Image: Holding Pattern: 2021 Additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection (installation view at City Hall Art Gallery), photo: David Barbour
This competition is now closed.
About Direct Purchase
The City of Ottawa Public Art Program invites professional artists, and their representatives, to offer existing artworks for purchase. Applications are reviewed by a peer assessment committee and artworks recommended for purchase will become part of the City of Ottawa Art Collection. Artworks from this diverse collection are presented in over 170 public sites across Ottawa. Direct Purchase is a competitive program for participants to offer artwork for purchase to the City of Ottawa. More than 2,700 artworks are reviewed each year.
Before submitting your application, please review the Eligibility section below.
- To support eligible emerging, mid-career and established professional visual artists
- Purchase existing artworks to be added into the City of Ottawa Art Collection
- To support activities that address the priorities identified in the Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture in Ottawa (2013 - 2018), including prioritizing applications from Indigenous, equity-seeking applicants, and artists not currently in the City of Ottawa Art Collection.
Who is eligible?
- Participants must be professional artists or representatives of professional artists such as a gallery or an estate
- Artists must have completed specialized training in their artistic field or be recognized by their peers as a professional artist
- Participants must either be the author of the artwork or must represent the author of the artwork
- Artists must live, or have lived, within a 150 km radius of Ottawa or the artwork must have a local connection (please indicate this in your Artist Statement or Artistic Résumé)
- Artists must be committed to their artistic activity
- Artists must have created a body of work outside of basic training
- Artists who identify as Algonquin Anishinaabe
Who is not eligible?
- students who have not yet completed initial arts training
- individuals who are not authors nor representatives of professional artists
- artists who do not live, nor have not lived, within a 150 km radius of Ottawa
- City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives in compliance with the City of Ottawa Employee Code of Conduct and all applicable laws and regulations
- Applicants, not including galleries, may only submit one application at a time within this program
- Meeting all eligibility requirements does not guarantee purchase of artwork
Applications are assessed by a Peer Assessment Committee according to:
- Artistic merit
- Regional importance
- Conservation and maintenance requirements
Who is on the Peer Assessment Committee?
- The composition of the 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.
- Peer assessment committee members are chosen based on their knowledge and experience, fair and objective opinions, ability to articulate ideas, and ability to work in a team environment
- Members of the committee change for every program
Read through the Call to Artists completely before beginning your online application and make sure you have all the required information ready.
- A complete application must include support material listed below, up to ten images or ten minutes of time-based media or a combination thereof
- Support material may be written in English or French
Items 1, 2, and 3 to be saved as one PDF
- Artist statement (maximum 500 words)
- Artistic résumé (maximum 1500 words)
- Image/media list - a direct reference to the artwork image files you are including in your application. The image/media list is an opportunity to add information or additional descriptions of individual artworks. Use this list to indicate series, edition, or other significant details in point form
Digital image files and time-based media files
Upload ten digital image files or ten minutes total of time-based media content (or a combination of both) that support the proposal statement and follow the guidelines listed below.
Image files must be:
- JPG format and no larger than 1 mb each
- Named with the corresponding image list number, title, date, medium, dimensions and price, each separated by an underscore
- Do not leave a space before or after the underscore
- File names must not exceed 150 characters
Format for naming image files
- 01_The Mountain_2022_graphite, acrylic and metal_96 x 106 inches_$1500.jpg
- 02_Untitled 3 detail_2018_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm_$0.jpg
- 03_Installation at Karsh-Masson Gallery variable dimensions_2015_mixed media_ 0x0cm_$0.jpg
When ten artworks are not for sale, include detail images, images with alternate points of view, or images of artwork from a similar series. Images of artworks not for sale should be named with a price of $0.
We are available to help you prepare your application in the following ways:
- Discuss eligibility of your application, requirements of the program and answer any questions about the application and evaluation process
- Virtual information sessions (details at top of page)
- The sessions will be aimed at first-time applicants however all are welcome to attend
- Download the Microsoft Teams Live app or participate in the session using a web browser
Delivery of artwork
- Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no second stage to review artworks in person
- If your artwork is selected for purchase, we will request delivery at a future date when it is safe to do so
- All successful applicants will be contacted to arrange delivery of the artworks selected for acquisition
If your application is not successful you are encouraged to try again!
The peer assessment committee is comprised of new members for each competition. If your artwork was not recommended for purchase understand that your submission may have been supported but the program’s limited budget cannot fund all applicants, regardless of their merit.
For general information about the City of Ottawa Public Art Program or technical issues contact firstname.lastname@example.org.