Two weekends ago was the launch of Ottawa’s very own Art Gallery! It’s new, it’s beautiful and offers so many interesting exhibits and attractions. On opening day, I headed to 2 Daly Avenue to uncover the Gallery’s secrets but more importantly to visit the restroom.. but I digress!
Week #79 Challenge: Attend the launch of Ottawa’s Art Gallery (OAG)!
Perhaps you can relate when I say I am in no way knowledgeable when it comes to the professional art scene. That is in part why I was attracted to this new facility. It’s a special opportunity to learn new things, discover local Canadian artists and to develop an appreciation for a wide range of artistic styles and mediums.
About the Ottawa Art Gallery
This gallery was built as a catalyst meant to strengthen the relationship between visual arts and our local Ottawa/Gatineau Community! From now until September, 2018 you can witness the Inaugural Art Exhibition which showcases pieces that represent the evolution of Art in Ottawa/Gatineau over the course of the last 6500 years.
The Ottawa Art Gallery is funded through the support of the government, sponsorships and also various fundraising events held throughout the year such as auctions and special gatherings.
Fun Facts about the facility
JACKSON CAFÉ – Level 0
This café was inspired by AY Jackson, a member of the group of seven, and is a must see on the main floor. There you can enjoy a pastry and coffee in the morning or perhaps a drink and appetizer later in the evening. In the summer, it will open up to an outdoor terrace!
On this floor, make sure to visit the Studio. The first weekend, they had a glow in the dark black light wall display where you could leave a drawing, a quote or anything you felt inspired to do.
ANNEXE GALLERY & OAG SHOP – Level 1
As you go up a floor you will discover the Annexe Gallery, the art displayed in that room is available for purchase or rent. 60% of the profit returns to the artists, the rest being used to support the Art Gallery itself.
Next to this Gallery is the OAG Shop where you can find all kinds of unique souvenirs.
FIRESTONE GALLERY – Level 2
This gallery is named in honour of the Firestone family who donated a collection containing over 1600 unique Canadian art pieces. O.J. and his wife Isobel Firestone amassed this large collection which they displayed and stored in their Ottawa home.
As you walk around the exhibits, don’t forget that some doors and cabinets may contain hidden art…
The staircase leading to the 2nd floor, made of marble and brass, happens to be the original staircase that belonged to the Firestone family’s home. It was relocated and adapted to fit into this gallery.
TERRACES – Level 3
You don’t want to miss the beautiful terraces on this level. They offer a stunning view and are a great hanging spot! I particularly enjoyed these outdoor heaters, so warm and cozy!
On the evening of my visit the main entertainment was on the 3rd floor, when trying to visit the restrooms visitors were intercepted by Cara Tierney and Fin-Xuan Lee Tran two performing artists who on that night were known as the “Commode Officiant”. It made accessing the washrooms a more entertaining experience..
PapaJack popcorn bags were offered as a complimentary gift that night which was a nice surprise and you can bet I left with one, wouldn’t you?!
GALLERIES & LOOKOUT – Level 4
There are four galleries on this floor and a great lookout point to visit. The Stonecroft Foundation Project Gallery is the only one that is naturally lit hence why the pieces in this room are customized to sustain that unique environment.
Have kids? Every Wednesday free child care is offered between 3pm and 7pm which allows your visit to turn into a date night.
This Gallery has been the talk of the town since it opened it’s doors and having personally visited it, I understand why! Whether you choose to dedicate a morning, afternoon or evening there you will end up living an entirely different experience. Make sure to dedicate some time this summer to visit this unique Ottawa/Gatineau Art Heritage!