlier this year when the Carleton University Art History students chose one of his early videos for their Colin Campbell video programme in January. He’s been hard at work over the past few years, and now has not one, not two, but THREE separate shows that are opening all over the city on Friday night. Collectively called June8: I Have Too Much to Report, you can check out his new body of work, “Made in Canada,” at Shanghai, The Daily Grind, and Hintonburg Public House (for the after party) on Friday night. Be sure to wish him a happy birthday as well. June8: I Have Too Much to Report, Friday, June 8th, Shanghai, Daily Grind, Hintonburg Public House, 5-11pm, FREE.
On Saturday evening, head over to SAW Gallery for two events for the price of one (and that price is FREE). From 5pm to 7pm, you can meet the Andrea Fitzpatrick the guest curator of SAW Gallery’s latest show Ciphers: Tension with Tradition in Iranian Photography. Later that night, Spins n’ Needles will be throwing their awesome craft + DJ night at Club SAW. The event is part of the ART + LAW Conference taking place at Lord Elgin Hotel all weekend. I can’t wait to see what law-themed craft they will be coming up with. See you all there. Ciphers + Spins n’ Needles, Saturday, June 9th, SAW Gallery, 5pm-11pm, FREE.
Finally, on Tuesday night next week, Carleton University Art Gallery will be sadly saying ‘au revoir’ to our fearless leader, Diana Nemiroff. Her retirement party will be a chance to celebrate her many achievements and contributions to the Canadian art world, and wish her good luck on her new ventures. I don’t think they include relaxing too much, she has so many projects on the go! Be sure to stop by. Diana Nemiroff’s Retirement Party, Tuesday, June 12th, Carleton University Art Gallery, 5-7pm, FREE.
So what does this rainy weekend have in store for you art lovers? Lots, if you like contemporary photography, architecture and local crafts!
First off, because I have no shame promoting our own events, “Photography in the Capital: A Panel Discussion” is happening here in the gallery on Sunday afternoon at 2pm. Join three local photographers - Lorraine Gilbert, Michael Schreier, and Justin Wonnacott - who are all featured in “An Embarrassment of Riches: The Collection in Focus,” for a discussion on the role of photography in contemporary Canadian art, the debate between analogue and digital photography, the intersection of environmental issues and photography, and how Ottawa has been a beneficial and challenging home base throughout their careers. Photography in the Capital: A Panel Discussion, Sunday, June 3rd, Carleton University Art Gallery (St. Patrick’s Building, CU), 2 p.m., FREE.
On Saturday and Sunday, The New Art Festival will be celebrating it’s twentieth anniversary of showcasing local crafts and artists in Central Park, in the Glebe (let’s hope the weather holds…). Pick up a painting or some locally grown jewelry, and enjoy the other activities in the park, like birthday cake and musical performances. Should be fun! The New Art Festival, Saturday, June 2nd - Sunday, June 3rd, Glebe Central Park, 10am - 5pm, FREE.
This weekend is also Doors Open, a chance to get behind the scenes of some of this city’s unique and historical buildings. I’ll be checking out the nineteenth-century Jean-Claude Bergeron Art Gallery downtown, with it’s gorgeous ornate white railings and red brick facade, and the Ottawa Mosque, near my house. CKCU Carleton Radio station is also participating, so be sure to check them out! You can find the complete list of participating buildings here. Door Open Ottawa, Saturday, June 2nd - Sunday, June 3rd, various locations and times, FREE.
And don’t forget that Van Gogh: Up Close just opened at the National Gallery of Canada. The artist’s love of nature shines through this extensive exhibition of over 40 Van Gogh paintings and Japanese woodblock prints. I have not checked it out yet, but I’ll be booking my ticket soon. And remember, it’s pronounced “van goff.” Van Gogh: Up Close, until September 3rd, National Gallery of Canada (380 Sussex Drive), $25 for adults, $15 for students.
Have a good weekend! And don’t forget to join us on Sunday afternoon!