Close this search box.

A new long-term exhibition partnership between uOttawa and the Ottawa Art Gallery celebrates artistic emergence

February 17, 2021

Press Release

OTTAWA ON, February 17th, 2021 – The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) and the University of Ottawa present Emergent: MFA Graduate Work from the University of Ottawa Department of Visual Arts 2020, at OAG, from February 20 to March 7, 2021. This exhibition marks the launch of an ongoing major partnership between the University’s Department of Visual Arts and the Gallery, with the support of the RBC Foundation and the Stonecroft Foundation.

The partnership means the OAG will showcase thesis exhibitions of graduates from the University of Ottawa MFA program annually in its space. Under the OAG MFA Exhibition and Mentorship Program, the MFA artists will also be given the opportunity to receive professional development, give artist talks, engage with alumni mentors, and learn about the exhibition process in a professional gallery setting, working directly with museum staff. Further, OAG will provide an annual curatorial didactic writing mentorship for art history students from uOttawa.

“Programs such as the Department of Visual Arts MFA at uOttawa are vital to the health of the local arts. They bring into the community motivated, stimulated emerging artists driven to make their mark in the art world. OAG has been committed to supporting and highlighting this program and its artists for over 10 years. The launch of this newly defined partnership comes at an important time as society emerges from enduring past months,” said Alexandra Badzak, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Ottawa Art Gallery. “The OAG MFA Exhibition and Mentorship Program helps MFA candidates to bridge the gap from emerging to professional, at a critical point in their careers, and helps set the stage for a productive future.”

For the past decade OAG Curators and Professors at the Department of Visual Arts have collaborated on supporting and mentoring individual MFA thesis exhibitions by University of Ottawa students, many of whom have gone on to participate in artist residencies and to produce solo exhibitions nationally and internationally.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with the OAG on this exhibition partnership. It is the ideal place to showcase the astounding talent of our emerging visual arts. The Faculty of Arts and the University of Ottawa are proud to count you as friends and partners.” -Kevin Kee, Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Ottawa

Emergent is a showcase of recent work by the 2020 graduates of the University of Ottawa’s Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) Program Julie Caissie, Carol Howard Donati, Martin Godin, Nic Cooper, and Zainab Hussain. The exhibition highlights the work and unique practices of these five artists working in a variety of mediums and across diverse disciplines. Members of the public can view the exhibition in the Alma Duncan Salon on the 3rd floor of the Ottawa Art Gallery, at 10 Daly Avenue for free during Gallery opening hours and must book their visit here. Safety measures are in place. For more information, visit this page.

The general public is invited to the virtual exhibition opening reception and partnership launch on Thursday, February 23rd, from 4PM to 5:30PM, which will include a curatorial guided tour, followed by an artist panel. Reservations for the Zoom event can be made here.

The RBC Foundation is a major OAG partner for this new initiative under their Emerging Artists Projects fund, an important program that supports the arts and the role they play in building vibrant communities and strong economies.

The Stonecroft Foundation is likewise a major uOttawa partner for the production of an associated catalogue publication for this group of exhibiting graduates.

Listing information:
Emergent: MFA Graduate Work from the University of Ottawa Department of Visual Arts 2020
Ottawa Art Gallery
10 Daly Avenue
Alma Duncan Salon

Exhibition dates: February 20 to March 7, 2021
Members of the public can view the exhibition for free during Gallery opening hours.
Book your free visit here.

Safety measures information OAG Reopening | Ottawa Art Gallery (

Virtual Opening Reception:
Thursday, February 23rd, from 4PM to 5:30PM
Vernissage and partnership launch: opening remarks, guided tour, and artist panel.
Registration for Zoom event (free):

Emergent images and captions:

– 30 –

For media enquiries, please contact:
Véronique Couillard
Ottawa Art Gallery

About the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG)
The Ottawa Art Gallery is situated on traditional Anishinābe Aki and is Ottawa’s municipal art gallery and cultural hub. Located in Ottawa’s downtown core, the expanded Gallery is a contemporary luminous cube designed by KPMB Architects and Régis Côté et associés.
OAG receives funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Ottawa.


OAG is Open from 10 AM to 6 PM Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday | from 10 AM to 9 PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Admission is always FREE. Register for Summer Art Camps!