Skip to main content

Karsh-Masson Gallery

Current exhibition

The gallery is currently closed for installation.

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 pm (in French). In partnership with Winterlude

Catalogue excerpt

... of patience recognizes land and water as non-judgmental, kind and caring bodies of immense memory and unique language. The artist’s works address the importance of speaking out, even when you feel that you are not being heard. To be sure, the land and water are quiet, yet careful and attentive listeners – they are written with an expansive history and together remind us that we are inextricably part of a living and very patient landscape.

-Excerpt from the essay by Alexandra Nahwegahbow

3 panels from Zigzager le fleuve (To zigzag the river)

Mana Rouholamini, Zigzager le fleuve (To zigzag the river), 2013, digital print on polypropylene and ink on paper, 263 × 58.5 cm (each panel: 87.5 × 58.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist. 

3 panels from Adorer le flux (To adore the flux)

Mana Rouholamini, Adorer le flux (To adore the flux), 2013, digital print on polypropylene and ink on paper, 263 × 58.5 cm (each panel: 87.5 × 58.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist.

Biography

Mana Rouholamini is a multidisciplinary artist who explores the theme of language and the meaning of words through the prism of different languages. Her artistic practice includes installation, drawing, artist books and digital prints. She has a master’s degree from York University in Toronto and a bachelor’s degree from Azad University in Tehran, Iran.

Mana Rouholamini gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.

Ontario Arts Council

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•sang brings 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

 Artwork by Leslie Hossack et AM Dumouchel
Left: Leslie Hossack, Bunker, Juno Beach, Courseulles-sur-Mer, 2015, pigment ink on cotton fibre, 81 x 122 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
Right: AM Dumouchel, ROYAL (RAMSCHAKLE 2), 2016, digital collage, 112 x 157 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Khadija Baker – Behind Walls/Maps 

November 2 to December 3, 2017
Vernissage:
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. 

 Artwork by Khadija Baker
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.

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.

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

Location and hours

Karsh-Masson Gallery
City Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 1J1

Open daily 9 am to 8 pm, including holidays.

Free admission. Wheelchair accessible. Parking available. 

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


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.

Karsh-Masson call for proposals

Deadline: Monday, April 25, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

In recognition of Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program will mark this milestone with a special thematic exhibition season and by giving priority consideration to proposals by First Nations, Inuit and Métis applicants.

To acknowledge the 150th year the City invites professional artists, artist collectives and curators working in visual arts, media arts and fine craft to propose exhibitions that address an overarching thematic: “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.

Introduction

A public gallery is a forum for the exploration of diverse ideas. The City exhibits artwork in all media that are of interest and importance to the community, that foster a sense of who we are, and that reflect current artistic practice. These exhibitions are presented in the public domain allowing for an appreciation, understanding and interpretation of our past and present through the gallery program.

Exhibitions at Karsh-Masson Gallery feature the work of professional artists working in visual art, media art and fine craft, including solo, two-person and group exhibitions; curated exhibitions; exhibitions from the diplomatic sector; and circulating exhibitions from other institutions.

Annual exhibition programming includes artist talks, exhibition tours and panel discussions as well as one exhibition of the City of Ottawa Art Collection and one exhibition of artwork by a graduating student from the University of Ottawa MFA program.

Proposals are reviewed by a peer assessment committee and selected exhibitions will be presented at Karsh-Masson Gallery in 2017.

Karsh-Masson Gallery is located on the main level at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West. The gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and admission is free.

Karsh-Masson Gallery floor plan [PDF - 163 KB]

Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. If you are unable to view documents or require alternative file formats, please contact us.

Artist information meetings

Information meetings will be held on the following dates and locations. A short bilingual presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

  • Wednesday, March 16 at 6 pm, Odawa Native Friendship Centre, 250 City Centre Avenue, room 2
  • Monday, March 21 at 7 pm, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Festival Boardroom (ground floor near Laurier entrance)
  • Saturday, March 26 at 1 pm, Gallery 101, 51 Young Street Suite B

Eligibility

This call for proposals is open to professional visual artists, artist collectives and curators who are emerging, mid-career or established, and working in visual arts, media arts, fine craft, design and other new art forms.

A professional artist is someone who has specialized training in his or her artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions), who is recognized by his or her peers as such, is committed to his or her artistic activity, and has a history of public presentation.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse community in areas such as gender, official language, ethnicity and disability.

The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation.

Applications from artists and curators of diverse origins including First Nations, Inuit and Métis are welcome and encouraged.

The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges, and therefore accepts applications in both English and French.

Applicants who have exhibited at Karsh-Masson Gallery within the last two consecutive years are not eligible to apply. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.

The peer assessment committee will only consider one exhibition proposal per applicant.

Artwork exhibited at Karsh-Masson Gallery that requires electrical components must be approved and inspected in accordance with the rules defined in the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC), as well as Canadian Standards Association (CSA) prior to acceptance by or installation at the Gallery. For more information, visit the Electrical Safety Authority at www.esasafe.com or call 1-977-ESA-SAFE (372-7233).

Peer assessment committee

Each peer assessment committee is made up of three art professionals who review proposals using the assessment criteria stated below. Peer assessment committee members are invited to participate by City employees based on their knowledge and experience, fair and objective opinions, ability to articulate ideas, and ability to work in a team environment.

The composition of each peer assessment committee aims to balance representation of artistic specialization, practice, style, and philosophy, as well as fair representation of official languages, gender, geographic areas, and culture-specific communities.

The members of the peer assessment committee change for every exhibition season. If you are interested in participating as a peer assessment committee member or nominating a candidate, please contact us.

Assessment

Proposals for the Karsh-Masson Gallery 2017 exhibition season will be reviewed by a peer assessment committee based on the following criteria:

  • artistic merit
  • regional importance and innovation
  • professionalism and cohesiveness of the artwork samples
  • quality of the written proposal statement
  • relevance of the proposal to the overarching theme of “Mapping”
  • appropriateness of the proposal to the public nature of the gallery space

In 2017, priority consideration will be given to proposals by First Nations, Inuit and Métis applicants.

Proposal guidelines & requirements

A complete proposal must include the support material listed below.

Proposals may be written in English or French.

Support material must be saved on a CD, DVD or USB device in a PC-compatible file format. Include your name, mailing address, telephone number and email address on or with the CD, DVD or USB device. If you do not have access to these formats, please contact us for alternative arrangements.

The following support materials are required:

  1. Proposal statement
    One electronic copy of a proposal statement describing the proposed exhibition’s content and how it relates to the overarching theme of “Mapping” (two pages maximum). File formats must be PC-compatible and include PDF, TXT, DOC, and DOCX.
     
  2. Proposal synopsis
    One electronic copy of a synopsis summarizing the proposal statement (80 words maximum). Your synopsis will be referred to by the peer assessment committee as a quick reference during deliberations. File formats must be PC-compatible and include PDF, TXT, DOC, and DOCX.
     
  3. Current résumé
    One electronic copy of a current artistic résumé (three pages maximum). Résumé must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and email address (if applicable). If multiple artists are involved, include each artist’s résumé and indicate one contact person. File formats must be PC-compatible and include PDF, TXT, DOC, and DOCX.
    If you are eligible for priority consideration, please identify this at the top of your résumé. For example: Priority consideration – First Nations.
     
  4. Image / media list
    One electric copy of an image or media list that includes the following information about each example of artwork submitted: artist’s name, title of artwork, date of creation, material and support, metric dimensions, and duration of artwork (if applicable). File formats must be PC-compatible and include PDF, TXT, DOC, and DOCX. Order images by year of creation (most recent artwork first). If you require an image / media list template, please contact us.
     
  5. Digital images and/or video or new media files
    Ten digital image files or ten minutes total of film/video/new media content that support the proposal statement and follow the guidelines listed below.
    1. At least half of support materials submitted must be artwork that will be included in your final exhibition should your proposal be successful.
    2. All support material files must be saved on the CD, DVD or USB device (no zip disks, website hyperlinks, email, or presentations such as PowerPoint).
    3. Applicants are responsible for testing support materials to ensure readability.
    4. Applicants who wish to include a combination of digital images and video/new media content:
    5. Submit a maximum of ten files with no more than ten minutes of content total on one CD, DVD or USB device.
    6. For each minute of video/new media, take away one digital image. 
    7. Curated, two-person and group exhibitions are to submit a maximum of ten files.
    8. Support material that requires specialized software, plug-ins, extensions, or other executables that need to be downloaded or installed will not be reviewed. 

Image files must be:

  • PC-compatible JPG, TIFF, or BMP format
  • 72 dpi, no larger than 2 MB each. RGB format with a recommended maximum of 1240 pixels (length or width).
  • Named with the number corresponding to the image list number, followed by title, year of creation, material and support, and metric dimensions, each separated by an underscore (Image number_title_ date_material and support_metric dimensions.jpg). Do not leave a space before or after the underscore. Strict adherence to naming convention is necessary for images to be successfully viewed during the peer assessment committee.
  • Image file naming examples:
    • 01_Xylophage_2014_wood and paint_20 x 30 x 40 cm.jpg 
    • 02_The Mountain_2014_graphite, acrylic and metal_96 x 106 cm.jpg
    • 03_Untitled 2_2013_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.tiff
    • 04_Untitled 2 detail_2013_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.tiff
    • 05_Untitled 2 alternate view_2013_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.tiff
    • 06_Untitled 3_2010_LED and resin_1 x 4 x 7 m.jpg
    • 07_Untitled 3 view at night_2010_LED and resin_1 x 4 x 7 m.bmp
    • 08_Untitled 4 framed_ 2006_oil paint on canvas_85 x 95 cm.bmp
    • 09_Installation at Karsh-Masson Gallery_2005_mixed media_variable dimensions.jpg
    • 10_Reason Over Passion_1968_quilted cloth assemblage_257 x 302 cm.jpg

Video/new media files must be:

  • PC compatible MP4, MOV, AVI, or WMV format
  • Viewable in Windows Media Player or QuickTime
  • No larger than 500 MB each
  • Named with the number corresponding to the media list number, followed by title, year of creation, medium, and duration, each separated by an underscore (Media list number_title_date_medium_duration.avi). Do not leave a space before or after the underscore. Strict adherence to naming convention is necessary for images to be successfully viewed during the peer assessment committee. 
  • Video/new media file naming examples:
    • 01_Memorial_2012_looped video_2 min.mp4
    • 02_Echelles_2014_video_4 min 30 sec.mov
    • 03_Diaries_2014_video_6 min.avi 

The City of Ottawa is not responsible for any loss or damage to support material. CDs, DVDs and USB devices will not be returned. Please retain a copy for your records.

Copyright and moral rights

The artist shall retain the copyright of the artworks. Moral rights also remain with the artist. The City of Ottawa will seek copyright permission to reproduce images of the artwork for non-commercial purposes.

Confidentiality and privacy

Information provided by the applicant will be available to City of Ottawa employees and to members of the peer assessment committee. The deliberations of the peer assessment committee and personal information provided by the artist or applicant shall be dealt with on a confidential basis pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Honorarium  

Exhibiting artists will be paid an exhibition fee as outlined by the 2017 CARFAC Fee Schedule. Curators will receive a professional curatorial fee.

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not reimburse expenses related to travel, transportation of artwork and accommodation, nor are per diem fees paid.

Deadline and notification

Proposals must be received by Monday, April 25, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. or postmarked on or before this date. Late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted.

The Public Art Program will send applicants a notice by email acknowledging that their application has been received. This does not confirm that your application is eligible.

Applicants will be notified of the peer assessment committee’s decisions approximately three months after the proposal deadline. Artistic feedback will not be provided.

Public consultation

Following the peer assessment committee’s deliberations the selected exhibitions will be announced on ottawa.ca. Members of the public are invited to bring forward, within a 30 day period, any concern that the peer assessment committee did not follow the publicly announced criteria and procedures.

Mailing address

Mail or deliver proposals to:

2017 exhibition season
City of Ottawa Public Art Program
172 Guigues Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5H9

Do not deliver your proposal directly to Karsh-Masson Gallery. Fax or email proposals will not be accepted.

Contact us

Karsh-Masson Gallery is operated by the City of Ottawa Public Art Program. For enquiries or assistance, please email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca or call 613-244-6852.

Are you on the list? Email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca with the subject line “subscribe – exhibitions” and receive emails about gallery exhibitions and programming.