A message from OAG Director and CEO, Alexandra Badzak
March 18, 2021
Dear OAG Members, Friends, and Supporters,
It is hard to believe that it has been a year since the COVID pandemic changed all of our lives. So much has happened in that time, yet throughout all the changes, one thing remains constant at OAG—our commitment to being free and accessible! One of our key priorities is to amplify the work of artists in our region; to support one of the hardest hit segments of our society, and to celebrate the fact that we have incredible talent [art] in our region. Throughout 2021, you are going to see the compelling ways we are fulfilling our mission.
There is no doubt that OAG is doing things differently—developing and sharing online programming; sending art kits out to communities in need; curating through FaceTime and using the power of Zoom to continue our outreach with community members—and I am pleased to report that all of this is resulting in exciting and tangible actions, including:
OAG’s Board of Directors has adopted an inclusive, equity-seeking and anti-racism lens as a central tenet and foundational practice for OAG and as a main pillar of our Strategic Plans;
We have conducted several more focus group discussions to further explore how we can continue to support communities that we serve—developing a partnership with the Ottawa Black Arts Kollective (OBAK) to work on several joint initiatives, and becoming an ICCA Star Ally with the Indigenous Curatorial Collective;
We have built mentorships and production supports into our exhibitions as a direct result of community consultation;
We have prioritized the purchasing of emerging artists work including new acquisitions by artists Faisa Omer and Kosisochukwu Nnebe.
Throughout this tumultuous time, art has continued to help us find community and relevance as we navigate complex societal change. Through a multitude of historical and contemporary artists’ works, OAG’s new exhibitions explore unique ways we view ourselves and the ones around us through various frames and filters. It is our distinct pleasure to welcome you all to experience the result of our ongoing commitment to the art and artists of our region as we continue this journey with renewed energy and hope.