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

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

Elle Chae

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.

MFA Graduate DAVID KAARSEMAKER solo show Scrim at Karsh-Masson

David Kaarsemaker, View 2, Oil, wax, and spray-paint on canvas. 48" x 64". 2016

David Kaarsemaker, View 2, Oil, wax, and spray-paint on canvas. 48" x 64". 2016

MFA Graduate David Kaarsemaker solo show at Karsh Masson Gallery, 110 Laurier Ave West, inside Ottawa City Hall
From the Karsh Masson Catalogue, essay by Carol Wainio:
Kaarsemaker explores the alienating aspects of public space, urban redevelopment, and museum discourse, a mise en abyme of representation within representation...  The spaces, now tipped up, take on a theatrical quality, though, again, the living agents of social discourse are missing. Instead we may see the vacant rooms and empty chairs of a conference on contemporary art. The paintings leave us unsure as to whether we are inside this world or out, like the animals in glass cases isolated from the reflections of nature found on the ubiquitous glass panels of public buildings. These are displays which resist display, which obscure and make manifest layers of construction and mediation, reflecting back to us both the outside physical world and the inner world the viewers or audiences bring with them.

The exhibition runs from June 16-July 24th with an artist talk on June 26th

FULL CATASTROPHE: Chae, Conrod, Göllner, King, Sauvé, Skahan & Thibault at Karsh-Masson Gallery

Elle Chae, Heidi Conrod, Adrian Göllner, 
Gillian King, Anthony Sauvé, Justine Skahan
& Annie Thibault


March 17 to April 24, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Artist talk with Adrian Göllner and Annie Thibault
Friday, April 1st at 12:30 p.m.
Adrian Göllner will present in English and Annie Thibault will present in French.
All welcome. Free admission. 

Ottawa City Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West

The phrase ‘full catastrophe’ derives from the 1964 film Zorba the Greek, whose central character exclaims: “Wife, children, house, everything. The full catastrophe.” Rather than inferring a catastrophic event however, in which the present is overwhelmingly engulfed, it is intended to denote a vastness of human experience. In this exhibition then, the concept of the ‘full catastrophe’ evolves from an expansive, panoramic perspective that embraces the totality of life while becoming crowded with its rich and immense detail. 

-Excerpt from the essay by Celina Jeffery 

- // -

Elle Chae, Heidi Conrod, Adrian Göllner, 
Gillian King, Anthony Sauvé, Justine Skahan
& Annie Thibault

FULL CATASTROPHE (Pleine Catastrophe)

Du 17 mars au 24 avril 2016

le jeudi 17 mars de 17 h 30 à 19 h 30

Causerie avec les artistes Adrian Göllner et Annie Thibault
le vendredi 1er avril à 12 h 30
Adrian Göllner fera la présentation en anglais et Annie Thibault celle en français.
Ouverte à tous. Entrée libre. 

Hôtel de ville d’Ottawa
110, avenue Laurier Ouest

Le titre de cette exposition est un hommage au film Zorba le Grec, sorti en 1964, dans lequel le personnage principal s’exclame : « Ma femme, les enfants, la maison et tout. La pleine catastrophe. » [traduction libre]. Or, le mot catastrophe ne désigne pas ici un événement tragique, bien que Zorba en vive tout un, mais plutôt l’immensité de l’expérience humaine. Ainsi, dans cette exposition, le concept de la « pleine catastrophe » découle d’un point de vue global qui considère la vie dans son vaste ensemble tout en étant saturé de ses détails riches et abondants.

-Extrait du texte par Celina Jeffery

MFA Dialogues Speaker Series at the Ottawa Art Gallery


La Galerie d’art d’Ottawa et le Départment d’arts visuels de l’Université d’Ottawa présentent une série de causeries pendant la session hivernal 2016.

Tous les mercredis du 24 février au 30 mars, deux etudiants présentement à la maitrise en arts visuels présenteront leur recherche sous le format d'une conversation à la GAO.

Tous les événements sont ouvert au public et gratuit. Sauf indication contraire, les causeries seront en anglais.

Calendrier :

Le mercredi 24 Février
Présentateurs :  Jonathan Cyr and Justine Skahan

Le mercredi 2 mars

Présentateurs :  Michael Ashley et Adrian Gollner

Le mercredi 9 mars
Présentateurs : Kyle Bustin et Gillian King

Le mercredi 16 mars

Présentateurs : Elle Chae, Heidi Conrod, Kizi Speilmann Rose

Le mercredi 23 mars
Présentateurs : Sarah Fuller et Anthony Sauvé

Le mercredi 30 mars
Présentateurs : Annie Thibault et Lindsay Wilson (présentation bilingue)

The Ottawa Art Gallery and the University of Ottawa Department of Visual Arts present a series of noontime talks during the 2016 winter semester. 

Teams of two currently enrolled Master of Fine Arts candidates from the Department of Visual Arts will present and discuss their research in a dialogue format at the OAG. 

Talks are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend. 

Series Schedule:

Wednesday, February 24: Forest From the Trees
Presenters:  Jonathan Cyr and Justine Skahan

Wednesday, March 2: Of Guns and Beetles
Presenters:  Michael Ashley and Adrian Gollner

Wednesday, March 9: Impulse Control
Presenters : Kyle Bustin and Gillian King

Wednesday, March 16: "Meaning....what?" A conversation about process, expression and intention in abstract painting.
Presenters: Elle Chae, Heidi Conrod, Kizi Speilmann Rose

Wednesday, March 23: Outdoor Research
Presenters: Sarah Fuller and Anthony Sauvé

Wednesday, March 30: Fruitful Bodies
Presenters: Annie Thibault and Linsday Wilson (Bilingual French/English presentation)

For more information:

MFA Alumni Stanzie Tooth Profiled in NOW Toronto Magazine

Earth & Air (we were formed by the same place) by Stanzie Tooth

Earth & Air (we were formed by the same place) by Stanzie Tooth

"Canadian landscape painting, which has languished a little too reverently in the shadow of the Group of Seven, has seen some changes in the past decade. After the raw, thickly impastoed canvases of Kim Dorland gave the genre a needed kick, a new school seems to be emerging.

Inhabited, Stanzie Tooth's stunning new show, is part of this wave. Tooth, a protege of Dorland's and currently an MFA student at the University of Ottawa, is developing a vigorous, distinctive voice..." Read More

Venise : trésors d’hier et d’aujourd’hui/An Art Lover’s Paradise

Vue du dépanneur, une partie de Canadassimo, l’installation de BGL au pavillon du Canada à la Biennale de Venise 2015. Photo : Justine Skahan.

Vue du dépanneur, une partie de Canadassimo, l’installation de BGL au pavillon du Canada à la Biennale de Venise 2015. Photo : Justine Skahan.

Venise : trésors d’hier et d’aujourd’hui
Par Johanne Adam
Au printemps dernier, Justine Skahan, étudiante à la maîtrise en arts visuels, a passé un mois en Italie à se régaler d’œuvres d’art. Grâce à la bourse Stonecroft, dont elle est la première bénéficiaire, elle a travaillé au pavillon du Canada à la Biennale de Venise et elle a suivi un cours d’art à Venise offert par le Département d’arts visuels. 
En effet, le Département d’arts visuels de l’Université d’Ottawa a reçu un don important de la Fondation Stonecroft pour les arts, destiné à appuyer le Programme de maîtrise en arts visuels. Ces fonds permettront, d’une part, de créer une bourse pour envoyer un étudiant (inscrit à la maîtrise en arts visuels) à la Biennale; et d’autre part, de financer une série annuelle de conférences d’artistes, en collaboration avec le Musée des beaux-arts du Canada... En Savoir Plus
An Art Lover’s Paradise
By Johanne Adam
Last spring, Master of Fine Arts student Justine Skahan spent a month in Italy taking in the very best of art. Thanks to a Stonecroft scholarship, of which she is the first uOttawa recipient, she worked at the Canada Pavilion of the Venice Biennale international art exhibition, and took an art course in Venice given by the Department of Visual Arts.
Indeed, the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa has received a major donation from the Stonecroft Foundation for the Arts in support of the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program. This donation will finance a scholarship to send an MFA student to the Biennale and will also fund an annual artist lecture series in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada... Read More

JESSICA BELL (MAV/MFA '15) Solo Exhibition at Central Art Garage

Jessica Bell, P.S., Installation View, Central Art Garage, Image Credit: Chris Snow

Jessica Bell, P.S., Installation View, Central Art Garage, Image Credit: Chris Snow

MFA Graduate Jessica Bell exhibits new body of work in show P.S. at Central Art Garage in Ottawa. The exhibition runs from Oct 28th - Dec 4th, 2015. 

From Canadian Art online: 
In the works of Jessica Bell, what you see is what you get, and what you don’t see is what you get as well.

This is the way Bell constructs her work: each of her objects—indebted heavily to the language of painting and its intersection with the nature of fibre—are made to become more than she (and we) initially imagine them to be. Front becomes back; long becomes short; empty becomes full. This quality of flexibility carries with it an air of the cryptic: in fashioning the work to accommodate change, Bell asks us to entertain the possibility of an artwork that saves secrets for the future.

P.S., Jessica Bell’s first exhibition with Central Art Garage, runs concurrently with two exhibitions of her work in Vancouver: Should we stop here?, a solo show at Initial Gallery and the Contemporary Art Gallery’s exhibition of paintings nominated for the 2015 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, a prize for which she was previously nominated in 2013.