We were saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Lilly Koltun, a beloved interdisciplinary artist, historian, curator, archivist, photographer, teacher, and mentor. Koltun’s brilliant, rich and inspiring career spanned many decades, and she capped it off with a return to education and a deepening of her own art practice: she received her BFA in 2014 and her MFA in 2021.
Her work There’s Nothing New Here v3 (2021) can be viewed in Abound: Art from the University of Ottawa Department of Visual Arts 2021 at the OAG, in celebration of Koltun and her fellow MFA graduates’ achievements. Koltun’s time-based and object-based works apply a surreal documentary aesthetic and off-kilter, fascinating beauty that unsettles our relationship to natural and built environments and examine human behaviours and values.
Koltun served on the Board of the Ottawa Art Gallery for nine years. Her passing is deeply felt within the OAG and the Ottawa arts community as her courage, intelligence, and fierce commitment to social and artistic causes live on.