Local photography studio House of Common opened an online print shop over the weekend. Tucked behind Bridgehead and Cinqhole on Fairmont Avenue in Hintonburg, the studio is going online to connect Ottawa artists to more buyers and to make use of a printer that’s just been “sitting there doing nothing.”
The House of Common Shop has prints from about 15 artists available now, and the team says more will be added. Their new Shopify store showcases the talents of some of Ottawa’s best photographers and visual artists (including collage and silkscreen artists and painters) such as Jamie Kronick, Pascale Arpin, Amy Thompson, Melanie Yugo, and William Lalonde.
This digital initiative comes at a time when independent artists could really use the boost. Work has slowed down for so many Ottawa musicians, photographers, performing artists and creatives whose output typically requires the input of people IRL.
“For the most part we have to interact with people to do our jobs.”
“I’ve had three jobs cancel on me leading up to this. Same with a lot of my other photography friends,” said studio director Rémi Thériault in this interview on CBC Radio. “For the most part we have to interact with people to do our jobs. So that’s not something that’s possible right now. It’s definitely hard for photographers, in particular, for that reason.”
“Everybody’s kind of worried. Nobody knows how long this is going to last. So we kinda just wanted to create something that could help, at all, with people, and just share artwork.”
Right now, they’re working on shipping. Thériault says the shop will “definitely ship to North America and elsewhere”; however, for the time being, buyers are asked to swing by the studio for local pickup (with an appointment).
“We’ve had a bunch of people contact us because they’re excited to buy, excited to see all these artworks, and discover new artists, which obviously makes us very happy,” says Thériault.
Five per cent of the proceeds are being donated to the Ottawa Food Bank. Some of the artists who have full-time jobs are donating one hundred per cent of their sales to the food bank.
Visit houseofcommon.shop to explore prints by local artists.