Blair Sharpe: A Celebration of Life

Blair Sharpe: A Celebration of Life

Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Join us to celebrate the life of Ottawa abstract painter Blair Sharpe, who passed away July 15th, 2019, leaving behind a five-decade long legacy in the Ottawa area. Everyone is welcome and light refreshments will be available.

Born in Montreal in 1954, Sharpe spent the majority of his professional painting career in Ottawa. Over the years, Sharpe explored the materiality and formal qualities of paint through vibrantly coloured and bold abstract compositions. Often pulling from nature as inspiration, he experimented with a variety of painting techniques, dripping, splashing and applying it by hand to create gestural pieces with an expressive colour and immediacy.

Having studied abroad in London and Germany, he continued his painting studies at the Ottawa School of Art (OSA) in 1974 under the tutelage of abstract painter Richard Gorman, who soon became a mentor. Sharpe quickly became an important member of the Ottawa arts community. He taught painting at the OSA, and represented artists by serving with CARFAC and on the boards of other local institutions such as SAW Gallery. Sharpe was represented by John Wallack, and his work was shown in exhibitions at the OSA Gallery, Wells Gallery, SAW Gallery and Gallery 101, as well as very early on at the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG). He described his 1989 mid-career survey exhibition at the OAG, then the fledgling Gallery at Arts Court, as a “significant milestone” in his career. He was a foundational figure in the Ottawa community whose presence will be missed.

Photo: Alessandro Seccareccia