A Summertime Art Tour of Ottawa
As many of you already know, I love art in all of its various forms. As an artist myself, I enjoy creating my own and admiring the works of others on a variety of different mediums. While most of what I have discussed in my past blogs concerns art in the house, I haven’t been able to touch on how the city of Ottawa is full of amazing art, and how easy it is to admire without paying admission fees to museums or galleries.
Around every corner of the city and throughout many different neighbourhoods you can indulge in stunning urban art inclusive of murals, sculptures, photography, and architecture. The diverse neighbourhoods and beautiful open greenspace are excellent backdrops for artists to create meaningful works that make a walk on the street or through a park more beautiful and interesting than you could ever imagine. I would like to invite you this summer to take an art tour of Ottawa, and admire some of the unique creations located in many different corners throughout the city.
To help you get started, I have created a list of a few different noteworthy venues and areas for you to visit.
Ottawa is filled with phenomenal buildings and architecture located throughout the city. There are many great designs that are eye catching and easy to admire, that offer insight and expression of Canadian history. A few mentionable stops on a tour of Ottawa’s beautiful architectural scene include Rideau Hall, Memorial Hall, The National Arts Centre, The Museum of History, The Global Centre for Pluralism, and of course, the beautiful Parliament buildings in downtown Ottawa.
Westboro is home to a wide array of public art forms inclusive of murals, sculptures, and photography. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to indulge in the arts and culture of this town, this neighbourhood is a great venue to do just that. You can find many intriguing murals by artists such as Shaun McInnis located along Richmond Road, and participate in the Nature Walk, which entails a series of 9 photographs on utility posts done by photographer Michelle Valberg that stretches from Golden Avenue to Island Park. There are many different stops to make on your art walk through this active, trendy neighbourhood in Ottawa, and luckily, the area is walker and cycle friendly to make this cultural hotspot more accessible.
This area of Ottawa is filled with culture, and is all available for you to see in a free, self-guided tour in the arts, fashion and theatre district. The tour features the vibrant collection of Ottawa’s public art scene, galleries, exhibits, monuments and many other cultural points of interest. Included in the walk you will find two breathtaking murals of the Rideau Canal one by Ryan Smeeton, and the other by Cassandra Dickie and Dodo Ose. You will also find beautiful sculptures such as the stainless-steel violin at the National Arts Centre, as well as the Colonel By Fountain and the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument, both located in Confederation Park. This tour will have you appreciating art in a whole new way, and see our city for the cultural epicentre that it is.
If you have lived in Ottawa for some time, you have likely heard of John Felice Ceprano and his beautiful balanced rock sculptures that line the shores of Remic Rapids. This artist utilizes fossilized and colourful rocks found along the shoes to build the sculptures by hand. Quite frequently you can find John at Remic Rapids Park creating new sculptures and socializing with admirers of the work. If you have yet to see this one of a kind work, be sure to head down this summer and explore the park, take in the full public art experience and enjoy the views of the downtown core and Gatineau shoreline.
Graffiti is a unique style of art that can be found in many corners of the city. While some people may condemn graffiti, many artists see the work as raw, and appreciate the statement behind the artwork. In Ottawa, there are three dedicated graffiti walls for artists to practice and master their crafts. Check out some of the latest masterpieces at these locations and admire the talent and creativity that these artists exude.
Art is something that can be found in all shapes and sizes, and you don’t need to be an artist to appreciate the beauty. Engage in the culture and see how people of the city, whether they are recognized for their work or not, make this the vibrant art community that it is.
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