2021 exhibitions

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Antonietta Grassi - Lifelines Extended

March 11 to April 18, 2021

Exhibition video

Exhibition booklet [ PDF - 2.2 MB ]

Antonietta Grassi’s Linkers no. 2 (for Grace Hopper), like her other works in Lifelines Extended, tells the story of an art practice that is as layered and incandescent as the fuchsia, amber and coral coats of paint on its surface. The works in this exhibition pull together elements from different avenues of Grassi’s inspirations. Fielding her own story from within an array of women who came before her; linking the textile industry and the Jacquard loom to computer programming; and bridging art movements such as Abstract Expressionism and Post-Minimalism, Grassi’s work is rooted in history and research, while also open to chance and impromptu meanderings.

- Exhibition booklet excerpt by Amanda Beattie


Antonietta Grassi’s paintings and works on paper have been featured in solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Her work is in public, corporate, and private collections including the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Global Affairs Canada, the Archives of Ontario, Groupe Desjardins, the Stewart Hall Art Gallery in Pointe-Claire, the Boston Public Library and Yamana Gold. Grassi has participated in several residencies such as The Studios at MASS MoCA, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Vermont Studio Center. She is the recipient of awards and honours, including grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Grassi holds a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She is represented by the Patrick Mikhail Gallery in Montreal.

The artist gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Marisa Gallemit, Claudia Gutierrez and Guillermo Trejo - Manila-Acapulco

July 22 to October 3, 2021
Opening: Thursday, July 22, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Artists tours: Sunday, September 12 at 2 pm and 3 pm
All visitors must pre-book preferred tour timeslot on Eventbrite.
Free admission. Presented in English.

Event protocol:

Please check the latest Ottawa Public Health safety guidelines prior to your visit.

Images (left to right):
Marisa Gallemit, Benevolent Assimilation (detail), 2021, pandanus leaf, rubber tubes, 164 x 92 x 54 cm
Claudia Gutierrez, RAPACEJO (detail), 2021, acrylic and wool hand embroidered on cotton, 102 x 102 cm
Guillermo Trejo, Parallelograms on Black (detail) [from the Exercises with a Set Square series], 2021, wax crayons on wooden panel, 56 x 76 cm
All images courtesy of the artists

monotone grouping of artwork details – hand woven panel, black fringed triangle and etching of triangular patterns

Exhibition video

Exhibition booklet [ PDF - 1.5 MB ]

The Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade Route was officially established in 1565. Spanish navigators had been charged with finding a route from the Philippines, an island region claimed by Spain some forty years earlier, to Mexico, which had been conquered in 1521. The new trade route remained active until 1815, extending the umbilical cord between Spain and its colonies by tethering the Asian archipelago to American channels of commerce and communication.

This exhibition invokes this historical juncture – a particularly poignant period when the artists’ countries of origin converged – while also proposing an alternative fold in the fabric of the surrounding narrative. Rather than evoking a linear course plotted between two disparate points, the exhibition triangulates Marisa Gallemit, Claudia Gutierrez and Guillermo Trejo, creating a trine in which two entities are relied upon to locate the third. Individually, each employs process-based techniques that at once interpret their ancestral lineage and conceive of new understandings of it within the present. Plaited together, the three artists reshape traditional material hierarchies, redirect flows of information and remake ancient objects as a way of reorienting towards the future.

- Exhibition booklet excerpt by Rhiannon Vogl


Marisa Gallemit has been exhibiting her work in Ontario and Quebec since 2010 and will be contributing to the Parkette Projects as part of Toronto’s Year of Public Art in late 2021. She has been awarded a SAW Prize for New Works, a City of Ottawa Creation and Production grant and has received the Critics’ Choice Award from the Ottawa Art Gallery in 2019 and 2020.

Marisa Gallemit gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council and Galerie SAW Gallery.

Currently working as a curator and arts administrator, Claudia Gutierrez is an artist and activist whose practice has been deeply informed by residencies in Canada and Mexico. She has been exhibiting her work in Ontario since 2010 and has completed numerous public art and cultural outreach projects in Ottawa. She was awarded the SAW Prize for New Works in 2020.

Claudia Gutierrez gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council and Galerie SAW Gallery.

Guillermo Trejo has been exhibiting his work for over a decade in Canada, the United States, Europe and Mexico. He has worked as an arts researcher at the National Gallery of Canada and as an instructor at the Ottawa School of Art. He is a past recipient of a City of Ottawa Emerging Artist Grant and a Young Artist Award from Mexico’s National Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA). He was awarded the SAW Prize for New Works in 2020.

Guillermo Trejo gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the City of Ottawa.

Anna Williams - Untold Stories I Once Wished Lost

October 14 to December 3, 202

Exhibition booklet [ PDF - 5.5 MB ]

From the moment we enter the exhibition space of Untold Stories I Once Wished Lost, we are swept up by the fierce and violent acts that play out in the myth-based imaginary worlds of the prints that range across the wall. Abstract and realistic elements coexist in worlds that span different times and places. Throughout, the highly-detailed and action-oriented panoply is alive with innumerable plants and animals that are enveloped in a grand interconnected pattern. These prints are then “tiled” together, expanding around us and filling the horizons of our imaginations.

Williams hurls herself against Greek myth after myth, proposing a revision to the particularly male narrative lineage. Here female heroines triumph by allying themselves with animals and nature. By choosing to transform themselves into other human, plant or animal forms, they evade their predetermined fates and embrace life in new ways.

- Exhibition booklet excerpt by Lisa A. Pai


Anna Williams was born in Ottawa, Ontario. After studying sculpture and printmaking at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, she returned to Ottawa where she continues to work, garden, and live with her wife, children, dogs and an excessive number of houseplants.

Her artwork employs the animal and narrative to examine the construction and manipulation of myth, female identity and power relationships in contemporary society. Through an exploration of poetry, drawing, print, sculpture and installation, Williams articulates her struggles with mental health, self-image, and identity.

Williams has had solo shows in both Canada and the U.S., and has works in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, the Government of Canada (Embassy of Belgium and Luxemburg), the Ottawa Art Gallery, the City of Ottawa, and Humber College, as well as in numerous national and international private collections. Williams has also created public works in Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal.

The artist gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and John Fleuvog Shoes.

Holding Pattern: 2021 Additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection

December 17, 2021 to March 4, 2022

Holding Pattern: 2021 Additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection (installation view), photo: David Barbour

Gallery with dark blue walls filled with 2D and 3D artworks in various media.

Alexander Finlay, The Flash, 2020, inkjet print on paper, 102 x 81 cm, 2021-002

Personne costuée en superhéros

Carl Stewart, Springwall Suite (440 Gloucester Street), 2008, mixed media, 46 x 46 cm, 2021-0098, gift of the artist

blue drawing

Penny McCann, Expo Film (this film is my memory), 2020, still from digital video, 9 min 26 sec, 2021-0049

picture of a crowd

Exhibition slideshow

Unable to complete its trip, an airplane caught in a holding pattern is forced into a state of suspended progress, circling in a holding pattern while waiting for clearance to land. Following another year of multiple lockdowns and social interruptions, this state of delay, and the unsettling feeling that arises from it, will resonate with many. However upsetting, this delay can also give us time to slow down and reflect.

In working through COVID-19 restrictions, lockdowns, and interruptions, the 68 artists taking part in Holding Pattern use their artistic practices to explore this time of isolation, disruption, and reflection through ever-shifting perspectives on society, identity, and mental health. The artworks on display invite us to look at moments of suspended progress not as unsettling interruptions but rather as opportunities to reflect where we can develop a wider perspective and understanding of the world that surrounds us.

-Rebecca Korn and Anna Verhoeven, Carleton University practicum students

This exhibition features a selection of artworks added to the City of Ottawa Art Collection in 2021 through purchase, donation and commission. Artworks from the City’s Collection are on display in over 170 municipal buildings and spaces across the city.

2021 Direct Purchase Peer Assessment Committee: Gabriela Avila-Yiptong, Michael Belmore, Anyse Ducharme, Chai Duncan, Katherine Knight

2021 Donation Review Committee: David Barbour, Marisa Gallemit, Annie Thibault

Peer Assessment Committee members for Public Art Commissions added to the Collection in 2021: Marc Adornato, Heather Anderson, Marianne Burlew, Anna Frlan, Laura Margita, Sanjeev Sivarulrasa, Amy Thompson, Brandon Vickerd, Anna Williams

2021 Exhibitions Peer assessment committee members

Anna Eyler, Jennifer Anne Norman, Benjamin Rodger