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Photo: Ottawa Art Gallery (YouTube)

Virtual Curator Tour: Sheltered In Place at the Ottawa Art Gallery

By Ottawa Art Gallery on July 7, 2021

Sheltered in Place: Portraits of Self, Family and Community

The COVID-19 pandemic has evoked new feelings in us all, whether isolation as we work alone, fear of exposure as essential workers, or claustrophobic anxiety if we live in close quarters. Emotional states such as isolation, fear, or anxiety have given us fresh perspectives on ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Reflecting these challenging times, the exhibition Sheltered in Place offers an expanded definition of portraiture—a traditional artistic genre that should be reconsidered from our current vantage point. The selected artworks, by historical and contemporary artists based primarily in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, include film, installation, sculpture, photography, painting and drawing. Through their varied strategies, these artists raise provocative questions about who we are, and how we perceive and acknowledge others.

Perhaps then, living through the pandemic has offered a potential shift in perspective, as we encounter the people in these portraits. From this fresh frame of mind, we can now more fully understand what these artists have been telling us about themselves and their communities all along.

Artists: Chantal Dahan, Max Dean, Christopher Lea Dunning, Robert S. Hyndman, Patrice James, Martha Kyak, Kosisochukwu Nnebe, Ron Noganosh, Faisa Omer, Jessie Oonark, Annie Pootoogook

Curated by: Catherine Sinclair, Rebecca Basciano, Michelle Gewurtz


Sheltered in Place: Portraits of Self, Family and Community is exhibiting at the Ottawa Art Gallery until August 15, 2021. The OAG is currently closed in adherence to provincial COVID-19 guidelines, however you can subscribe to the email newsletter to receive a notification when the gallery re-opens. More virtual curator tours are available in English and French via YouTube.