For immediate release
The season features many firsts: OAG’s first solo exhibition by an Anishinābe (Algonquin) artist; the first installation partnership between OAG and the National Gallery of Canada; the first major solo installation by graphic novelist Stanley Wany; and Robert Kautuk’s first exhibition in Canada.
OTTAWA ON, April 13 2022 – On Friday April 22, the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is inviting the public to celebrate the inauguration of seven new exhibitions with its first in-person vernissage since the start of the pandemic. Featured artists deliver powerful and diverse messages through interactive installations—sculpture, video, drawing and painting—to unveil hidden histories, honour family heroes, question gender roles, appropriate and re-appropriate, and to invite all to collectively reflect on shared responsibilities.
A suite of installations on the 4th floor explores the ongoing impacts of colonialism from shared and unique perspectives. In the multimedia installation For those who Chose the Sea, Quebec-based artist Stanley Wany brings together wave footage of the Atlantic Ocean with sculptural approximations of the compartments in which human beings were stored below decks on slave ships. Accompanying work on paper echoes the dislocation brought on by lost identities. OAG’s first solo exhibition by an Anishinābe (Algonquin) artist is the presentation of the work of Jobena Petonoquot. Titled Rebellion of My Ancestors | Nid Ànike-mishòmisibaneg Od-Àbimìtàgewiniwà, the exhibition features beadwork, fibre art, installations, printmaking and photography, and pays tribute to the rebellion of the artist’s ancestors. Petonoquot’s grandfather rebelled against colonialism by hunting—even though it was prohibited by colonial powers—which enabled the survival of Indigenous ways of knowing. In Mr. and Mrs. Andrews without their Heads, artist Yinka Shonibare, internationally known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism, lifts the British couple out of their social, economic and political identity. Dressed in Dutch waxed cotton, in styles reflecting the fashions of 18th-century gentry, the figures become an expression of African independence, affluence, cultural resilience, strength and identity. The installation is a partnership first between the OAG and the National Gallery of Canada.
On the 3rd floor, Dark Ice features photographs, paintings and videos of Arctic land and ice, along with the communities and their experiences. Robert Kautuk uses drone technology to produce aerial photographs and videos of his community. He works at the Ittaq Heritage and Research Centre that documents and records traditional knowledge, while also encouraging community and Inuit-led research. Leslie Reid, an established painter, retraced her father’s mapping flights, undertaken in the early years of the Cold War, and became increasingly aware of the impact of colonialism on the North. The opening reception on April 22, 2022, being Earth Day, will include a special program on climate change, which has a profound impact on Inuit knowledge.
Ottawa born, Queer, third-generation Chinese-Canadian artist Don Kwan’s exhibition Landscape, Loss, and Legacy explores the notion of inclusion and exclusion thought the story of his family, the well-known owners of Shanghai restaurant on Somerset street in Ottawa. Kwan’s selection of Canadian landscapes from the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art (FCCO), is displayed along a transformed Chinese palace lantern; a Muskoka chair installation; and a lightbox tryptic of photographs of the artist surrounded by the Canadian wilderness. All of these pieces lead to the same question for the artist: What does it look like to belong in the Canadian landscape?
“We celebrate our spring opening with seven extraordinary exhibitions on Earth Day – a day to recognize the beauty and abundance of this celestial body that we call home, as well as a time to recognize that our planet is in trouble. From the climate crisis, to ongoing conflicts spurned by colonization and racism, to the continuing pandemic, humanity is facing an extraordinarily challenging time. How better to position and engage change than through the work of contemporary artists who tell vitally important stories that help us to not forget, and enable the experience of different perspectives so that we can, individually and collectively, move forward on a better path.”
– Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO, Ottawa Art Gallery
OAG will also inaugurate Human Nature, in Galerie Annexe, featuring the work of Jemimah Lorissaint, Peter Shmelzer and Sharon Vanstarkenburg, artists who examine and redefine the portrait by challenging social norms of gender and identity. Additionally, the exhibition Wingspan features works made by long-term care residents at Perley Health (Ottawa) throughout the pandemic.
Under the theme Your Art is HERE! Finally, you can be TOO!, Friday April 22 opening celebration is free and open to the public. It will celebrate the seven exhibitions, with some artists in attendance as well as offer refreshments, and include announcements, recent acquisitions, a performance by Ottawa’s beloved China Doll, followed by a surprise and a special program on climate change in relation to the exhibition Dark Ice in the Alma Duncan Salon. More information and registration link here.
Ottawa Art Gallery
10 Daly Avenue
Open from 10 AM to 6 PM, Wednesday to Sunday
Admission is FREE
OAG Spring Exhibition Opening
Friday April 22, 2022
6:30 PM – 10 PM
FREE, information and registration:
Stanley Wany: For those who Chose the SeaArtist: Stanley Wany
March 26, 2022 – August 14, 2022
Curator: Catherine Sinclair
Don Kwan: Landscape, Loss, and Legacy | 关日安 风景、遗失及传承Artist: Don KwanFebruary 22, 2022 – January 22, 2023, Firestone Gallery
Curators: Don Kwan, Meghan Ho and Catherine Sinclair
Jobena Petonoquot: Rebellion of my Ancestors | Nid Ànike-mishòmisibaneg Od-Àbimìtàgewiniwà
Artist: Jobena Petonoquot
March 26, 2022 – August 14, 2022, 4th floor
Curators: Rebecca Basciano and Lori Beavis, Guest Curator, Executive Director, Centre d’art daphne
Dark Ice: Leslie Reid and Robert Kautuk | ᓯᑯ ᕿᕐᓂᖅᓯᓯᒪᔪᖅ: ᓕᐊᔅᓕ ᕇᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᕌᕗᑦ ᑲᐅᑐᖅArtists: Leslie Reid, Robert Kautuk | ᓕᐊᔅᓕ ᕇᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᕌᕗᑦ ᑲᐅᑐᖅ
April 23, 2022 – February 26, 2023, 3rd floor
Curator: Rebecca Basciano
Yinka Shonibare’s and Mrs. Andrews Without Their Heads
March 26, 2022 – August 14, 2022, 4th floor
Curator: Rachelle Dickenson
Artists: Jemimah Lorissaint, Peter Shmelzer, Sharon Vanstarkenburg
April 21, 2022 – June 5, 2022, Galerie Annexe
Curator: Stephanie Germano
Wingspan: Artworks made by long-term care residents at Perley Health (Ottawa) throughout the pandemic.
Exhibition Coordinator: Gillian King
Press images and captions:
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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, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday | from 10 AM to 9 PM on Thursday. Admission is FREE.