The Ottawa Art Gallery kicks off 5th anniversary celebrations with launch of spring exhibitions
March 28, 2023
New OAG exhibitions celebrate the career of Ottawa Artist Norman Takeuchi, the acquisition of a major work by nichola feldman-kiss, and the achievement of recent uOttawa MFA graduates.
OTTAWA ON, March 28 2023 – The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) invites the public to the opening of 3 new exhibitions on April 13th, 2023. The artworks, testaments of each artists’ journey, reveal the impact, the understanding, and the embracing of one’s past while also celebrating dialogue, curiosity, paradoxes and acceptance.
On the occasion of the OAG’s 5th anniversary, together these exhibitions showcase the variety of support that the gallery offers artists from this region and beyond, from retrospective solo opportunities, to group exhibitions, as well as acquisitions to the Permanent Collection.
Headlining is the retrospective exhibition of the life and work of senior artist Norman Takeuchi, an important painter and graphic and exhibition designer who has worked for decades in this region. We also mark the installation of OAG’s major purchase for our Permanent Collection in 2021: the immersive multi-media work after Africa by nichola feldman-kiss, an established Canadian artist with roots in the Ottawa region. Finally, with Le rendu, we also present a group exhibition of work from last year’s graduating cohort of MFA students from the University of Ottawa’s Department of Visual Arts.
Collectively, and at this time when we look back at all we have accomplished in our institutional history, including the last five years in our new building, these exhibitions demonstrate the importance of the OAG’s presence as a supporting institution in the careers of artists connected to the Ottawa-Gatineau region.
“As we look back on the recent history of the Ottawa art scene, it is interesting to note that Norman Takeuchi is there throughout as he lent his voice to affect positive change while continuing a vital art practice in Ottawa. OAG’s mission is first and foremost to provide a platform for the artists of this region, that is what Norman and other artists such as Victor Tolgesy and Pat Durr agitated for all those years ago. As we celebrate our 35th anniversary and the 5th in our new home, the importance of that mission bears out when seen through the complexity and depth of Norman Takeuchi’s oeuvre which deserves national attention for its mastery of rendering, media, composition and meaning.”
-Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO, Ottawa Art Gallery
Artists featured in the new exhibitions include:
As a visual artist, Norman Takeuchi finds inspiration in Pop art, nineteenth-century woodblock prints, figurative art, and archival imagery and is skilled at still life, abstraction, and drawing. As a designer, he created work for Expo 67 in Montreal and Expo 70 in Osaka. The exhibition Shapes in Between | Norman Takeuchi, A Retrospective, curated by Catherine Sinclair, Sachiko Okuda, and Bryce Kanbara,presents a selection of his drawings, paintings, and prints, spanning the years 1961 to 2022, and also includes examples of Takeuchi’s little-known graphic art career and demonstrate the continuity of his artistic rigour. Arranged thematically, the works in the exhibition reveal Takeuchi’s variety of subject and technique, such as his talented use of collage-like aesthetic and also tell the story of the artist’s personal engagement with the impact of the Japanese Canadian internment and ultimate acceptance of his cultural heritage. Viewing Norman Takeuchi’s decades of work together here not only demonstrates the result of a skilled and unique artistic practice, but also his story of finding an increasingly honest understanding of his own past, and embracing the collective legacy of his community.
For the creation of after Africa, nichola feldman-kiss sought first-hand experience to understand the history behind geopolitical dramas and worked with the Canadian Armed Forces within the complex 2011 United Nations Mission in Sudan. The artist is a first-generation Canadian of the Caribbean diaspora and a repatriated citizen of Germany and Jamaica. Their lineage includes those who adventured, forced, got entangled, profited, and endured migrations. Presented on the 4th floor, the three-channel audio/video installation nichola feldman-kiss \ after Africa, a recent OAG permanent collection acquisition, poetically brings together key symbols drawn from the artist’s autobiography.
MFA Graduates Madeline Richards, Neeko Paluzzi, Maxime Boisvert-Huneault, Antoine O’Donoughue and Joel Secter
A unique partnership between OAG and uOttawa presents Le rendu: Art from the University of Ottawa Department of Visual Arts 2022, an exhibition built collaboratively between the curators, MA student Stephanie Corbo and OAG Senior Curator Rachelle Dickenson,and the 2022 University of Ottawa Master of Fine Arts (MFA) graduates Madeline Richards, Neeko Paluzzi, Maxime Boisvert-Huneault, Antoine O’Donoughue and Joel Secter. It invites the public to celebrate the achievements of these artists as they wrap up two years of studio work under the guidance of University of Ottawa Visual Arts professors. Thanks to the RBC Foundation’s support of the OAG’s Connect mentorship program, the Gallery is pairing the artists with established artists working in areas to which they aspire, throughout the exhibition’s cycle.
The public is invited to the vernissage on April 13th, at the Ottawa Art Gallery, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm (details and RSVP link below). The event will also be the occasion for all to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the inauguration of OAG’s new building at 10 Daly Avenue in April 2018. The Gallery has since welcomed a million people through its doors, has featured more than 600 artists, acquired over 400 artworks, toured exhibitions from Tunisia to Thunder Bay, and worked with 350 local and national partners.
The Le rendu opening festivities will also celebrate the launch of the catalogue for the 2021 MFA graduates and their OAG group exhibition Abound. Produced by OttawaU, and made possible through the support of the Stonecroft Foundation, the associated catalogue is part of the of the ongoing collaboration with OAG.
These exhibitions were realized with the support of the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
– 30 –
For media enquiries, please contact: Véronique Couillard, Officer, Media, Public and Francophone Relations email@example.com, 613-291-1358
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.