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April 28, 2018
 - September 16, 2018

Curators: Rebecca Basciano, Jim Burant, Michelle Gewurtz and Catherine Sinclair

6500 years of art making in the Ottawa-Gatineau region

"Thirty years since our founding, and with the impending opening of our new expanded home, the OAG will mark and celebrate this important juncture by drawing together a seminal collection of art to generate the most extensive and multilayered exploration of the region’s art history and contemporary production to date." — Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO

This landmark exhibition surveys art in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. It brings historical art into dialogue with contemporary practices, including a series of newly commissioned works. It is a story told from various perspectives, reflecting the interests and histories of diverse peoples.

Located at the confluence of three rivers, this region has long been a site of exchange and interaction. The intertwining concepts of the exhibition’s Anishnābe (Algonquin), French and English titles encapsulate its layered narrative. The Anishnābe concept of Àdisòkàmagan implies that every object tells a story. In bringing these objects together, we emphasize the crucial role of the arts in how we come to know ourselves. Author Gabrielle Roy underscored this with her statement, “nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes sans les arts?" Mapping the overlapping artistic narratives of this region also confirms what Margaret Atwood’s character Nell from “The Entities” observed: “In the end, we’ll all become stories.”

The works of art in this exhibition are presented along four thematic lines — Bodies, Bridging, Mapping, and Technologies — which emerged from an exploration of the art and history of this region. Together, they offer a glimpse at how we interpret our world, and ourselves within it.


Barry Ace, Paul Alfred, Edmund Alleyn, Adam Alorut, Tony Amikons, Kalkidan Assefa, Melanie Authier, Shahla Bahrami, Yves Baril, Harold Beament, Miguel-Angel Berlanga, James Boyd, Simon Brascoupé, Franklin Brownell, John Burrows, Ralph W. Burton, Heather Campbell, John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, Alexandre Castonguay, Suzanne Clément Chabot, Madeleine Clément, James Pattison Cockburn, Lynne Cohen, William Commanda and Chuck Commanda, Anna Coulombe, Marlene Creates, Jean Dallaire, Thomas Davies, Duncan de Kergommeaux, Max Dean, Tim desClouds, Luc Desjardins, Joyce Frances Devlin, Jennifer Dickson, Maura Doyle, Samuel Dubé, Josée Dubeau, Alma Duncan, Pat Durr, Mary Alexandra Bell Eastlake, Evergon, Henri Fabien, Rosalie Favell, Susan Feindel, nichola feldman-kiss, Juliette Meness Ferguson, Wilfrid John, Ernest Fosbery, Tony Fouhse, Bruce Garner, Juan Geuer, Lorraine Gilbert, Martin Golland, Adrian Göllner, Richard Gorman, Jerry Grey, Eliza Griffiths, Elizabeth Harrison, Maurice Haycock, Greg Hill, Robert Hyndman, Mattiusi Iyaituk, A.Y. Jackson, Donna James, Rachel Kalpana James, Fran Jones, Janet Kaponicin, Yousuf Karsh, Farouk Kaspaules, Silas Kayakjuak, Henry Kudluk, Evelyn Lambart, Caroline Langill, Claude Latour, Sarah Lavalley, Charles Anthony Law, Donna Legault, Katherine Emma Limn, Kenneth Lochhead, Gavin Lynch, Pegi Nicol MacLeod, Catherine Makateinini (Michel), Laura Margita, Deborah Margo, Mark Marsters, Jane Martin, Henri Masson, Penny McCann, Florence Helena McGillivray, Norman McLaren, Gerald McMaster, Meryl McMaster, David B. Milne, Caroline Monnet, Kathleen Moir Morris, Charles E. Moss, Paula Murray, Marie-Jeanne Musiol, Shelley Niro, Ron Noganosh, Gunter Nolte, Graham Norwell, Dean Ottawa, Cheryl Pagurek, Freda Pemberton Smith, John Charles Pinhey, Mary-Anne Pinhey, Okpik Pitseolak, Henry Pooley, Annie Pootoogook, Barry Pottle, Art Price, Private George Priest, Michèle Provost, Bozica Radjenovic, Margaret Ratt, Leslie Reid, Catherine Richards, Goodridge William Roberts,  Dan Sarazin, Hilde Schreier, Michael Schreier, Blair Sharpe, Brodie Shearer, Frank Shebageget, Marika Smart, Megan L. Smith, Meredith Snider, Michael Sproule, Jason St-Laurent, Stefan St-Laurent, Ryan Stec, Cindy Stelmackowich, Stent & Laver Architects, Carl Stewart, Jesse Stewart, Norman Takeuchi, The Latest Artists (Andrew O'Malley, Deborah O'Malley), Annie Thibault, Jeff Thomas, Jim Thomson, Cara Tierney, Victor Tolgesy, Simon Tookoome, William J. Topley, Dennis Tourbin, Guillermo Trejo, Gerald Trottier, Howie Tsui, Jonathan Tyler, unknown, unknown (collection of  Lise Brascoupé), Jean-Yves Vigneau, Carol Wainio, Eric Walker, Daniel Watchorn, Edwin Whitefield, Anna Williams, Roger D. Wilson, Bear Witness, Justin Wonnacott, Tom Wood, Andrew Wright, Alex Wyse, Jinny Yu, Russell Yuristy

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Ottawa Art Gallery would like to thank our contributors for their support of this exhibition.

Àdisòkàmagan / Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes / We’ll all become stories, installation view, Ottawa Art Gallery, 2018. Photo: Justin Wonnacott.

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Additional Resources

Click here to explore a timeline of art in the Ottawa/Gatineau region from prehistory to present day.

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