2017 exhibitions

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

December 14, 2017 to January 21, 2018

Opening: Thursday, December 14, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Mélanie Myers, Programme Floral CCN, 2017, coloured pencil on paper, 140 x 116 cm. Photo: Valérie Mercier. Courtesy of the artist.

drawing of floating, light coloured landscape scene

Mélanie Myers, Ma parole contre la sienne, 2014, coloured pencil on paper, 137 x 127 cm. Photo: Valérie Mercier. Courtesy of the artist.

drawing of light coloured town scenes with gray car

Mélanie Myers uses drawing and the fabrication of objects to modify the all too familiar urban environment. Ce qui touche au sol (What Touches the Ground) 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.


Mélanie Myers lives and works in Hull, Gatineau. She holds a master’s degree in Visual Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (2013), as well as a bachelor’s degree in Art and Design from the Université du Québec en Outaouais (2008). In production, she reconfigures space and describes situations through her installations and drawings. Myers process touches on various fields of interest: safety, reality, error and the middle class. Her projects have been supported by the CALQ and exhibited in several Canadian art centres and galleries, including the Galerie UQO, the Forest City Gallery and the Anna Leonowens Gallery. She has completed residencies at the Centre Bang and the Maison Scott-Fairview (2017), and works as a project manager at AXENÉO7.

Khadija Baker – Behind Walls/Maps

November 2 to December 3, 2017

Opening and tour with the artist: Thursday, November 2, 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Tour begins at 6 pm

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.

Empty gallery with string grid on ceiling that lead to many clay balls on the floor

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.

detail of gallery floor showing clay balls attached to string

Catalogue excerpt

In her multimedia installation Behind Walls/Maps, […] Khadija Baker addresses herself to the experience of the Kurds in Syria. In 1962, many Kurds found themselves deprived of nationality following an exceptional census, along with various rights and privileges: easy access to schools, travel, home ownership, government jobs, and more. Other measures have included bans on the Kurdish language, and the replacement of Kurdish city and village names with new, Arabic designations.

In Behind Walls/Maps, Baker […] present[s] an image of cultural erasure through geographical markers and a careful selection of media. Arranged across the installation floor are eighty weighted clay spheres, each inscribed with the name of a renamed Kurdish city. Attached to the spheres are fabric strings woven from used garments, which form a criss-crossing network suspended from the ceiling. At the same time, video projections of the renamed cities’ and villages’ new, Arabic names fade in and out on the floor.

-Excerpt from the essay by Edwin Janzen


Khadija Baker's work explores social and political themes related to persecution, displacement, and memory. Her current research combines performance, fibres, sound and video to create intimate, site-specific installation environments, breaching the divide between artist, art and public, and creating active spaces of exchange and storytelling. She has shown her work nationally and internationally, and has received numerous grants. Since 2013, Baker has been a core member of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, and is a visiting researcher at Concordia University’s SenseLab. Born in Amuda, Syria, Baker has lived and worked in Montreal since 2001. She holds an MFA from Concordia University (2012).

Continuum: Karsh Award artists welcome a new generation

September 14 to October 22, 2017

Curator: Melissa Rombout

This special exhibition honours the artistic legacy of Yousuf and Malak Karsh while continuing an intergenerational chain of mentorship that fosters camera-based innovation.

Catalogue excerpt

Continuum is a project based on connecting many moments in time. It was conceived as a way to celebrate a new wave of emerging Ottawa artists during Canada’s sesquicentennial year. Recipients of the City of Ottawa’s prestigious Karsh Award were invited to choose a local Ottawa artist working with photography as a medium, a relative newcomer to stand in the spotlight.

The Karsh photographers, innovators stylistically, gracious in comportment and masters of film-based photography, would no doubt be astonished and delighted by the myriad of camera-based practices in this exhibition, and their roles as progenitors of a chain of connection radiating outward. These common threads of welcome entwine here.

- Excerpt from the essay by Melissa Rombout


Joi T. Arcand is a photo-based artist and member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. A graduate of University of Saskatchewan’s fine arts program, she founded the Indigenous arts journal kimiwan 'zine, and co-founded Red Shift Gallery (Saskatoon). Her work has been exhibited at the Contemporary Native Art Biennial (Montreal), Kenderdine Art Gallery and aka artist-run (Saskatoon), Access Gallery (Vancouver) and internationally in London, Bilbao, and the United States.

AM Dumouchel completed a Master of Fine Arts in 2014 at the University of Ottawa and received the Michel Goulet Award, among others. The time she spent in Gatineau, Montreal and Ottawa has contributed to the evolution of her practice. She is represented by PDA Projects and has exhibited her work across Canada and internationally. Her creations can also be found in several private collections. In addition to her artistic practice, she teaches photography at the University of Ottawa.

Focusing on the built environment and related archival documents, Leslie Hossack has completed major studies of historic architecture in Vancouver, Paris, Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, London, Normandy and Vienna. In 2012, she participated in the Canadian Forces Artists Program and was deployed to Kosovo. Her books include: H-Hour; Registered; Charting Churchill; Testament; Cities of Stone, People of Dust and Berlin Studien.

A graduate of Carleton University’s art history program, Olivia Johnston teaches photographic history at the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa. Her photo-based and multi-media work explores questions concerning art history, photography, gender, identity, vulnerability, and identity. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and her work can be found in numerous publications. In 2017, Johnston was shortlisted as a finalist for the RBC Emerging Artist Award.

Julia Martin creates personal work: she is as confident in her expertise in the subject matter as she is distressed by the depths in which we come to know ourselves. Her practice relies on and exploits the tensions between humour and tragedy, text and image, chance and deliberation. Martin's phone has become her studio. Likely an excuse not to leave her apartment. Martin earned an MFA from the University of Ottawa in 2015. It required leaving her apartment.

Meryl McMaster extends her practice beyond straight photography by incorporating the manual production of props or sculptural garments, performance and self-reflection. Her work explores questions of how we construct our sense of self through lineage, history and culture. A graduate in photography from the Ontario College of Art and Design University, McMaster was long listed for the 2016 Sobey Art Award.

Ruth Steinberg holds a BFA from the University of Manitoba and is a graduate of the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa. She created the series What the Body Remembers during her residency at Enriched Bread Artists in the autumn of 2014. Steinberg takes her inspiration from photographers working in a strong storytelling tradition, including Diane Arbus, Mary Ellen Mark, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, and Sally Mann.

A former photo historian at Library and Archives Canada, Melissa Rombout is an independent curator of national and international photo-based projects. She led an innovative re-examination of Yousuf Karsh’s work produced by the (then) Portrait Gallery of Canada and Canada Science and Technology Museum: Karsh: Image Maker, recipient of the Canadian Museums Association Award of Outstanding Achievement (2010). Rombout is a member of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, where she researches contemporary photography and political agency.

University of Ottawa MFA candidates – Thesis exhibitions

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.

Kizi Spielmann Rose – Pulse

August 5 to 15, 2017

Opening: Thursday, August 10, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

The paintings in this exhibition consist of serpentine lines and organic shapes which evoke an undulating, translucent surface. By scoring lines into a soft layer of oil stick, vivid gradations of pastel are revealed beneath. Though abstract, these paintings are nevertheless inscribed with depicted light, space, and motion.

Kizi Spielmann Rose, Night – Sea Journey, 2017, acrylic, oil pastel and oil stick on panel, 30.5 x 35.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Blue monochrome geometric design with squares and circles and lines


Kizi Spielmann Rose is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Ottawa with a BFA from NSCAD University. Recent exhibitions include Fresh Paint/New Constructions at Montreal’s Art Mûr gallery and Wild Wild Life, a solo graduate exhibition at Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax. Recent accolades include being named a finalist in the 2017 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant and the Robert Pope Foundation Painting Scholarship.

Jonathan Théroux – Tour

August 19 to 29, 2017

Opening: Thursday, August 24, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Inspired by the allegorical and symbolic potential for assembling objects in space, Tour utilizes painting, sculpture and video to present trial and error as the process used in language and meaning-making research.

Left: Jonathan Théroux, Cité, 2016, digital video projection, 38:00 min

projection on wall showing person on floor arranging items

Right: Jonathan Théroux, Pareil, 2017, oil on canvas, 121 x 152 cm. Courtesy of the artist

brown structure on a stylized cube with blue sky in background


Jonathan Théroux is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Ottawa. Originally from Montérégie, he began his visual arts training with a concentration in painting and drawing at Concordia University. His research focuses on the creation of assemblages that evoke both the landscape and still-life traditions. Most recently, he has begun to experiment with video as a medium in his work.

Wâpikwanew: Blossom

Curator: Jaime Koebel

Artists: Barry Ace, Christi Belcourt, Simon Brascoupé, David White Deer Charette, Kelly Duquette, Myrosia Humeniuk, Nathalie Mantha, Florence Yee

June 22 to July 30, 2017

Opening: Thursday, June 22, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Artist talk with Kelly Duquette and Florence Yee: Friday, June 23, 12 to 12:45 pm
Presented in English at Karsh-Masson Gallery.
All welcome. Free admission.

Panel discussion with Barry Ace and Nathalie Mantha: Sunday, July 9, 2 to 3 pm
Presented in English with bilingual Q&A at Karsh-Masson Gallery.
All welcome. Free admission.

Pysanky making workshop with Myrosia Humeniuk: Saturday, July 15, 1 to 4 pm
Location: P&Q (Pints & Quarts), 779 Bank St. (between Second Ave. and Third Ave.)
Bilingual presentation. Space is limited. Fee: $40 per person.
Registration required: bookings@indigenouswalks.com

Indigenous Walk tour & birch bark biting demonstration with Jaime Koebel and Simon Brascoupé: Wednesday, July 19, 6 to 7 pm
Presented in English. Registration required: bookings@indigenouswalks.com
All welcome. Free admission. 

The Art of Yoga and Meditation at Wâpikwanew: Blossom: Sunday, July 30, 10 am to noon
Presented in English at Karsh-Masson Gallery.Space is limited. Registration required: (613)741-4348 
All welcome. Free admission. Please bring a yoga mat.

Come explore the intersections of art, yoga and meditation! This yoga and meditation class allows you to explore the exhibit Wâpikwanew: Blossom. Participants will be guided through an all levels yoga and meditation practice that encourages them to mindfully engage with art through both movement and stillness, while also embodying the feelings and emotions behind a piece of art in their yoga practice. A fun exploration of art, the body and movement, and mind and spirit.

This event is a partnership between Epic Fitness + Lifestyle and the City of Ottawa Karsh-Masson Gallery.

Catalogue excerpt

Wâpikwanew means blossom in Nêhiyawêwin (the Cree language), and blossoms are a form of natural beauty that emerges in the wake of a winter’s sleep. From floral beadwork to ink on eggs, from paint on canvas to birch bark bitings, floral images are a source of symbolism that support self-identification, cultural identity, memory, traditional knowledge and meditation.

Through this exhibition, I hope to express two main ideas. First and foremost, I want to highlight how floral art serves as a source of inspiration and connection in so many cultures, something that I personally witnessed in my youth. Secondly, I want to share how flowers provided a kind of balance that took my mind away from the less beautiful things around me. […]

This exhibition is meant to be enjoyed and I hope it brings you happiness and encourages you to think about how flowers are represented in your own life.

- Excerpt from the essay by Jaime Koebel


Jaime Koebel is of Nehiyâw, Michif and German ancestry. She is especially inspired by floral and natural imagery in Michif art. Koebel’s art practice encompasses beadwork, fish scale art, birch bark biting and ink drawing. She manages Prairie Fire, a dance group in which performs with her three children. Koebel runs Indigenous Walks Tours in Ottawa, and she is the Educator of Indigenous Programs and Outreach at the National Gallery of Canada.

Barry Ace, Phat(ense), 2005, acrylic on wood, 81 x 81 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

the bottom of four skateboards showing a painted person over top with flowers on the sides

Barry Ace is a practising visual artist and a band member of M’Chigeeng First Nation from Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Drawing inspiration from multiple facets of traditional Anishinaabe culture, he creates objects and imagery that reference many traditional forms and motifs. He then disrupts the reading of these works with the introduction of other elements, endeavouring to create a convergence of the historical and the contemporary. Ace’s work can be found in numerous public and private collections in Canada and abroad.

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

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Christi Belcourt is a visual artist with a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people. Like generations of Indigenous artists before her, most of her work explores and celebrates the beauty and symbolism of the natural world, while exploring traditional Indigenous world-views and their relationship to spirituality and natural medicines. Following the tradition of Métis floral beadwork, Belcourt treats her art as a metaphor for human existence, using it to relay a variety of messages related to environmental protection, biodiversity, spirituality and Indigenous rights.

Simon Brascoupé, Algonquin Flowers, 2017, birch bark, 15 x 17 cm (approximate). Courtesy of the artist.

small markings or lines that form a detailed design on a beige background

An Algonquin member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation in Quebec, Simon Brascoupé is a contemporary artist with traditional roots. An academic researcher who provides training on cultural competency and safety, Brascoupé shares his creativity and knowledge of Algonquin traditions through stunning visual representations of cultural symbols.

David White Deer Charette, Bandolier Bag, 2017, seed beads, nylon thread and vinyl, 123 x 34 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Vicky Laforge.

detailed view of blue, red and yellow beads in a series of lines

From Wikwemikong, on Ontario’s Manitoulin Island, David White Deer Charette has been practising traditional and contemporary beadwork since he was 12 years old. He has made his home in Ottawa, where he continues to make fascinating art. Charette is an Ojibwa artist who has earned recognition both at home and abroad, including in Thailand and China. He is a well-known First Nations dancer, singer, and visual artist.

Kelly Duquette, I Forgot Who I Was, But Now I Remember series (1 of 3), 2016, acrylic, pigment, pouring medium, beads and thread on linen, 76 x 91 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

absctract forms painted in muddied or dull colours

Kelly Duquette considers herself to be a “new generation” Métis. Following the resistance in Western Canada, her family fled the Prairies and settled in Northwestern Ontario. For four generations, the family’s identity was kept secret. With silence came the assurance of survival in Canadian society, but the transfer of traditional knowledge was interrupted. At the age of 12, Duquette became aware of her Métis heritage. This sparked a desire to learn about her role as a Métis woman within the larger community.

Myrosia Humeniuk, Spring Wonder, 2017, dye on ostrich egg, 17 x 13 x 13 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Pierre Laporte Photography.

floating round object that contains intricate designs, set against a black background

Myrosia Humeniuk left her studies in environmental engineering to enroll in the animation program at Algonquin College. She now works as a visual artist, and her art depicts her love of life, heritage and tradition. Humeniuk’s work ranges from youthful themes and colourful characters to meticulously hand-drawn designs on eggs.

Nathalie Mantha, Avant que le matin s’éteigne, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 102 x 152 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo : Valérie Mercier.

pink flowers

Nathalie Mantha holds bachelor’s degrees in fine arts and education from the University of Ottawa. Prior to attending university, she explored a range of mediums while completing a college diploma in visual arts. For the last 25 years, Mantha worked as an art educator, combining her twin loves of creating and teaching.

Florence Yee, Second Generation (triptych, image 2 of 3), 2016, oil on canvas, 91 x 91 cm (each panel). Courtesy of the artist.

a painted landscape picture set over top of a painted wallpaper background

Florence Yee is a bilingual Montreal-based visual artist, currently finishing her BFA at Concordia University. Since completing a four-month residency at the Ottawa School of Art, she has exhibited her work across Canada. With an interest in ethnocultural art histories, she works within communities to dismantle Eurocentric ideas of art. Yee draws from her lived experience as a 2.5 generation Asian-Canadian woman to fuel her socially conscious practice.

Presented in collaboration with the NAC’s Canada Scene.

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

May 4 to June 11, 2017

Opening: Thursday, May 4, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Tour with the artist (in French): Sunday, May 28, 2 pm

José Luis Torres, Cartographie, 2016, tennis balls and steel, 110 x 80 x 20 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

José Luis Torres, Prospection II, 2015, paper, metal and cork. Courtesy of the artist.

Catalogue excerpt

De l'horizontal au vertical (From Horizontal to Vertical) provides Torres with an opportunity to fill the Karsh-Masson Gallery with his personal vision and produce a newly imagined environment. The reconfigured gallery displays both the process and the result of an exercise in cartography whereby the artist maps his own reality. His way of occupying space; his approach to the transformation, presentation and manipulation of objects; even the materials he works with are all important markers of his artistic universe. After all, although site-specific art provides a clearer window into an artist’s thought process, thereby supporting a more faithful representation of reality, this reality remains steeped in subjectivity.

- Excerpt from the catalogue essay by Céline Le Merlus


José Luis Torres was born in Argentina. In addition to holding a bachelor's degree in visual arts and a master's degree in sculpture, he has training in architecture and integrating art with architecture. He has been living and working in Quebec since 2003. His work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions, public art interventions and artist residencies in Canada, Argentina, the United States, Mexico and Europe.

Michael Belmore – mskwi•blood•sang

March 16 to April 23, 2017

Vernissage: Thursday, March 16, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Walkthrough with the artist: Sunday, April 2, 2:00 pm

Catalogue excerpt

mskwi•blood•sang makes visible the animacy of the multi-layered Anishinaabe landscape. By ensnaring brief moments of cyclical time, Belmore re-envisions the interwoven power of the in-between and presents a confluence of contrasts which articulate the tension, continual flux and steady pulse of the Lake Superior shoreline.

-Excerpt from the essay by Alexandra Nahwegahbow

Michael Belmore, Convergence (detail), 2013, stone and copper leaf, 213 x 396 x 10 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

rocks on floor in formation

Michael Belmore, Investment (detail), 2011, stone and copper leaf, 25 x 110 x 110 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

up close image of rocks with a shining orange light coming in from behind


Michael Belmore is Anishinaabe and a member of Lac Saul First Nation. He graduated with an associated diploma in sculpture/installation from OCAD U (Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto) in 1994 and currently lives in Ottawa. Belmore's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of various institutions and numerous private collections.

Michael Belmore gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.

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 at 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

Mana Rouholamini, Zigzaguer 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.

three images of gray, brown and black organic shapes and swirls

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.


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.