2021 was the second year of the pandemic and a continuation of disruptions and closures as the OAG, and the rest of the world, grappled with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 variants. Yet OAG was buoyed by the implementation of our new Strategic Plan that saw us make deep commitments to adopting an anti-racism and equity lens, to supporting artists in a multitude of ways, to expanding our digital footprint, and to building resilience and care into our planning and operations.
We expanded our commitment to anti-racism, equity and inclusion through recruitment, training, consultation and partnership in 2021 resulting in several initiatives, including working with the Ottawa Black Art Kollective on two invitational projects.
OAG has always supported artists across their life cycle, but in 2021, we identified specific approaches for emerging, mid-career, and established artists, along a spectrum of strategies and resources including mentoring, exhibition support, profile building, and other means to enhance an artist’s continued evolution.
We built digital capacity and connectivity by transferring much of our discursive programs (artists’ talks, interviews and panels discussions) online through webinars and Instagram take-overs as well as producing legacy artist videos, which now live on our YouTube channel and new website.
The resilience of our communities remained a priority, including an ongoing focus on mental health and art seen through our joint initiative with The Ottawa Hospital entitled Creative Wellbeing.
As always, we must thank the OAG Board of Directors and staff for their ongoing leadership of the gallery, and our volunteers, members, donors and funders for their continued support throughout what has truly been a most exceptional experience.