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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Visual art

It’s okay to go natural: Q&A with Esther Simmonds-MacAdam

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Details of work by Esther Simmonds-MacAdam. Images courtesy of the artist and La Petite Mort Gallery.Details of work by Esther Simmonds-MacAdam. Images courtesy of the artist and La Petite Mort Gallery.

It’s been about a year since Esther Simmonds-MacAdam has shown work in Ottawa. She’s returning today, to install her latest paintings at La Petite Mort Gallery, which opens tomorrow night. If you missed seeing her show last year, it would be well-worth your time to stop by an introduce yourself – she will be at the vernissage (from 7-10pm). Her latest series, it is natural, marks a dramatic shift in terms of how and what she paints. Maintaining a realistic aesthetic, the oil paintings reference specific periods of time and deconstruct... | Continue reading article

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Sanjeev Sivarulrasa: New photo exhibit explores the cosmos with an artistic eye

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Photo by Sanjeev Sivarulrasa (Milky Way, Lake Superior, 2011)Photo by Sanjeev Sivarulrasa (Milky Way, Lake Superior, 2011)

Who is responsible for explaining the heavens?  In today’s modern world, our understanding of the universe comes almost exclusively from science, which provides breathtaking images of outer space with such instruments as the Hubble Space Telescope. Local photographer Sanjeev Sivarulrasa, however, wants to change this by having artists also provide insights on galaxies, nebulae and other celestial bodies. “Scientists are the gatekeepers of the sky,” says Sivarulrasa in a phone interview. “(But science) doesn’t tell us much about how we feel about the night sky.” While fully embracing the work... | Continue reading article

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Topographies: New work by Deborah Margo at Patrick Mikhail Gallery

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Work by Deborah Margo: Climbing Montjuic and The Colour of Waiting. Image by Tom Evans.Work by Deborah Margo: Climbing Montjuic and The Colour of Waiting. Image by Tom Evans.

A few weeks ago, Ottawa-based artist Deborah Margo unveiled new work at Patrick Mikhail Gallery. Working in various media including sculpture, textile, painting and drawing, Topographies takes knitted installation to new heights. The work evolved from Margo’s recent travels abroad and acts as a record – unique translations of her experiences. If you’ve ever attempted to knit a loved one a scarf, you will appreciate the attention to detail, patterning and repetition evident in the work (the scale alone is impressive). Each hanging contains smaller fragments, much like panels or... | Continue reading article

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Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa + ticket giveaway!

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It’s St. Paddy’s day this weekend, folks, and we’ve got just the burlesque show to celebrate. Need something a little more traditional? Head out to your local pub, Irish or not! Guaranteed they’ll be in a festive mood. Tonight at the NAC, you can catch the hip-hop/rock/soul music of Sound of Lions, while Algoma releases her new album down at the Mercury Lounge. Three local bands will take to the stage at the Lunenburg Pub for their weekly battle of the bands – this week, Go Long (!), Leadfoot Pretty,... | Continue reading article

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Karine Giboulo: New exhibit shows the vast distance between rich and poor

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Photos by Alejandro BustosPhotos by Alejandro Bustos

Quebec artist Karine Giboulo is a master of producing miniature figures that portray evocative scenes.  From powerful commentary on the production of electronic products from China, to work that has been described as a three-dimensional comic book, Giboulo uses miniature figures to produce thought-provoking work. Her latest exhibit Democracy Village, which is taking place at the Ottawa School of Art at 35 George Street, is no different, as she explores the vast class differences between rich and poor countries. Modelled on a real shantytown named Village Démocratie on the outskirts... | Continue reading article

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Saw Gallery: Exploring the Boundaries of “Imageland” with Colin Muir Dorward

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Mealtime by Colin Muir Dorward.Mealtime by Colin Muir Dorward.

Everyone knows that paintings are inanimate objects.  What if this commonly-held view, however, was incorrect, and the images on a canvas were actual living entities. This intriguing idea lies behind the latest exhibit by painter Colin Muir Dorward, which is currently taking place at the Saw Gallery at 67 Nicholas Street. Dorward’s thought experiment is as follows: Envisage a world in which images are parasitic entities that attach themselves to a medium, with the aim of using that medium for the purpose of replicating.  If the medium is the human... | Continue reading article

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Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

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Photo courtesy The Bright Road.Photo courtesy The Bright Road.

Whether you’re an environmentally-concerned fiancee, a Tibetan film buff, a tango aficionado or anything in between, this city’s got something for you this weekend. Tonight, Legion of Saints hits the stage at Babylon, while NDMA celebrates a new EP down at the Mercury Lounge. The Goodluck Assembly is giving a sneak peek of their new album at Cafe Dekcuf Friday night, and there will be lots of jazzy goodness with Molly Johnson at the NAC. The Flaps take over the GluePot Pub for their cd release party – The Hilotrons and... | Continue reading article

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Apply now! The 4th Annual Critical Blogging Residency at Artengine

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Photo from Artengine's blog.Photo from Artengine's blog.

This year Apartment613 and Artengine continue our endeavor to foster new perspectives on the media arts landscape with an open call for the 2013 Critical Blogging Residency. This residency is for an art critic or cultural journalist from the Ottawa-Gatineau area, who will cross post thought-provoking dialogues on the Artengine and Apartment613 blogs throughout the year. Conceived as a creative space for expression and research into culture, technology and social engagement, the content and direction will be developed in consultation with the Artistic Director of Artengine. The residency begins with... | Continue reading article

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Playing with scale: Monumental work by Amy Thompson

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See Your West 1. Work by Amy Thompson.See Your West 1. Work by Amy Thompson.

Amy Thompson is back in town. After taking a road trip out west a few years ago, the Ottawa-based artist and illustrator has returned with two separate exhibitions, Monument and Bookish, at the Ottawa Art Gallery’s (OAG) Art Rental and Sales and town., respectively. Through collage and mixed media, Thompson’s latest work reconstructs vintage postcards, photographic plates, and other reference materials (including library index cards), that play with elements of scale and take pleasure in the details. I fell in love with Thompson’s work years ago, when she held a space at the... | Continue reading article

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Undercurrents (the art exhibit) opens at Fritzi Gallery

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Reincarnate Spectrum by Eric ChanReincarnate Spectrum by Eric Chan

The Lorraine Fritzi Gallery at the GCTC is a space dedicated to exploring the relationship between visual art and theatre. For each play that opens at the GCTC, an artist creates a body of work to reflect the story presented on the stage. Last Thursday was the vernissage of Undercurrents at the Fritzi, a companion exhibit to the theater festival of the same name. Artists Eric Chan (eepmon), Kristy Gordon, Karina Kraenzle, Zoe Hussey, Tony Clark and Betty Liang were each asked to interpret and illustrate a play from this festival.... | Continue reading article

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