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Critics’ Choice 2023: five pieces that shine at OAG’s Give to Get Art auction 

May 17, 2023

OAG is thrilled to announce the much-anticipated list of Critics’ Choice artists for the 2023 Give to Get Art auction! These remarkable works have been handpicked by a panel of external jurors. Year after year, this exclusive selection adds an extra touch of brilliance to the auction.  

OAG’s annual Give to Get Art Auction, a fundraising event to support local art and OAG’s exhibitions, collections, and community programs, will take place on May 18, 2023, at the ultramodern Alma Duncan Salon on the third floor of the Gallery. The funds raised ensure free admission to the Gallery, support for public and educational initiatives, and provide assistance to locally based artists. Attendees can enjoy food, drinks, and bidding on original artworks. This year’s theme, “Paint the town PINK!” celebrates the OAG’s 5th anniversary in the new building and encourages attendees to embrace a pink-themed wardrobe. Exciting live art activations and a jewelry box raffle featuring unique pieces are new features for this edition. 

The auction exhibition features 94 works generously donated by Ottawa-Gatineau artists, all in support of OAG and its many missions. The jurors, who had the challenging task of choosing only five pieces as the Critics’ Choice, were Leanne Cusack, Euijung McGillis, and Ryan Stec. 

  • Leanne Cusack, host of CTV Ottawa’s News at Noon, has dedicated over three decades to highlighting community and creativity. Alongside her television work, she finds solace and happiness in her painting studio in Chelsea, Quebec. As a lifelong art enthusiast, Leanne is honored to be part of the Give To Get Art Auction, supporting local creators and ensuring continued free access to the beloved Ottawa Art Gallery.  
  • Euijung McGillis is a curator, educator, and art historian specializing in Asian Canadian studio photography and contemporary Asian art. She has worked with renowned institutions such as Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa Art Gallery, Korean Cultural Centre, and Vancouver Art Gallery. McGillis is currently the Assistant Curator of Photographs at the National Gallery of Canada.   

  • Ryan Stec is an artist/designer/producer working with texts, organizations and things, and is currently the Artistic Director of the art and technology center, Artengine and Part-Time Professor in the Visual Arts Department at University of Ottawa. 

As they roamed the exhibition, the jury expressed how challenging picking 5 works would be, out of the 94 up for view. During the deliberations the group noted the impressive variety in media and subject matter offered in the artwork. From amazing textile works, to old school printing and delicately rendered textures in sculptural pieces, the works spoke to the power of storytelling. Whether in drawing, photography, painting, embroidery or other techniques and mediums, artists transformed, constructed, and reclaimed spaces; created magical and whimsical creatures and offered at once joyful and melancholic, monumental and tiny, or soft and powerful pieces. The jurors were also impressed with the dedicated labour that went into the artwork, using words like dreamy and exquisite to describe certain pieces in their contemplative conversations. 

Now, without further ado, the 2023 Give to Get Art Auction Critics’ Choice artists are (listed below in no particular order): 

Judi Miller, Among The Daisies 

Patrick Thompson, Mary River Observer 1 

Andrew Beck, Canoe Lake 

Cara Tierney, It Rubs Off 

Jake Riseborough, Kung Fu Octopus

The 2023 Critic’s Choice winning artworks will be marked with a shining star in the auction exhibition. Come see for yourself and be part of the festivities of OAG’s Give to Get Art Auction this Thursday evening May 18. It’s a fantastic opportunity to own unique creations from talented artists in your community. And don’t worry if you can’t attend in person, you can still participate in the auction virtually – no ticket required! 


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.