2022 exhibitions

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Stéphane Alexis, Shelby Lisk and Neeko Paluzzi – 2022 Karsh Continuum

Curator: Andrew Wright

March 3 to April 1, 2022

Opening: Thursday, March 3, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Artists’ tour: Sunday, March 13, 2 pm
Free admission. Presented in English.

Event protocol:

2022 Karsh Continuum honours the artistic legacy of Yousuf and Malak Karsh while continuing an intergenerational chain of mentorship that fosters photo/lens-based innovation. 2019 Karsh Award laureate Andrew Wright selected emerging local artists Stéphane Alexis, Shelby Lisk and Neeko Paluzzi for this exhibition and mentorship opportunity: “All three artists engage with photography in an expanded sense. Recognizing both the utility and the limitations of photography’s established traditions and conceits, they continue to make poignant works where photography is an important yet constituent part of their significance.”

Exhibition documentation images 

Exhibition booklet [ PDF - 2.8 MB ]

Excerpts from interviews between the artists and curator Andrew Wright

Stéphane Alexis, Poultry no. 9, 2021, C-print, 76 x 76 cm, courtesy of the artist

Photograph of a chicken foot and its reflection in cool blue tones.

“I was looking at the series that I shot, and I began to recognize a lot of references from my own life. I recognized that these chicken feet seemed to be mimicking relationships that we have… they are intersecting with each other in this world of their own… The point of the project is to have a conversation, for us to reflect on our lives. And this conversation is about the relationships that we have, different aspects of them. I’m using the term “relationships” very broadly. At the end of the day, it’s about how we connect with the world… I would like people to be curious, to look at these images and to think again about what they are seeing and what it can mean. Ideally, they would say: “Chicken feet? I didn’t realize that they could look like that,” or “I had no idea they look so similar to human hands.' So, in this context, they might have to rethink their assumptions about what they thought they already knew.” -Stéphane Alexis

Stéphane Alexis is a Caribbean-Canadian artist based in Ottawa. His work stems from his personal experiences, along with the demographic, and sub-demographic groups to which he belongs. His focus is both on conceptual design and aesthetic quality. He brings attention, and transparency to different people and communities that are tucked away due to the hardships they face. These qualities are used to bridge insight on issues and circumstances facing these communities, both locally and globally, through the subject matter. Alexis has won awards and grants for his book design and thought-provoking content. He has exhibited in solo and group shows across Ontario and has numerous national publications.

Shelby Lisk, tó na’tesohseriyà:kon (detail), 2021, beads, felt, ribbon and paper, 28 x 22 cm, courtesy of the artist

Red felt in an organic shape embroidered with white beads and flower imagery. In the middle is a black-and-white photograph of a baby reaching for an adult’s hand.

“My project combines family photos and images that I’ve taken in my community – of the places where my family lived, the places that were important to them – and beadwork resembling the style of beaded frames made by Haudenosaunee women, especially in the early 1900s. In each frame I’m working with a different phrase in Mohawk and exploring their meanings and their connections to the culture. There are words that first-language speakers know that could be lost if they’re not passed down or recorded… I feel like this project is more about offering ‘the dominant culture’ another way to think. It’s actually offering everyone a gift. That there are other ways to do things. And these ways come from the language of this place, and the land here. These can be ways for all of us.” -Shelby Lisk 

Shelby Lisk is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and photographer from Kenhtè:ke (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory) whose art practice explores her connection to and place in the world as a Kanyen’kehá:ka woman. Lisk completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (with a minor in Gender Studies) at the University of Ottawa (2015). She also has a diploma in Photojournalism from Loyalist College (2019) and a certificate in Mohawk Language and Culture through Queen's University and Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na (2020). Lisk currently works full-time as a multimedia journalist covering Indigenous current affairs in Ontario.

Shelby Lisk gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council. 

Neeko Paluzzi, On the nature of time, 2021, video still, 10 minutes, courtesy of the artist 

Black-and-white multiple-exposure portrait of two superimposed mens’ heads.

“My piece is a visualization of an infamous debate between Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson, who was a philosopher in the early 20th century. Their debate took place in Paris in 1922 exactly 100 years ago. They debated the concept of “time” from the scientific perspective (Einstein) versus the philosophical perspective (Bergson). What people see is a video of two faces on top of each other, discussing together, and debating their opposing views concerning the nature of time… The video is reacting to itself, and every time you watch it will be slightly different—and so what I hope is that if someone were to see it once they might have an idea what time is, how it might be described, but when they come back and see it again, the idea that they initially had could be changed as a result of what they’ve newly seen.” -Neeko Paluzzi

Neeko Paluzzi is a queer Canadian artist and educator whose practice focuses on intertextual, photo-based installations. His images blend the possibilities of traditional, analogue darkroom processes with contemporary photographic techniques, such as 3D scanning and printing. He was the winner of the 2018 Project X, Photography Award from the Ottawa Arts Council, and his work appeared in a featured exhibition at the Scotiabank CONTACT Festival in 2019. Paluzzi is currently completing a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Ottawa while maintaining a teaching position at the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute.

2019 Karsh Award recipient Andrew Wright creates conceptually informed works in many media. He has been preoccupied with using photography in traditional and decidedly non-traditional ways for over 25 years. Wright has exhibited widely in Canada and abroad, and his works can be found in public and private collections around the world. Andrew Wright is a Full Professor of Visual Art in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa.

Miles Rufelds - You can draw a straight line

April 14 to June 10, 2022

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

Artist tour: Sunday, June 12, 2 pm
Presented in English. Access is limited to the Laurier Avenue entrance.

Miles Rufelds, Improver, 2022, inkjet prints on presentation bond, yarn, nails, rubber spray paint, variable dimensions, courtesy of the artist

arge grouping of colour photos and enlarged 35 mm film fastened to a wall with string.

Miles Rufelds, Spiral Economy, 2019, industrially sanitized intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), fluorescent lights, documents, variable dimensions, courtesy of the artist

Two stacked industrially sanitized intermediate bulk containers with one fluorescent light hanging on either side.

Miles Rufelds – You can draw a straight line (installation view), photo: City of Ottawa

Large grouping of colour photos and enlarged 35 mm film fastened to a wall with string. Two stacked industrially sanitized intermediate bulk containers.

Exhibition documentation images

Exhibition booklet [ PDF - 11.9 MB ]

In You can draw a straight line, research-based artist Miles Rufelds surveys Canada’s long history of trade, transportation, and resource extraction through a clouded conspiratorial lens. Mixing detailed analyses and archival traces from Canada’s economic landscape with fictional or speculative narrative threads, this exhibition attempts to grapple with Canada’s role as an economic superpower, and to situate its national colonial projects within a global narrative of expropriation and exploitation.

Booklet excerpt

The exhibition washes the viewer in information, all the while whispering that one needs to know so little to decipher the scheme. The violent history and trajectory of Canada’s economy is out in the open. It’s in the maps, the treaties, and the highways. In Red Skin, White Masks, Indigenous Marxist scholar Glen Sean Coulthard focuses on the materialist history of this country in the pursuit of Indigenous self-determination. Quoting historian Patrick Wolfe, he writes, “Whatever settlers may say – and they generally have a lot to say – the primary motive [of settler-colonialism] is not race (or religion, ethnicity, grade of civilization, etc.) but access to territory. Territoriality is settler colonialism’s specific, irreducible element.” [Glen Sean Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition, University of Minnesota Press, 2014, 7.]

-Excerpt by Kate Whiteway


Miles Rufelds is an artist, writer, and filmmaker based in Toronto. He holds a Master of Visual Studies in Studio Art from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Ottawa. With an emphasis on investigative research, conceptualism, and experimental forms of storytelling, Rufelds’ projects explore the braided histories of political economy, technology, and aesthetics. Rufelds has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Blackwood Gallery, PAVED Arts, and the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. Rufelds is also co-founder and co-director of the Toronto gallery ‘the plumb.’

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

Tyler Armstrong, Colin Canary, Brendan A. de Montigny and Claire Scherzinger – Fractured Utopia

June 23 to August 19, 2022

Opening: Thursday, June 23, 5:30 to 7:30 pm 

Artist tour with Brendan A. de Montigny: Sunday, August 7, 2 pm
Presented in English.

Access is limited to the Laurier Avenue entrance during exhibit events.

Tyler Armstrong, Where There’s Smoke, 2020, mixed media on paper, 36 x 28 cm, courtesy of the artist

 imagery of orange and black smoke and shooting lava

Colin Canary, If You Were Somebody Else, 2021, acrylic on panel, 25 x 20 cm, courtesy of the artist

 purple, pink, and grey circles painted on top of a dark background with coloured border

Brendan A. de Montigny, Isn’t It Any Wonder, 2020, acrylic, gouache, ink and marker on rag paper, 76 x 56 cm, courtesy of the artist

Grey and lime green figures in a cityscape with phrase 'Death or serious injury may occur' written across the top

Claire Scherzinger, The Garden Along The Coast, 2019, video still, variable dimensions, courtesy of the artist 

underwater scene of light blue, organic shapes, set against a blue background

Exhibition documentation images

Exhibition booklet [ PDF - 1.5 MB ]

Tyler Armstrong, Colin Canary, Brendan A. de Montigny, and Claire Scherzinger join forces in a faux-museum retrospective, an exhibition from a future time.  

Fractured Utopia weaves a compelling and foreboding narrative of what happened in our world, offering hindsight to the visitor’s perspective. Looking back on the artworks, current issues are highlighted in the works’ themes of alienation, ecological destruction, and the inevitable decay of current civilization. Responding to these implications with paintings, drawings, video, and didactic guidance, Fractured Utopia involves the visitor within a vortex of present and imagined futures, filled with questions: how did we get here, how can we change, and what might the future bring? 

- Excerpt by Miriam Arbus


Tyler Armstrong (b. Toronto, 1983) is a Canadian artist enveloped in highly expressive figurative and still life acrylic and oil-based paintings, drawings and mixed media. Armstrong has showcased work in solo and group exhibitions in Hamilton, London, Los Angeles, Ottawa, and Toronto. From 2012 to 2017, Armstrong participated in the annual VIBE Arts auction, a non-profit organization offering accessible arts education to children and youth. His painting Hypocrite was selected by Spanish publisher Fulgencio Pimentel to be featured on the cover of author Rubén Lardín’s latest novel, La hora atómica (The Atomic Hour).

Colin Canary (b. Halifax, 1988) received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. His paintings have been shown in multiple national exhibitions and he was a finalist in the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering Emerging Artist Competition where his art was selected for purchase by the Nova Scotia Art Bank. Canary’s work was featured in ab Next: Contemporary Abstraction by Emerging Canadian Artists, at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario, in 2017 and the biennial juried exhibition Get Noticed, at Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, in 2018. Canary currently lives and works in Montreal, Quebec.

Brendan A. de Montigny (b. Vancouver, 1984) received an MFA from the University of Ottawa, a BFA from Concordia University, and a Diploma in Visual Arts from Heritage College. De Montigny is a Gatineau-Ottawa based multidisciplinary artist, cultural connector, and curator. He has exhibited drawings, performances and installations in Montreal, New York state, Ottawa, and Toronto. De Montigny co-founded and directed the Ottawa-based art gallery PDA Projects (2014-2018). He was a finalist for the 2019 RBC Emerging Artist Award.

Claire Scherzinger (b. Markham, 1991) received a BFA from OCAD University in Toronto, and an MFA from the University of Victoria. Her writing has appeared in Canadian arts and literature magazines such as Carousel, BlackFlash Magazine, and Painters on Painting. Her artwork has appeared in exhibitions across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and can be found in corporate collections such as the Royal Bank of Canada and Equitable Bank. She currently resides in Washington State, USA.

Norman Takeuchi – Long Division

Curator: Emily Putnam

September 8 to November 4, 2022

Opening: Thursday, September 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Artist tour: Sunday, September 25, 2 pm  
Presented in English with introduction by curator. 

Access is limited to the Laurier Avenue entrance during exhibit events.

Norman Takeuchi, Immigrant (diptych), 2021, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 200 cm, courtesy of the artist, photo: David Barbour

Diptych painting in blues, greys and orange: the left side presenting the portrait of a man and the right side presenting painted floral patterns.

Norman Takeuchi, Newcomers (diptych), 2021, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 200 cm, courtesy of the artist, photo: David Barbour 

Diptych painting in browns and greens: the left side presenting a landscape with a black and white army truck in the middle, the right side presents a landscape.

Exhibition documentation images  

Exhibition booklet [ PDF - 2.7 MB ]

In Long Division, Ottawa-area artist Norman Takeuchi reflects on how divided the world may feel, whether by time, space, or understanding. Although the past few years have been difficult and have in many ways highlighted and exacerbated ongoing inequities and structural issues, Takeuchi’s new series offers us a calming respite from the challenges of everyday life while reflecting on the complex and rich history of Japanese Canadians on this land. Takeuchi’s Long Division asks us to move forward with hope despite the ongoing and systemic problems impacting the world. 

The series with the same title as the exhibition features Takeuchi’s iconic painterly style, combining figurative imagery with flowing and fragmented abstract forms. A series of nine diptychs highlight the ongoing evolution of Takeuchi’s practice, bringing together a personal and communal past with an unformed future in the process of becoming. Displayed with an intentional seven-inch gap between each pair, the left canvas of each diptych is infused with Takeuchi’s familial memories, oftentimes memories that evoke sadness, whereas the canvas on the right features abstraction that accentuates both feelings of confusion about an uncertain identity and a spirit determined to continue moving forward. 

- Exhibition booklet excerpt by Emily Putnam 


Norman Takeuchi is a Vancouver-born painter. Some of his earliest memories are of the interior of BC, where his parents were forced to relocate during World War II. He graduated from the Vancouver School of Art in 1962, then went to London, England, to paint and returned again in 1967 with a Canada Council grant. He left a career in design in 1996 to focus on art. He has since participated in many solo and group exhibitions. His work is represented in permanent collections of the Royal Ontario Museum, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa Art Gallery, Canada Council Art Bank, City of Ottawa, Carleton University Art Gallery, and in private collections in Canada and abroad. 

Emily Putnam is a curator, art historian, and educator currently based in Ottawa. She specializes in topics about Canadian art and history. Her research areas include socially engaged art, public art, memory studies, archive studies, and museum practices. Emily is currently a PhD candidate and contract instructor at Carleton University. 

Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Meryl McMaster, Sasha Phipps and The Macronauts – Entanglements 

Curators: Celina Jeffery and Ryan Stec/Artengine

November 17, 2022 to January 13, 2023

Opening and artists’ tour: Thursday, November 17, 5:30 pm
Free admission. Presented in English. 

Access is limited to the Laurier Avenue entrance during exhibit events. 

For additional events associated with the exhibit, please visit the curators’ website.

Cheryl L’Hirondelle, nipawiwin Akikodjiwan: Pimizi ohci (video still), 2022, video installation, courtesy of the artist, photo: Eric Archembault

a fish amongst rocks looks toward the camera

Meryl McMaster, What Will I Say to the Sky and the Earth I, 2019, digital C-Print, 114 x 76 cm, courtesy of the artist, Stephen Bulger Gallery and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain

a figure who is dressed in a black dress with red details and has white paint on their face. A forest in the background.

Sasha Phipps, Fruits de Mer Champlain - Champlain Sea Gummies (installation detail), 2022, home-made fruit gummy candy, cellophane, cardboard boxes, variable dimensions, courtesy of the artist 

multi-coloured fish-shaped candies in packaging set against a bright blue background.

The Macronauts, Hublots: Mandala Symetrique, 2022, inkjet print in porthole frame, 38 x 38 cm, courtesy of the artists  

A kaleidoscope of objects set against a black background

Exhibition documentation images

Exhibition booklet [ PDF - 1.5 MB ]

This exhibition focuses on our entanglement with ecological communities. 

L’Hirondelle reflects upon eels in the Ottawa River, the possibilities of their desires and cross species communication.  Phipps’ installation is comprised of home-made gummies modelled using shells and fish to consider the relationship between histories of consumption and extinction narratives.  McMaster’s photographs witness the impact of insect decline, sparking a rethinking of more-than-human relations. Hublots, an installation by The Macronauts, visualizes drifting microscopic plankton as it transacts with other matter.

These artists draw our attention to ecological precarity and suggest how reconceptualizing interspecies entanglements could catalyze alternate futures.

- Excerpt by Celina Jeffery and Ryan Stec 


Cheryl L’Hirondelle is a mixed blood (Cree/Halfbreed; German/Polish) interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and curator, and her creative practice investigates the junction of a Cree worldview - nêhiyawin in contemporary time and space. Her work investigates and articulates a dynamism of nêhiyawin with an interdisciplinary practice that creates immersive environments towards ‘radical inclusion’ and ‘sonic survivance’. Cheryl L’Hirondelle gratefully acknowledges the Canada Council for the Arts - Creating, Knowing and Sharing, and the Australian Research Council - Discovery Project for funding. 

Meryl McMaster is a Canadian artist with nêhiyaw (Plains Cree), British and Dutch ancestry. Her work is predominantly photography-based, incorporating the production of props, sculptural garments and performance forming a synergy that transports the viewer out of the ordinary and into a space of contemplation and introspection. She explores the self in relation to land, lineage, history, culture and the more-than-human world. Meryl McMaster gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as the Stephen Bulger Gallery and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain

Sasha Phipps is a French-Canadian multidisciplinary artist based in Ottawa. His works features video, sculptural installation, electronics, and edible artworks. Phipps is interested in environmental anthropology and his relation to the natural world. He continues learning about his complex Franco-Ontarian history, living and practicing on unceded land.  

The Macronauts (Noé Sardet, Antonin Gaud, François Guinaudeau) create art linking plankton to the cosmos. They have created art residencies during ocean expeditions, including Plankton People (2015 and 2016), Cosmic Plankton (2018) and The Labrador Giants (2021) and they have exhibited internationally. The Macronauts gratefully acknowledge Christian Sardet, Guillaume Cavalier and their beloved collaborators. 

Celina Jeffery is an Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Ottawa. She has curated exhibitions that consider the visual cultures of climate change and oceanic degradation, the most recent of which was the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) funded Ephemeral Coast (2015-2020). Ephemeral Coast – Visualizing Coastal Climate Change, an edited anthology which parallels her curatorial project, was published by Vernon Press in 2022. Celina Jeffery gratefully acknowledges the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for funding aspects of this exhibition. 

Ryan Stec is an artist/designer/producer working with texts, organizations and things, and is currently the Artistic Director of the art and technology center, Artengine and part-time professor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Ottawa. 

Artengineis an artist-run futurelab that brings together artists, designers, technologists, and researchers to explore the social impacts of emerging technologies through collaborative learning and production. Artengine receives generous operational support from the City of Ottawa, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.     

Artists and curators gratefully acknowledge the support of the Department of Visual Arts, University of Ottawa. 

2022 Exhibitions Peer assessment committee members

Gillian King, Cynthia O’Brien, Jakub Zdebik