Temporary exhibits 

Explore the art that adds warmth and vibrancy to the streets, parks and plazas of Ottawa–Gatineau. Temporary exhibits in Canada's Capital Region showcase artistic achievements from across the country, celebrate our diversity and highlight significant milestones in Canadian history.

Art in the Capital

Many factors contribute to shaping an impressive capital region and public art is one of them. The Art in the Capital program showcases public artworks created by Canadian artists. These exhibits are temporary and change regularly.

A number of thought-provoking, evocative and fun installations will be exhibited in Ottawa and Gatineau in 2021.

We Are Seeds New

We Are Seeds is an outdoor mural created in August 2021 by Claudia Gutierrez and presented by Canadian Heritage in collaboration with Zibi. Gutierrez, a Latin-Canadian artist, draws inspiration from the Mexican proverb: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” The mural responds to this time of crisis by celebrating the restorative power of perseverance and resilience. Two nurturing hands grasp a vase with foliage abundantly growing from its top and roots breaking free from its bottom. As we cautiously look forward to a time of reactivation and regeneration, the single falling leaf reminds us of the fragility that will always persist.

Claudia Gutierrez is an Ottawa-based artist who has specialized in painting and printmaking. More recently, she has pivoted to textile-based work to challenge the boundaries between art and craft. We Are Seeds was created with the assistance of Kiana Meness and Jose Palacios.

The mural is located at the intersection of Eddy Street and Alexandre-Taché Boulevard in Gatineau and will be on display for the next several years.

The Gather-Ring

Winner of three Ottawa Urban Design Awards, including the People’s Choice Award

The Gather-Ring is a new public artwork inspired by two iconic symbols that are deeply rooted in Indigenous traditions, the Tree and the Dream Catcher. Trees have always played a vital role across the land on which Canada was founded, bearing witness to our histories. Dream Catchers have the power to capture our positive thoughts, dreams, and visions, offering to lead us towards a bright future. The Tree, represented here by the circular cedar base, and the Dream Catcher, by the patterned canopy with hand-blown glass pendants above, are both brought together within The Gather-Ring.

Manuel A. Baez (Designer, Architect (New York)) and Charlynne Lafontaine (Artist) created The Gather-Ring as an interactive art piece meant to evoke diverse cultural interpretations and offer a symbolic circle for cultural exchange, storytelling, discussion and reflection. At night, The Gather-Ring is illuminated, providing a memorable visual experience!

We invite you to discover this original artwork, located on the Portage Bridge Plaza in Ottawa, until September 2022.

Our Shepherds

Our Shepherds depicts two shepherds standing face-to-face atop two sheep. The figures are notably connected by a long Pinocchio-like nose, a seeming indication of their deceitful intentions. The playful blue colour and simple, symmetrical structure of the sculpture act as an enticement to consider deeper meanings. Our Shepherds speaks of those who take power and those who are led, inviting viewers to question who are the shepherds and who are the sheep.

Our Shepherds was created by Montreal artist, Patrick Bérubé. It will be displayed at the Tin House Courtyard in the ByWard Market in Ottawa until October 2023.

Dialogue

The tall, slender silhouette of the work’s two-part structure contrasts with the strong horizontality of its setting. While the pure lines of these sculptural forms create space for multiple interpretations, their arrangement also evokes an exchange between two monumental figures. Their curves entwine in a movement recalling a pair of witnesses, dancers or sentinels leaning on each other for support.

Light sources emanating from within the two figures create a fluid, rhythmic dialogue, inviting us to linger.

Dialogue is an installation created by multidisciplinary artist Florent Cousineau. It can be seen on the upper plaza near the Alexandra Bridge in Ottawa until May 2023.

ByWard Market Courtyards Exhibit

The Sussex Courtyards are a sequence of five courtyards located in the ByWard Market in Ottawa. They are popular during the summer season and offer an oasis of tranquility and shade for visitors and locals, as well as providing seating areas, café terraces and boutiques. The Courtyards also provide the setting for outdoor exhibits of Canadian art across a range of themes.

Echoing the Land New

Echoing the Land features diverse works by First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists created between 1977 to 2020 that address resonance through the land and reflect upon Indigenous artist connections with territory that are expressed across generations, cultures, geographies, and languages. This exhibit began as a graduate course in Indigenous Curation hosted by the Indigenous Art Centre in conjunction with Carleton University’s Cultural Mediations PhD program, under the direction of Canada Research Chair Dr. Carmen Robertson.

Echoing the Land is presented by Canadian Heritage in collaboration with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. The exhibition will be on display in the Clarendon and York Courtyards until March 2023.

Plaza Bridge Photo Exhibit

Outdoor photo exhibit site

Spanning the Rideau Canal, near the National War Memorial, Plaza Bridge is the site of Science Exposed, an outdoor photo exhibit on display until October 2021.

Science Exposed

Scientific researchers in Canada see amazing things through the microscope lens and out in the field. Each year, the Science Exposed research image contest highlights the work of scientists across the country. This exhibition features some of the finalists’ submissions from the past five years of the contest. Their images provide a glimpse into ongoing Canadian research, and reveal the beauty and wonder of their scientific observations. Science Exposed and La preuve par l’image (the French version of this contest) are presented by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Acfas.

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