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Show your love for PDA Projects, Elgin Street’s new art gallery

By Lisa Levesque on August 14, 2014

Elgin is set to join the Ottawa arts scene at last. PDA Projects, an inclusive workshop-driven gallery showcasing emerging Canadian artists, is opening on Elgin next to The Lieutenant’s Pump.

The opening on Saturday, August 16th, runs from 6pm-10pm. Simply titled the “Grand Opening Group Show 2014,” it will feature selected artwork by the artists of PDA Projects: Anne Marie Dumouchel, Marc Knowles, Chrisopher Payne, Rah, and Zoltan Veetaete. PDA Projects is still looking for three more artists to join this roster, and the first official call for submissions will be announced at the opening.

Directors Brendan A. de Montigny and Meredith Snider spoke to me about what has inspired them to open this type of gallery.

PDA Projects aims “to bring all kinds of artists and art appreciators together”, says Snider. She has experience working in artist-run centres, and de Montigny has experience working in commercial galleries. Both met at the University of Ottawa during their MFAs, and are now instructors at the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College, respectively. Together they’re looking to create an open environment for emerging artists.

Being located on Elgin St. is very important to them, they say, because it’s a new area for Ottawa art to emerge.

They already have exhibitions planned for the next several months, including Short Cuts featuring En Masse, starting September 20th, a Montreal drawing collective that will be presented as a part of this year’s Ottawa Gatineau Nuit Blanche.

In addition to the upcoming exhibitions, PDA Projects is also planning workshops. These range from casual arts and crafts happy hours to more serious art history 101 and team building exercises. These workshops are designed to let emerging artists and the art curious mingle in a way that they just wouldn’t in a traditional artist’s workshop or artist’s gallery. In Brendan’s words, these are “more workshops than seminars. Our bottom line is to create a safe space.”

If you’re like me, an art-enthusiast with some distinctly non-artsy friends, you’ll see the appeal. To make it even easier to draw in traffic, PDA Projects is actually connected to The Lieutenant’s Pump via the Gallery Bar. Patrons can walk between establishments, drink in hand, and go seamlessly from one to the other.

The first test for this Gallery Bar: seeing if it can handle the influx of visitors to Saturday’s opening. The show promises to be exciting, and one thing’s for sure: it’s more art than Elgin has seen in awhile.

For more information on PDA Projects, visit their website.

Grand Opening Group Show 2014
August 16th, 6pm-10pm