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Photo courtesy of CSArt.

Endless art: M by Mark B. Stephenson opens this week

By Andrew Monro on February 13, 2017



Andrew Monro is Apt613’s correspondent at Impact Hub Ottawa, writing about the many innovators that call Hub home. Hub is a co-working space at 71 Bank Street for projects with a positive local and global impact.


M, an interactive collection of art pieces by local Ottawa artist Mark B. Stephenson, is coming to Clover Food and Drink (155 Bank St) for a vernissage that promises to be creative, challenging, and playful.

The project is produced by Community-Supported Art Ottawa (CSArt), an art organization based on the community-supported agriculture model, and based out of Impact Hub Ottawa. CSArt is subscriber-based: subscribers buy in as patrons at the beginning of the season, which directly supports artists as they create work for them. Throughout the season, subscribers receive a share of the artistic harvest, which includes everything from concert tickets to paintings to poetry.

This vernissage is an opportunity to open up CSArt to the public, and give a taste of they do and the work of their sponsored artists.

16403300_10158192191490707_3861528598472232635_oIn creating M, Stephenson created visual artwork that  patrons can engage directly, shifting from something that hangs on the wall to an interactive experience. M is conceived as a grid of 49 individual art pieces that he calls ‘pixel boxes.’ Each pixel box has three sides that can be moved and rotated. Mounted together, they create three self portraits and countless unique combinations as each box presents exponential opportunities, both independently and in combination with the other boxes, and can be easily changed.

Stephenson is excited to see how people will interact with the installation,“I’ve designed the boxes, portraits, patterns, and colours in such a way to encourage exploration. I expect some will look to discover the three portraits and others will be more interested in disrupting the portraits to create something unique.”

All of the pixel boxes were laser cut at the Ottawa Library maker space, Imagine Space. Clover Food and Drink, the venue and partner for the show, will be providing snacks, and drinks are being supplied by Dominion City Brewing Co. and KIN Vineyards. For the subscribers, there will be a lottery at 7 pm that same evening to choose which of Mark’s paintings they want to take home.

Clover Food and Drink (155 Bank St) will be hosting the exhibition of M until March 31st. The vernissage takes place from 5–9pm on Thursday February 16. Admission is free.