2023 exhibitions

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Sam Loewen, Christos Pantieras and Carl Stewart – Thresholds

January 26 to April 14, 2023  

Opening: Thursday, January 26, 5:30 to 7:30 pm 
Access is limited to the Laurier Avenue entrance.

Artists’ tour: Sunday, February 12, 2 pm
Free admission. Presented in English. 

Sam Loewen, Pillow Boyfriend with Pearl Necklace (detail), 2022, screen print on bedsheet, foam, and upholstery tacks on wood panel, 25.5 x 25.5 cm, courtesy of the artist

a multimedia artwork, blue and white in colour. The center of the artwork shows the back of a mans head. White, pearl-like embellishments form a frame around his head.

Christos Pantieras, Welcome|Unwelcome No. 2 (detail), 2022, aqua resin, fibreglass, acrylic paint, body interventions, 46 x 19 x 76 cm, courtesy of the artist

a close-up view of an artwork showing a detail of the material it is made of. A brown form seems to split and open slightly.

Carl Stewart, càrn (detail), 2021, needle felted and hand-dyed wool, various dimensions, courtesy of the artist, photo: Lawrence Cook

Various multi-coloured ball-shaped forms are pilled on top of one another. There are more than ten in view.

Exhibition booklet 

This exhibition brings together artists offering different generational perspectives on queer politics. What connects these distinct artistic practices is a common critique of pervasive heteronormative structures that aim to preserve traditional social values and render queer lives silent. The artists simultaneously caution against the dangerous effects of “homonormativity,” a term which suggests the assimilation and erasure of queer thought in exchange for 2SLGBTQ+ representation, recognition, and inclusion. Notably, the works on display suggest the urgency of foregrounding diverse, intersectional voices in queer political discourse. In addition, exploring themes of social acceptability and sexual freedom, Loewen, Pantieras, and Stewart address the question of erotic attraction that lies at the heart of queer community-building. The viewer is thus invited to contemplate definitions of queerness that stray from the capture of normative life. Yet the underlying question remains: What does it mean to reimagine community against the backdrop of a digital pre-post-pandemic society? Connecting the weight of history to possibilities of the future, Thresholds articulates modes of queer desire that center on pleasure, care, and resilience.   

- Excerpt by Adam Barbu

Biographies 

Sam Loewen is a queer, interdisciplinary artist and creative designer living in Ottawa. Loewen earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Lethbridge and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Ottawa. His artistic practice explores codification methods within Western culture to discuss queer ‘masculine’ identities through various mixed media and creative outputs. 

Christos Pantieras works in sculpture, installation, and mixed media to explore themes of communication, relationships, and personal connections. Select exhibitions at the following galleries include: The Ottawa Art Gallery (Ottawa), The ArQuives (Toronto), Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre (Kingston), CIRCA Art Actuel (Montreal), and Artcite Inc. (Windsor). He has received professional grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Ottawa, and some of his work is included in the City of Ottawa Art Collection and the Permanent Collection of the Ottawa Art Gallery. Pantieras was shortlisted for the Ottawa Arts Council Mid-Career Award (2019) and was the Artist-in-Residence for the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum (2022).  

Christos Pantieras gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Ottawa.

Carl Stewart is a weaver living and working in Ottawa. For more than thirty years his socially and politically engaged and enraged textiles have celebrated, memorialized, documented and commemorated the intimate, the fabulous, the egregious and the tragic. He has received professional grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Ottawa. His work hangs in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, the City of Ottawa Art Collection and the Permanent Collection of the Ottawa Art Gallery. 

Carl Stewart gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and Fiber Art Now

Peter Kohut - The Other Side of the Vent

April 27 to July 14, 2023  

Opening: Thursday, April 27, 5:30 to 7:30 pm 

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

Peter Kohut, Late Summer Night 02 from the Vents series, 2020, oil pastel on paper, 61 x 46 cm, courtesy of the artist 

A two-dimensional artwork, vertical in composition. Vertical bright pink lines on a black background.

Peter Kohut presents a series of oil pastel drawings on paper that depict an air vent. These images act as a metaphor for boundaries in their sparseness and materiality. A pared-down set of tools and a strict process in their making serve to emphasize a probing exploration of the subject pointing to the subtleties and richness revealed through obsessive routine and repetition. 

Ruth Steinberg – The Leave-taking

August 3 to October 20, 2023  

Finissage: Thursday, October 5, 5:30 to 7:30 pm 

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

Ruth Steinberg, July 2020, 2020, medium format film, variable dimensions, courtesy of the artist 

A figure wearing a t-shirt and shorts sits in a chair, facing away from the camera and looks upward with their hands on their lap. The background is green, filled with foliage.

The Leave-taking chronicles the five-month period in the life of my 97-year-old neighbour, Alma Norman, from her decision in June 2020 to choose medical assistance in dying to her death in November 2020. The series is not about death, but rather a celebration of life and its simple pleasures, even as death beckons. 

Martin Golland – I built this garden for us

November 2, 2023 to January 19, 2024  

Opening: Thursday, November 2, 5:30 to 7:30 pm  

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

Martin Golland, Moth, 2022, charcoal, acrylic and oil on paper, 76 x 58 cm, courtesy of the artist  

organic forms and lines of various colours swirl to form the composition. A form that resembles a red and yellow butterfly is in the center-right of the image.

This exhibition brings together paper works created over a three-year period. I have gathered and cultivated a of field notes, which began with drawings in my fern patch. It presents a deep attention, extended plays and variety of methods that exude reminiscence and anticipation. Can sensation be translated through materials to become an offering? What do plants, worms and bacteria know of grief and its aftermath? 

2023 Exhibitions Peer assessment committee members

Gillian King, Cynthia O’Brien, Jakub Zdebik