JESSICA BELL, MFA '15: Solo Exhibition @ Unit 17

Jessica Bell, Seed Work, 2017 (detail) fabric remnant on quilted and stretched muslin, 56 x 72"

Jessica Bell, Seed Work, 2017 (detail)
fabric remnant on quilted and stretched muslin, 56 x 72"

25 February - 16 April 2017
opening reception: Friday, 24 February, 6-8pm

Unit 17 is pleased to present a solo exhibition with recent works by Jessica Bell

These women in my family would seem to have been pragmatic and in their deepest instincts clinically radical, given to breaking clean with everyone and everything they knew. (...) They tended to accommodate any means in pursuit of an uncertain end. They tended to avoid dwelling on just what that end might imply. When they could not think what else to do they moved another thousand miles, set out another garden: beans and squash and sweet peas from seeds carried from the last place. The past could be jettisoned, children buried and parents left behind, but seeds got carried. They were women, these women in my family, without much time for second thoughts, without inclination toward equivocation, and later, when there was time or inclination, there developed a tendency, which I came to see as endemic, toward slight and major derangements, apparently eccentric pronouncements, opaque bewilderment and moves to places not quite on schedule.

[Joan Didion, "Where I Was From" in We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: The Collected Nonfiction (Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 2006), 955-956.]

Jessica Bell (b.1977, Canada) has twice been a finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition and has exhibited in such venues as the Ottawa Art Gallery, Idea Exchange and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. A recent artist-in-residence at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, she will present Fits and Starts, a solo exhibition at Ottawa’s Central Art Garage later in 2017. Bell lives in Vancouver. 

17-2414 Main Street
Vancouver, BCV5T 3H9
+1 604 379 8596

SHARON KATZ, MFA '14: Time/Frame @ Studio Sixty-Six

Sharon Katz, Unsalted Butter (left), Sharon Katz, Birdhouse (right)

Sharon Katz, Unsalted Butter (left), Sharon Katz, Birdhouse (right)

FEBRUARY 23 - MARCH 25 2017

Please join us for the opening reception: 
Thursday, February 23, 6-9PM
202-66 Muriel Street, Ottawa, ON  K1S4E1

“Staging in the sense we are talking about is a kind of framing; in theatre, the stage is the frame that allows us to make sense of what is to follow – that the execution wasn’t really an execution, that the newlyweds aren’t really married. While not a part of the performance itself, the frame is what allows us to see it as a performance” (Chris Fleming & John O’Carroll, The Art of the Hoax, 47).

Sharon Katz and Véronique Sunatori, two artists at disparate points in their lives and careers, explore the themes of temporality and materiality through their contrastive but complementary works.

An accomplished animator and filmmaker, Sharon Katz brings her mixed media work incorporating pages of encyclopedias, ink, paint and found objects to the exhibition. Katz’s works depict movement and action, merging the stasis of her painted frames with the vitality in her work, notable in String Theory, where the tennis player yearns to engage below the glass with the ball, finding itself in a “perpetual state of suspended animation.” Katz has only recently begun working with paint and its role in her work varies within each piece - from background to foreground, from heavy touches to light. Also recently designing sets for theatrical production, Katz is cognizant of the ways in which each work becomes a storyboard, a natural extension from animation.

Véronique Sunatori, currently working towards her MFA at York University, creates work that offers alternative perspectives, as can easily be seen in her series of severed and modified frames, effectively reintroducing the “stage” as the art itself, albeit disjointed from its original purpose and appearance. Sunatori also incorporates her identity, born to a Japanese father and Québécoise mother, to her Portraits series, wherein she has drawn over the glass covering photographic portraits of the artist, and her Skillfully series, which references traditional Japanese wood and paper screens. For Sunatori, invoking sculptural forms allows for her work to breathe conceptually and both asks for and offers up alternative points of view.

Staged together in the juxtaposed space of the gallery, the performativity accomplished through the two artists’ works is present, provoking debate on the functionality of staging and framing and, indeed, of a suspension of disbelief.

Text by Rose Ekins, Curator

Fleming, Chris, and John O'Carroll. "The Art of the Hoax." Parallax 16, No. 4 (2010): 45-59.

ANDREW MORROW, MFA '09: Ten Small Paintings, Solo Exhibition @ Patrick Mikhail Gallery

Andrew Morrow,  Oaring Boughs, Oil on prepared cotton paper, 23 X 30 inches, 2017

Andrew Morrow,  Oaring Boughs, Oil on prepared cotton paper, 23 X 30 inches, 2017

February 18 – March 25, 2017


PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY in Montréal is pleased to present an installation of new works by Québec artist ANDREW MORROW. The exhibition, entitled TEN PAINTINGS SMALL, incorporates new paintings on paper and furthers Morrow’s exploration of a fragmented and expanded language of history painting after Modernism.

Referencing a wide range of history painting and early photography, Morrow’s current paintings present a deconstruction of pictorial strategies from realist painting and narrative histories. Painted as a counterpoint to an ongoing large-scale public art project, TEN PAINTINGS SMALL features ten small oil paintings on paper. In contrast to the incumbencies and constraints associated with public art, these paintings are straightforward and inward-looking, concerned primarily with painterly issues, almost willfully blind to the sociopolitical complexities underlying their source material. Developed from fragments of history painting and 19th century photography, these new works maintain a conscious detachment from originating contexts and meanings, subsuming source materials to formalist painting concerns, such as scale, composition, and space. Additionally, through the reduction of source material to familiar archetypes from history and genre painting—the nude, the worker, the land, the soldier, the artist—figures are apprehended from photographic history and re-assigned to the service of painting. In this exhibition, Morrow re-states the belief that in all things painting, painting comes first.

Morrow’s professional practice is characterized by a desire to both inhabit and extend historical, narrative painting. His work fluctuates between narrative and self-reference, lucidity and indeterminacy, ambition and constraint. Extending from personal, actual, and invented histories, the paintings engage broad, historical themes such as war, eroticism, beauty, the apocalypse, and death, complicating these through a resistance to narrative closure and spatial coherence. In the artist’s work, fragmented and archetypal figures populate shifting, uncertain landscapes—approaching, but never quite attaining, the sublime. Morrow redresses our historical landscape, inviting us to re-evaluate our own cultural self-image.

Morrow holds a BFA from Queen’s University and an MFA from the University of Ottawa where he was awarded the 2009 Michel Goulet Prize for outstanding thesis presentation. He was a finalist in the 2004 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, and the 2007 Toronto Arts Council Emerging Artist Award. He is the recipient of the 2011 RBC Emerging Artist Award.  He was awarded the 2010 W.B. Bruce European Travel Award, the 2013 DAÏMÔN Residency, and the 2015 Can Serrat Residency Support Stipend. Morrow’s work can be found in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, City of Ottawa Art Collection, Kingston City Hall, Desjardins Group in Montréal, Herjavec Group in Toronto, and St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, in addition to numerous private international collections. Morrow has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including solo and group exhibitions at: Art Toronto; Papier Art Fair; Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa); Saw Gallery (Ottawa); Mississauga Art Gallery; Sudbury Art Gallery; New Brunswick Museum; Edmonton Art Gallery; Ottawa City Hall Art Gallery, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto). Morrow is on the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Arts Council, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Ottawa.  The artist lives and works in Chelsea, Québec. 


Anne Marie Dumouchel, Curtain E, 2017, 53.5 x 43.5 Inches

Anne Marie Dumouchel, Curtain E, 2017, 53.5 x 43.5 Inches

Anne Marie Dumouchel, MFA alumna & Marc Knowles at PDA Projects, Ottawa (Owner/Curator Brendan DeMontigny MFA '13), opening Feb 10th. Anne Marie Dumouchel hybridizes analog and digital photographic processes, injecting the colourful and psychedelic qualities of glitch into the tradtional.


The Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa is pleased to present PAUL WALDE, as part of the 2016-2017 Visiting Artist Program.

Wednesday, February 8th from 12 to 1pm
Department of Visual Arts,
100 Laurier Ave. East, room 114

Paul Walde is an intermedia artist, composer, and curator. Walde’s body of work suggests unexpected interconnections between landscape, identity, and technology. Recent exhibitions of his work include: The View from Up Here at the Anchorage Museum (2016), Nature’s Handmade at Museum London (2015) and All Together Now at the University of Toronto Art Centre (2014).

In 2013, he completed Requiem for a Glacier, a site-specific sound performance featuring a fifty-five-piece choir and orchestra live on the Farnham Glacier in the Purcell Mountains. Requiem for a Glacier was subsequently developed into a multichannel sound and video installation which has been the basis of solo exhibitions at L’ Université Laval Art Gallery in Quebec City, QC; Art Gallery at Evergreen, Coquitlam, BC; Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson, BC, (2014) and The Langham Cultural Centre in Kaslo, BC (2013).

Walde is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (BFA) and New York University (MA). He is the winner of The Prescott Fund Award from the National Arts Club in New York City, and has recently received awards from the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council. In addition to his studio practice, Walde is an active lecturer, curator, teacher and writer and has attended residencies at Pouch Cove, Newfoundland and the Banff Centre for the Arts. From 2007 to 2010 he was the Artistic Director and Visual Arts curator of LOLA, the London Ontario Live Arts Festival during which time he presented projects by such international artists as Brian Eno (UK), blackhole factory (DE), Yoko Ono (US) and Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky (US). Often blurring the lines between producer and curator he has also presented the work of such Canadian artists as: Michael Snow, Kelly Mark, Dave Dyment, Gordon Monahan, and Michelle Gay.

In 2012 he relocated to Victoria, British Columbia, where he is Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Department Chair at the University of Victoria. Walde is a founding member of Audio Lodge, a Canadian sound artcollective and EMU Experimental Music Unit a Victoria-based sound ensemble.

MFA Open House

Sam Loewen

Sam Loewen

Lindsey Wilson

Lindsey Wilson

Thank you to all who attended the third annual MFA open house and made it a wonderful evening of art! We hope to continue this tradition of the MFA candidates introducing themselves and their practices to the public, and Ottawa arts community. See you next December!


The University of Ottawa MFA candidates welcome you to their open house! First and Second Year MFA's will be showcasing their most recent bodies of work in our third annual Open House night. Come discover new artists, works, and learn more about the University of Ottawa's MFA program. 

Refreshments and snacks will be served. 
Doors open at 7
December 16th, 7-10PM
100 Laurier Ave. East

University of Ottawa Lecture Series: Barry Schwabsky


The Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa presents Barry Schwabsky

Thursday, November 10, 2016, 7 p.m.
National Gallery of Canada Lecture Hall (380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa)

The Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa is proud to present Barry Schwabsky on Thursday, November 10, 2016. The lecture will start at 7 p.m. at the NGC Lecture Hall. 

Barry Schwabsky is an art critic for The Nation and co-editor of international reviews for Artforum. His most recent books are The Perpetual Guest: Art in the Unfinished Present (Verso, 2016) and a collection of poetry, Trembling Hand Equilibrium (Black Square Editions, 2015). He is also the primary author of the Vitamin P series of books on contemporary painting, of which the third and most recent installment is imminent from Phaidon Press. He is currently a visiting professor in the Department of Art and Art History, Hunter College, City University of New York.

National Gallery of Canada
Conference in English. Open to public and free of charge. Limited seating. 



THURSDAY OCTOBER 20th, Artist Talk
National Gallery of Canada

The Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa is proud to present the second annual Stonecroft Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture Series in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada. Abbas Akhavan, winner of the prestigious 2015 Sobey Art Award, will deliver an artist talk.

Le Département d’arts visuels de l’Université d’Ottawa est fier de présenter la deuxième conférence d’artistes invités de la Fondation Stonecroft en collaboration avec le Musée des beaux-arts du Canada. Abbas Akhavan, le gagnant du prestigieux Prix Sobey pour les Arts 2015, prononcera la conférence.

Conference in English. Open to public and free of charge. Limited seating. 
Conférence en anglais avec traduction simultanée disponible sur demande avant le 13 octobre Ouvert gratuitement au public. Places limitées.

Exposition de Sasha Phipps (BFA Alum/Photomedia Technician)/Exhibition of Sasha Phipps

Sasha Phipps, Se faire avoir comme un bleu (Hook, Line and Sinker)
La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario
Exposition du 7 octobre au 5 novembre 2016
Vernissage le vendredi 7 octobre à 17 h

Avec son travail d’installation, l’artiste Sasha Phipps explore et réinterprète les cultures dites «vernaculaires». Se faire avoir comme un bleu s’inspire ainsi du paysage riverain du lac Ramsey en accordant une attention particulière à ceux qui y tendent leurs cannes à pêche.

Un hameçon géant transperce le mur de la galerie à la façon des lignes à pêche qui, au lieu d’un poisson, accrochent le fond du lac. Dans un ancien évier en acier inoxydable, un flotteur ballotant indique la présence d’un poisson qui grignote l’appât avant de s’esquiver. Finalement, l’exposition se dissimule sous des motifs originaux de camouflage conçus par l’artiste à partir de photos prises du paysage local.


Through his installation work, artist Sasha Phipps explores and reinterprets what he calls “vernacular” aspects of culture. Inspired by the landscape around Ramsey Lake, Hook, Line, and Sinker is especially interested in those who cast their fishing lines along the shore.

A giant hook is embedded in one of the gallery’s walls, evoking the manner in which a fishing line sometimes snags the bottom of the lake instead of its intended prey. Something tugs at a floating bobber in an old stainless steel sink, like fish nibbling on bait before getting away. Finally, the exhibition is partly hidden behind original camouflage patterns designed by the artist with photos taken of the local landscape.

JESSICA BELL (MFA'15) Artist Talk at Ottawa Art Gallery

Catch and Release, 2014, Found object, plaster, 18 x 14 x 14 inches

Catch and Release, 2014, Found object, plaster, 18 x 14 x 14 inches

Tuesday, September 13th, at 6:30PM
From the OAG website:
This event will take place at OAG’s Annex Gallery at City Hall, located at 110 Laurier Ave West.
Join artist Jessica Bell for a look at her new work, recent projects, and life after MFA. Bell's graduate thesis exhibition All things being equalwas featured at OAG in 2015. Refreshments will be served.

Jessica Bell makes objects and installations that play with the relationships between art and craft, home and studio, life and work. A graduate of the University of Ottawa’s MFA program in 2015, she has twice been a finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition (2013, 2015), and has exhibited in such venues as Ottawa Art Gallery, Idea Exchange and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. This spring she was an artist-in-residence at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Jessica Bell lives in Vancouver.


Pink Lake Mica III (detail) Cold Wax Medium, Oil, and Raw Pigments on Canvas, 8x5 feet, 2016
Pink Lake Mica III (detail) Cold Wax Medium, Oil, and Raw Pigments on Canvas, 8x5 feet, 2016

Gillian King
Becoming Animal
Exhibition: August 19th - September 25th, 2016
Vernissage: Thursday August 18th-  6pm
Ottawa Art Gallery

In Becoming Animal, Gillian King explores our relationships as human animals towards non-human animals and the natural world through abstract painting. Human animals have changed the natural landscape to a point where we have entered into a new epoch - the Anthropocene. Unlike other epochs, the Anthropocene began by our actions and influence on the natural environment. The resulting fallout from our ability to change the landscape of the world has affected how we interact other living beings. To address these environmental issues visually, King uses her hands and nails to move and throw beeswax, charcoal, and natural and artificial raw pigments onto human-scale canvases. The traces left by her body are reminiscent of non-human animals clawing or digging and act as a kind of symbolic mapping of a relatable body. She invites viewers to consider their own physical engagement with our landscape and other animals through the haptic or sense of touch. From afar her gestural marks give a photographic illusion. Up close the viewer is able to experience their physical relief that is akin to a topographic terrain. King sees this opposition between what is perceived and what is the case is important to her practice because exploring the actions between human animal and non-human animal bodies means to question how we look at, and act, within the natural world. Becoming Animal is King’s University of Ottawa Masters of Fine Arts thesis exhibition. 

We're happy to announce that the OAG has extended the run of Gillian King's thesis exhibition, it will be up until the end of day September 25th!


Justine Skahan
An Ordered Absence
Exhibition: August 12th to 27th, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, August 12, 2016, 7-10PM

My painting practice consists of a range of reoccurring subjects, most importantly architecture, landscape, domestic animals, and visual representations of gender. My interest in these emerges from a desire to question their construction: their physical making as well as the way we project our own conceptions onto them with varying degrees of accuracy.
My choices of subject matter are motivated by something felt rather than explicitly stated, and my methods for gathering source material is as varied as the content. I use personal photographs, film stills, online news stories, internet image searches, magazine and newspaper content, and imagined abstract spaces as raw materials for the work. Pop culture and the suburban landscape are both rich areas of source material for me. They are inescapable, and provide an abundance of the qualities I am drawn to in my everyday visual field: humour, foreboding and the absurd.
One of the primary driving forces behind my work is the act of painting itself. It is a physical and mental process that allows me to deconstruct the subject matter that I am addressing. Constructing an image also allows me to think through what exists below the surface of things or question what has caused dissonant natural or manufactured elements to be joined together.
The individual works are organized so as to form multiple relationships that extend the process of construction. The installation also serves to amplify the content of individual works. In these ways, the relationships formed find parallels in the structures of language and location of meaning.


Heidi Conrod

Heidi Conrod

Elle Chae

Elle Chae

Heidi Conrod: I consider the practice of painting to be neurotic, obsessive and seductive.  It keeps me permanently searching, and so it is also addictive in its elusiveness. The physical engagement with paint, its rich history, and the constant risk of failure are what keep me coming back.
In me, the urge to paint begins with a strong compulsion to internalize and organize what I see, and then communicate this seeing.  It is a way to order the phantasmagoria of life and the randomness of being, and stimulates a form of magical thinking.
The meditative and slow act of painting provides me with a means to mirror forms of mental activity, to express desires, anxieties, intentions, and everything else that is inexpressible or ineffable.
This exhibition includes a group of new paintings that explores the depiction of mental states through the cautious release and withholding of visual, conceptual, and autobiographical cues. Reflecting on the nature of memory and time and the fluid ways in which these seemingly immaterial phenomena interact, the works represent multiple visions within one viewing experience; commenting not only on the surface of things, but also on what may lie hidden beneath. The works are best understood through introspection rather than a forced rationale.  


Elle Chae and Heidi Conrod
Painter, Painter  
Exhibition: August 4 to 28, 2016
Vernissage: Thursday, August 25, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Karsh-Masson Gallery


Anthony Sauvé   De route et de rivière Exposition: du 5 au 13 août,  2016 Vernissage: le vendredi 5 août- 7h00 DAÏMÔN   Anthony Sauvé   The Road and the River Exhibition: August 5-13,  2016 Reception: Friday August 5 - 7pm DAÏMÔN  

Anthony Sauvé  
De route et de rivière
Exposition: du 5 au 13 août,  2016
Vernissage: le vendredi 5 août- 7h00

Anthony Sauvé  
The Road and the River
Exhibition: August 5-13,  2016
Reception: Friday August 5 - 7pm

À la dérive sur la rivière et sur la route, sur des radeaux gonflés d’air, à pied ou sur le pouce, en zigzagant d’une rive à l’autre en traversiers, je suis les courants de la Rivière des Outaouais jusqu’à Montréal. En partant de Hull en bateaux pneumatiques à l’embouchure du Ruisseau de la Brasserie, je me laisse porter par la rivière jusqu’à ce qu’elle me dépose une quarantaine de kilomètres plus loin. Je continue à longer la rivière en marchant et en embarquant sur tous les traversiers qui croisent mon chemin. Je trace une ligne irrégulière dans l’espace, je suis guidé par les courants et les routes qui suivent la Rivière des Outaouais, le Lac des Deux-Montagnes et le Lac Saint-Louis; je retourne dans ma ville natale en me déroutant, en revenant sur mes pas, en allongeant mon trajet. Je marche vite. Je me déplace comme je suis: en empruntant le parcours le plus long, parsemé de contradictions, de naufrages, de bifurcations, de changements d’idées et de directions. Mes mouvements sont décousus et impulsifs, mais je poursuis de l’avant en explorant tous les détours. Un carnet de voyage, une lourde expédition dérouté en vagabondage insouciant au fil de l’eau, en passant par la tente et l’auberge au bord de la route, par la proue et la roue, avec le cours de la rivière et en sens inverse du trafic; j’avance en formant un tracé incertain, influencé par les éléments naturels, les obstacles et les constructions, au gré du jour, dessiné par mes humeurs et mon tempérament.


Drifting on the river and on the road, on rafts filled with air, on foot or hitchhiking, zigzagging from one shore to the other on ferries, I follow the currents of the Ottawa River to Montreal. Leaving from Hull on inflatable boats at the mouth of Brewery Creek, I let the river carry me until it leaves me about forty kilometres further. I continue to follow the river by walking and boarding all the ferries that cross my path. I’m tracing an irregular line in space, I’m guided by currents and roads following the Ottawa River, the Lake of Two-Mountains and Lake Saint-Louis; I’m heading back to the town of my birth, I am sidetracked, I retrace my steps, I stretch my trajectory. I walk fast. I move such as I am: by taking the longest road, scattered with contradictions, wrecks, bifurcations, changes of mind and directions. My movements are erratic and impulsive, still I go forth exploring all detours. A travel journal, a heavy expedition sidetracked into a carefree wandering along the waterside, passing through in a tent and the roadside inn, on waves and on wheels, with the course of the river and against traffic; I proceed as I shape an uncertain trace, influenced by the natural elements, obstacles and constructions, by the will of the day, drawn by my moods and my temperament.

JUSTINE SKAHAN (MFA`16) Finalist in the 2016 RBC Painting Competition

Justine Skahan, Home, 2016. Oil on canvas stretched over wood, 52 x 48 in.

Justine Skahan, Home, 2016. Oil on canvas stretched over wood, 52 x 48 in.

The University of Ottawa congratulates second year MFA candidate Justine Skahan on her nomination in this year's RBC painting competition!
From Canadian Art:
Phenomena from pop culture to urban planning inform the paintings of Montreal-born artist Justine Skahan. Some of her recent works, she told the Fulcrum, are based in places where “natural elements and architecture co-exist, mostly in suburban landscapes.” Other recent imagery, however, focuses on the Olsen twins, Ingrid Bergman’s hair, and Miami palm trees. Skahan obtained her BFA in studio arts from Concordia University in 2010, and she is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Ottawa. Her work has been exhibited at Lonsdale Gallery in Toronto, and Karsh-Masson Gallery in Ottawa, while her master’s thesis exhibition will take place at Central Art Garage in Ottawa in August 2016.