Named for renowned portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh and painter Henri Masson, this municipal gallery features artwork by local, national and international professional artists working in various styles and mediums. 

Exhibits on display at Karsh-Masson Gallery have been selected by an independent, professional arts jury. The artwork, themes, points of view or comments conveyed in each exhibit are those of the Artist and do not represent those of the City of Ottawa.

 Current exhibition

Gail Bourgeois & Anna Frlan – Stories Nearby

December 8, 2016 to January 15, 2017
Thursday, December 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Drawing by Gail Bourgeois and a steel sculpture by Anna Frlan

Stories Nearby presents multiple perspectives on grappling with sustained systems of warfare between humans and against nature. The exhibition features large-scale steel sculptures, small-scale plaster objects and black and white drawings on paper. Both artists explore the paradoxical nature of progress and express architectural concerns as they tell their stories and the stories of others.

Above: Gail Bourgeois, Untitled (détente), 2014, graphite on paper, 127 x 152 cm. Courtesy of the artist

Below: Anna Frlan, War Chest, 2013, steel, 58 x 93 x 54 cm. Courtesy of the artist








 Upcoming exhibitions

In recognition of Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017, the City invited professional artists, artist collectives and curators working in visual arts, media arts and fine craft to propose exhibitions that address the theme of mapping.

“Mapping is a fundamental way of converting personal knowledge to transmittable knowledge.”
-Arthur Howard Robinson, The Nature of Maps

Mapping includes ways of knowing, organizing and presenting the world as well as our place in it and in relation to others. It helps us track where we’ve been and where we’re going. In addition to cartography, the term mapping has been used in reference to biological, psychological and digital terrains, among others. Mapping can be physical, cultural and emotional. Like an art practice it is a process in constant transformation.


Mana Rouholamini … de patience (… of patience)

January 26 to March 5, 2017
Vernissage: Thursday, January 26, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Walkthrough with the artist: Sunday, February 12, 1:30 pm (in English) and 3:00 pm (in French). In partnership with Winterlude

This exhibition explores the memories of the stone of patience and of water and the relationship between them. It examines the way languages, histories, and places construct one’s identities.

Image: Mana Rouholamini, Waters of patience #4, 2016, photolithography on Somerset paper, 28 x 15 cm. Courtesy of the artist

 Artwork by Mana Rouholamini

Michael Belmore – mskwi•blood•sang

March 16 to April 23, 2017
Vernissage: Thursday, March 16, 5:30 to 7:30 pm 

The waters that flow upon this land are in continual conversation with the sky. Through the use of copper and stone, mskwi•blood•sangbrings together a series of new and past sculptural works that speak about the environment, about land, about water, and ultimately, about what it is to be Anishinaabe.

Image: Michael Belmore, Convergence, 2013, stone and copper leaf, 213 x 396 x 10 cm. Courtesy of the artist

 Artwork by Michael Belmore

José Luis Torres – De l'horizontal au vertical (From Horizontal to Vertical)

May 4 to June 11, 2017
Vernissage: Thursday, May 4, 5:30 to 7:30 pm 

In the manner of a changing in situ, I offer a unique installation specific to the gallery space. Through various processes (collage, assemblage, pinning, cutting and stamping), the project is marked by the diversion of documents and everyday objects, such as maps and city plans.

Image: José Luis Torres, Prospection II, 2015, paper, metal and cork, 240 x 90 x 20 cm. Courtesy of the artist

 Artwork by José Luis Torres

Wapikwanew​: Blossom

Curator: Jaime Koebel

June 22 to July 30, 2017
Vernissage: Thursday, June 22, 5:30 to 7:30 pm 

Through Indigenous and non-Indigenous floral cultures, the use of flowers in art objects become markers of cultural identity, a source of beauty and an act of elegance. Cultural identity through floral symbolism provides a source of distinct ​placement and discoveries of cultural mapping through art objects. In collaboration with the NAC’s Canada Scene.

Image: Christi Belcourt, Family, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 91 x 152 cm. Courtesy of the artist

  Artwork by Christi Belcourt

University of Ottawa MFA candidate – Thesis exhibition

August 5 to 29, 2017

As a supplement to our regular programming, Karsh-Masson Gallery is pleased to partner with the University of Ottawa’s Department of Visual Arts to provide a valuable mentorship and professional development opportunity.


CONTINUUM –Karsh Award artists welcome a new generation

Curator: Melissa Rombout

September 14 to October 22
, 2017
Vernissage: Thursday, September 14, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Continuing an intergenerational chain of mentorship that fosters camera-based innovation, past Karsh Award laureates have selected seven emergent artists: Joi T. Arcand, AM Dumouchel, Leslie Hossack, Olivia Johnston, Julia Martin, Meryl McMaster and Ruth Steinberg. Presented as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary, this special exhibition celebrates the future of artistic achievement in a photo-based medium.

Left: Leslie Hossack, Bunker, Juno Beach, Courseulles-sur-Mer, 2015, pigment ink on cotton fibre, 71 x 107 cm. Courtesy of the artist
Right: AM Dumouchel, ROYAL (RAMSCHAKLE 2), 2016, digital collage, 112 x 157 cm. Courtesy of the artist

 Artwork by Leslie Hossack et AM Dumouchel

Khadija Baker – Behind Walls/Maps 

November 2 to December 3, 2017
Thursday, November 2, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Khadija Baker is interested in how countries create official histories while unwanted memories of the marginalized are erased or suppressed to serve a new political agenda. The map is essentially an arbitrary, artificial notion that does not necessarily correspond to people’s day-to-reality. Baker’s work explores how the processes of exile, loss, and erasure affect the identity, memory and history of individuals and communities. 

Image: Khadija Baker, Behind Walls/Maps (installation view), 2008, 80 clay spheres, strings spun from clothing, sand, audio and video, variable dimensions. Photo: Guy l'Heureux, courtesy of the artist

 Artwork by Khadija Baker

Mélanie Myers – Ce qui touche au sol (What Touches the Ground)

December 14, 2017 to January 21, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, December 14, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Mélanie Myers uses drawing and the fabrication of objects to modify the all too familiar urban environment. This exhibition is an observation of systems and incentive measures put in place to ensure the adequate administration of a city. To highlight certain variances in conduct, the spaces assigned to the residence and the landscape, as well as to traffic and contemplation, are represented in a realistic yet improbable way.

Image: Mélanie Myers, Sans titre (eau), 2015, graphite on paper, 152 x 150 cm. Courtesy of the artist

 Artwork by Mélanie Myers

Past exhibitions


Location and hours

Karsh-Masson Gallery
City Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West

613-580-2424 ext. 14167  
TTY: 613-580-2401 

Open daily 9 am to 8 pm, including holidays.

Free admission.
Wheelchair accessible.
Parking available. 

Karsh-Masson Gallery