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This just in! OAG Reveals the Critics’ Choice for its 2024 Give to Get Art auction!

May 14, 2024

The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) has just announced the highly anticipated lineup of the five Critics’ Choice artworks for its annual Give to Get Art auction happening this Thursday May 16th, 2024!

The art party of the season, OAG’s Auction offers culinary delights, thematic cocktails, silent bidding wars and a lot of pink! It features 94 works generously donated by Ottawa-Gatineau artists, plus the option to bid on art commissions such as tattoos and portraits (how cool is that!). The event, OAG’s main fundraiser, supports free admission to the Gallery, community, mental health and educational initiatives, and local artists and makers. There is still time to get tickets, which is a great way to support your municipal art gallery.

For this year’s Critics’ Choice jury, OAG invited three local cultural leaders and producers. Together, and over much deliberation, they carefully selected their top five pieces. The Critics were Catherine Sinclair, Sarah Jasmine Hodgson and Brendan de Montigny. Sinclair is Director, Exhibitions, Conservation and Production at the National Gallery of Canada, where she oversees the management of exhibitions, conservation and restoration efforts. As a curator, she has organised over 50 exhibitions. Hodgson, Project Director at Nosy Mag, a platform that highlights Ottawa-Gatineau arts and culture, is also an artist who creates public installations and a curator. de Montigny is an art dealer, curator, artist and creative strategist with over fifteen years of experience in private and public cultural sectors. He is the owner of Studio Sixty Six Contemporary and founder of PDA Projects.

As they made their way through the Alma Duncan Salon, the jury noted that many artworks presented stunning colour palettes, hints of architecture, intriguing processes, abstracted emotions, and beautiful minimalist lines. Themes such as the notion of home, be it up close or from far away, and the weight we all carry, found their way through several pieces, while some artists were prompted by pop culture, sensationalism, or images fed to us by media.

The jury also commented on various works being almost undefinable at first glance, merging performance art and photography, video stills and printing, or photography and painting. Meanwhile, some works exhibited dual sides, offering us both narrative and critical perspectives, meditative and playful elements, or a mix of fury and posture. The group was captivated by artworks within artworks, pieces that had been years in the making showcasing the artist’s commitment, and others that seemed to gaze right back at you.

Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the 2024 Give to Get Art Auction Critics’ Choice artists are (listed alphabetically):

REST/RESIST, A Fine Discipline

Invisible Within, Elle Chae

Free Souvenir Ticket, self-portrait at Main and Terminal, Vancouver BC, by Lorraine Gilbert

Study for “The Optimist”, Yomi Orimoloye

Bury Colonialism, Jobena Petonoquot

New this year – and only time will tell if this becomes a tradition – the jury awarded a special mention (a sixth star, if you will!) to Tyler Nykilchyk, an artist featured in the Auction Youth Art Wall!

a wolf in blue, Tyler Nykilchyk

Come to OAG’s Give to Get Art Auction, spot the Critics’ Choice artworks marked with a big pink star, discover all the other donated original artworks along the way, and pick your own favorites! The event starts at 5:30 pm this Thursday May 16th and ends at 8:30 pm. If you can’t be there in person, you can still bid in the online auction – 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. Register for Summer Art Camps!