Skip to main content

Public art

About the Public Art Program

One of the first of its kind in Canada, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program is committed to increasing awareness of and appreciation for the visual arts since its inception in 1985.  The Program integrates artworks into everyday public spaces through exhibitions at Karsh-Masson Gallery & City Hall Art Gallery, public art commissions and the City of Ottawa Art Collection.

Karsh-Masson Gallery & City Hall Art Gallery
The galleries display contemporary artwork by professional artists working in a wide range of styles and media. Submissions are reviewed annually by a peer assessment committee.

Public Art Commissions
Site-specific permanent works of art commissioned for Ottawa’s municipal buildings, natural spaces and streetscapes using dollars allocated from capital projects.  Public art commissions accompany major capital projects such as Ottawa on the Move and Confederation Line.  When complete, public art commissions enter into the City of Ottawa Art Collection.   

City of Ottawa Art Collection
Consisting of more than 2,800 works by more than 781 artists, artwork from this collection is presented at over 150 public sites across Ottawa!  New artworks are added to the collection by purchase, donation and commission based on a peer assessment committee’s recommendation.  Search your collection!

Connect with us
Artists can apply for exhibits, public art commissions, and inclusion in the City of Ottawa Art Collection. 

Coming Soon: The Public Art Program Newsletter!
Receive your e-newsletter annually and stay informed on all things public art! The Public Art Program is in the preliminary stages of resurrecting the distribution of a newsletter that will feature highlights from the previous year and will offer insight for the year to come.  

Calls to artists: commissions

Public art is coming to a neighbourhood near you! Public art commissions accompany major capital projects such as the O-Train Confederation Line. Using a percent of the capital project's total budget, new art commissions are planned for public sites and are awarded to an artist based on a peer assessment committee's recommendation. When complete, public art commissions enter into the City of Ottawa Art Collection.

To receive emails about new commissions, email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca with the subject line “subscribe – commissions.”  Calls to artists and announcements are emailed directly to subscribers.

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
Vanier and Montreal Road Public Art Plan

Published July 30, 2018

Public Art Program logo

The City of Ottawa invites curators, planning artists or public art consultants to submit their qualifications for consideration to develop a comprehensive Public Art Plan for Vanier and Montreal Road. This two-stage competition is held in accordance with the Public Art Policy.

Deadline Tuesday August 28, 4:30 p.m. E.S.T
Budget                      $20,000 CAD + HST
Development Time October 2018 – February 2019 (Approximately)
Contact

Melissa Black, Public Art Officer                                           
melissa.black@ottawa.ca 613-244-4261

Introduction
Established in 1985, as one of the first in Canada, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program is committed to increasing awareness and appreciation of the visual arts in Ottawa by collecting, commissioning and exhibiting works of art. A renewed Public Art Policy incorporates the strengths of past decades in Ottawa and reaffirms the objectives of commissioning professional artists to create original works of art for integration into public places. One percent of funds from municipal development are mandated for public art in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.

Eligibility
This Request for Qualifications is an equal opportunity, open to curators, planning artists and public art consultants with experience in developing public art plans and or public art curatorial projects. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activities that are inclusive of Ottawa's diverse communities including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting cultural activities that respond to the Calls to Action put forward in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Project Background
The City of Ottawa is undertaking a number of initiatives in the community of Vanier with the common goals of improving neighbourhood vibrancy and liveability under the banner of Vision Vanier.

Projects include:

City staff will be coordinating and facilitating public engagement and consultation opportunities in the community over the next year asking residents, business owners, property owners, the Business Improvement Area, cultural groups and others for their opinions and ideas on a variety of plans, policies and programs. The proponent retained to produce the Vanier and Montreal Road Public Art Plan may wish to coordinate with existing community consultations or may wish to conduct their own public art specific engagement sessions.    

Montreal Road Revitalization
In summer of 2017, the City completed the Montreal Road Functional Planning Study, which outlined a vision for the 2km section of Montreal Road between North River Road and St. Laurent Boulevard. This vision is to construct a vibrant and welcoming main street with a well-balanced transportation network that will allow residents and businesses to thrive.

The City is now in the design phase of the project which focuses on refining the improvements proposed in the planning study and developing construction drawings. Once the detailed design is complete, the project will move forward into construction scheduled to start in spring 2019 and finish by 2021.  The Montreal Road Revitalization represents a significant investment in the streetscape right of way and will have a large impact on redefining the public realm on the street. 

Vanier and Montreal Road Public Art Project
In keeping with the Public Art Policy, 1% of the construction costs of the Montreal Road Revitalization project and other eligible capital projects have allocated funds towards public art. The community’s diversity, unique history and character requires a comprehensive, inclusive and phased approach to developing Public Art for Vanier and Montreal Road. Phase 1 involves the development of a Public Art Plan informed by research, consultation and collaboration with the community and Phase 2 involves implementing the recommendations of the Art Plan by issuing Calls to Artists for the various public art opportunities.

Neighborhood Profile
Vanier is a historically francophone neighbourhood in the Rideau-Vanier Ward in Ottawa’s east end. The neighbourhood is located on the east bank of the Rideau River, across from the neighbourhoods of Lowertown and Sandy Hill, and south of Rockcliffe Park, New Edinburgh, Lindenlea, and Manor Park. Montreal Road is a designated traditional main street and is the main thoroughfare of the community with a mix of businesses, community organizations and residential properties. This is a well-established area with most of the housing constructed prior to the 1960’s with many residents able to trace their family histories to the area’s early days.

Vanier has a relatively small area with a high population density that is culturally diverse and home to a large indigenous and Inuit population. Despite challenges with community safety and economic development, the residents and communities are proud and engaged in the development and revitalization of Montreal Road and Vanier.

Community Resources

Opportunity
The City of Ottawa Public Art Program is seeking an experienced and highly motivated curator, planning artist or public art consultant to develop a Public Art Plan for Montreal Road and the surrounding Vanier communities*. The proponent will work collaboratively with the Montreal Road Revitalization Project Team, City of Ottawa staff and local stakeholders to determine a conceptual framework for art integrations.  The proponent must bring a high level of conceptual ability and innovation to the planning process and inspire City of Ottawa staff and the community to reach for the best and most creative solutions for public art.

The Public Art Plan once developed, with considerable research and community consultations should be a strong conceptual plan with concrete recommendations for public art opportunities for Montreal Road and the surrounding Vanier communities* that identify context, themes, sites, approaches and budgets. The Public Art Program will implement the recommendations of the Montreal Road and Vanier Public Art Plan in Phase 2 of this project and will use the plan as a framework to govern future public art projects as additional funds become available. 

*The term communities refer to an inclusive understanding of multiple and diverse community groups, organizations, cultures, businesses and individuals residing within Vanier including First Nation, Inuit and Metis communities, Francophones, racialized communities, immigrants and newcomers.

Project Vision
The development of the Public Art Plan for Montreal Road and the surrounding Vanier communities should aim to be as inclusive and barrier free as possible, allowing space for diverse and marginalized voices and perspectives in the consultation process. The approach for engaging and consulting with communities should be an artistic and creative process in itself. The Public Art Plan should be strongly rooted in place and reflect the local values, stories, aspirations and character of the neighbourhood. In addition, the Public Art Plan should be innovative and forward thinking and present exciting and inventive approaches to public art. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation and in keeping with the City of Ottawa’s Reconciliation Action Plan the proponent should include Indigenous representation and culture in the Art Plan.

Project Objectives
The Public Art Program recognizes that public art is a constantly evolving form of visual expression and may vary in scale, size, scope and approach. Public art may take the form of neighbourhood interventions or larger iconic landmarks; standalone or integrated artwork; temporary or permanent; digital, socially engaged, performative, multi-media or other visual art forms. 

The proponent may identify multiple public art opportunities, in a variety of approaches and sites however, the Plan must address the following as a minimum:

  1. Permanent public art for Montreal Road integrated into the Road Revitalization Project, (themes, sites and approaches to be determined).  
  2. At least one public art opportunity dedicated to honouring and recognizing indigenous heritage and culture. If required an Indigenous Cultural Liaison may be retained to assist with community engagement and development of this opportunity.

Scope of Work

  • Research history, context and geography of Montreal Road and surrounding Vanier community;
  • Conduct site visits to survey assets and familiarize self with community and streetscape;
  • Review Montreal Road Revitalization landscaping and geometrical design plans to identity potential sites for public art on Montreal Road;
  • Develop methodology for community and stakeholder engagement;
  • Attend and or facilitate public meetings and or consultations;
  • Collaborate with Montreal Road Revitalization Project Team and City of Ottawa staff;
  • Consult and engage with diverse community stakeholders including organizations, residents, individuals and businesses to gather information and to solicit feedback on various components of the Public Art Plan;
  • Educate and inspire the public on creative and innovative best practices in public art;
  • Develop a comprehensive Public Art Plan for Vanier and Montreal Road that identify context, themes, sites, approaches and budgets ;
  • Coordinate with graphic and or web design professionals to develop the final Public Art Plan documentation;
  • Document process (photo and or video) and share on social media and or blogs.

Schedule * Schedule is subject to change
Deadline for Applications - Tuesday August 28, 2018, 4:30 p.m. E.S.T.  
Finalist Interviews - Thursday September 13 (in person or remotely)
Proponent contracted - September 2018
Public Art Plan development:  October 2018-February 2019
Public Art Plan Finalized: February 2019 

Budget
The fee for this opportunity is $20,000 in Canadian dollars plus HST and is inclusive of all costs associated with the research and development of the plan including attending meetings, consultation, travel, research, fees, etc.

Selection Process
The successful proponent will be selected for this opportunity through an open call process coupled with finalists’ interviews. An assessment committee comprised of City staff and professional external or internal consultants will review and evaluate the proposals according to the selection criteria and select up to five applicants for interviews.

Finalists will be invited to discuss past approaches and working methodology as well as answer questions relating to working on this type of planning project. Only one proponent will be selected for this opportunity.

The City of Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all submissions, or any part thereof, or to terminate or re-advertise the project.

Selection Criteria
Curators, planning artists or public art consultants who meet the following criteria may be considered for an interview:

  • An established practice in public art curation, creation and or consultation;
  • Demonstrated previous experience developing public art plans, and or implementation strategies;
  • Strong verbal, and written communication skills in both official languages (English and French);
  • Availability to spend significant time in the community for research and consultations;  
  • A demonstrated understanding of the project and its context;  
  • Appropriateness of proposed approach to the context;
  • Creative and innovation consultation methodology.

Deadline for Application – Tuesday August 28, 2018 4:30 p.m.  
Your submission must be sent to melissa.black@ottawa.ca by uploading to WeTransfer.com for the deadline. Late or incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. All participants will be notified of the results of the initial stage of the selection process by email.

Submission requirements
A complete application must include the submission requirements listed below.

  • Support material may be written in English or French
  • Documents must be submitted as PDF files
  • Participants must upload a complete application with all support materials to WeTransfer.com by sending to melissa.black@ottawa.ca.

Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request.

1.  Expression of Interest
Submit a maximum of two written pages explaining why you are interested in this opportunity.

  • What connects you and your previous work to this project?
  • What perspective or approach will you bring to the development of an art plan?
  • How do you propose to engage and collaborate with the community?
  • What is your vision for the Public Art Plan development?
  • Describe your experience in developing or curating similar public art plans.  
  • Describe your availability to be present in the community.
  • If applying as a team, describe your past collaborations and how you plan to work together on this project.

2.  Résumé
Submit a current résumé of your training, public art, curatorial or consultative experience and any other experience directly relevant to this opportunity on a maximum of three pages. Include your name, mailing address, telephone number and email address. If you are applying as a team, submit a separate résumé for each team member and clearly identify the lead contact for this project.

3.  Sample Planning Document
Submit a sample of a previous planning or communication document such as a public art plan, curatorial plan or master plan that demonstrates your experience in communicating complex ideas effectively and developing conceptual strategies.

4.  References
Contact information for two professional references who can speak to your experience on similar projects. Please ensure these references are aware that they may be contacted by the City of Ottawa as part of the evaluation process for this Request for Qualifications.

Confidentiality of information
City of Ottawa employees and peer assessment committee members are required to treat both the content of submissions and the deliberations of the committee as confidential. To protect confidentiality, committee members turn in their copies of proposal materials for shredding at the end of the assessment meeting.

Information provided by the applicant may be available to City of Ottawa employees and members of the peer assessment committee. Personal Information in your submission is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Program.

Inquiries
Melissa Black, Public Art Officer
melissa.black@ottawa.ca
613-244-4261

Call to Artists: Elgin Street Renewal
Request for Qualifications (RFQ) – Artist in Residence

Updated April 27, 2018

This competition is now closed. 

Are you on the list? Email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca with the subject line “subscribe” and receive emails about Direct Purchase, Public Art commissions and gallery programming.

Introduction
Established in 1985, as one of the first in Canada, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program is committed to increasing awareness and appreciation of the visual arts in Ottawa by collecting, commissioning and exhibiting works of art. A renewed Public Art Policy incorporates the strengths of past decades in Ottawa and reaffirms the objectives of commissioning professional artists to create original works of art for integration into public places. One percent of funds from municipal development are mandated for public art in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.

Eligibility
This request for qualifications is an equal opportunity, open to professional artists and artist teams with experience in community-engaged art and in creating permanent public art. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activities that are inclusive of Ottawa's diverse communities including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting cultural activities that respond to the Calls to Action put forward in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Artist in Residence
The Elgin Street Artist in Residence opportunity seeks innovative and compelling projects from artist(s) who are interested in creative collaboration and interdisciplinary dialogue as an artistic practice. The residency provides an opportunity for an artist) to develop innovative strategies for public art involving diverse members of the local community or businesses in joint creative practices, broadening the community’s experience and connection to the arts.

The selected artist(s) will establish a series of opportunities for community interaction and collaboration with the Elgin Street community to take place during a 5 month residency period from August to December 2018. A creative, inclusive, community-engaged residency will bring together various sectors of the Elgin Street community into a collaborative dialogue on public art through exploring the challenges and opportunities of the site(s). The residency will result in the creation of permanent public art installed along Elgin Street. Temporary public art installations in addition to permanent public art are also encouraged.

Office space at City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue can be made available to the Artist in Residence as a workspace if desired.

The selected Artist in Residence will be expected to:

  • Produce a detailed Artist in Residence Plan that outlines the artist’s community engagement strategy and residency activities to be undertaken
  • Implement the Artist in Residence Plan plan by establishing a presence in the neighbourhood and online (social media, blogs, etc.) to interact, engage and collaborate with various and diverse sectors of the Elgin Street community (see “Community Resources” below for a comprehensive list of community organizations)
  • Produce reports for the Public Art Program on the progress and outcomes of the Artist in Residence Plan, as outlined in the successful artist’s agreement
  • Document all outcomes of the residency project (photos, written reports, etc.)
  • Produce a detailed Public Art proposal for a permanent and possibly temporary public art that was informed as a result of community engagement during the residency

Project background
On May 10, 2017, City Council approved the Functional Design for Elgin Street (Gloucester Street to Queen Elizabeth Driveway) and Waverley Street (Elgin Street to Jack Purcell Lane). The watermains and deep sewers under these streets are among the oldest in the city, dating back to the late 1800s. The need to replace this aging infrastructure created a unique opportunity to assess the road surfaces and redesign them to meet the City of Ottawa’s Traditional Mainstreet designation in the Official Plan, Complete Streets policy and Accessibility Design Standards.

The renewal of Elgin Street aims to create an appropriate balance and mix of uses that will adequately serve the local community, regional market and tourists alike. It will reinforce the role of Elgin Street as a main street serving the local neighbourhoods as well as the wider downtown area and Ottawa region.

The redesign for Elgin Street Renewal will include:

  • Wider sidewalks, shared use lanes (for cycling and vehicles), and transit facilities (bus stops, bus pads and shelters)
  • Traffic control signal system and traffic calming measures including raised intersections, narrowing lanes and reduced speed limit (30 km/h)
  • Flexible space to accommodate on-street parking, patios or other seasonal uses
  • Streetscape enhancements and street amenities including landscaping (such as tree planting, and hardscape features), public art and street furniture (including benches, waste receptacles, and bicycle racks)
  • Watermains, sanitary, storm and combined sewers
  • Utility reconstruction (Hydro Ottawa, Bell, Rogers, Enbridge)
  • Street lighting and signage
  • Road structure and pavement

Neighbourhood Profile
Elgin Street is a significant pedestrian promenade linking the neighbourhood of Centretown to the downtown core, the Canal, and Parliament Hill. It is a showcase civic street for Ottawa and consist of various land use contexts (downtown sector, traditional main street, residential and connectivity sector). Elgin Street runs north/south beginning at Wellington Street in Confederation Square, just east of the Parliament buildings and ends just west of the Pretoria bridge over the Rideau Canal. The boundaries of the road renewal project are from Gloucester Street to Queen Elizabeth Driveway where the street transitions from a Ceremonial Route to a Main Street with a thriving business area that boasts a number of businesses, restaurants, and bars. Progressing south, the street steadily becomes more residential, home to low rise apartment buildings. Elgin ends at the Queensway, where it turns into Isabella Street until the Queen Elizabeth Driveway. In addition, an eight-block section of Elgin Street from Lisgar Street to Gladstone Avenue has been identified by the Elgin Area Business Association as the “Red Mile” also known as “Sens Mile” – a street for Ottawa Senators fans to celebrate during the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

Schedule
The Elgin Street Renewal project is currently involved in the project’s detailed design and construction is expected to start in early 2019, with its completion anticipated for summer 2020. The five-month Artist in Residence is scheduled to take place between August and December 2018 followed by a period of design, engineering and fabrication of the public art. Installation of the public art will be in coordination with the construction schedule and must be installed by the summer of 2020 to coincide with the end of the Elgin Street Renewal construction.

Public Art Vision
Public art for the Elgin Street Renewal project will integrate visually significant elements that provide identity and distinctive character to the street. The artwork, as a legacy of the Artist in Residence, will enhance the roadway design and surrounding areas by creating an environment that is aesthetically interesting and engaging for the community, pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The artwork should be conceptually and visually innovative, and reflect a thorough and sensitive understanding of place, context and setting. 

Design requirements for public art installation
Completed works of art shall:

  • Demonstrate contemporary artistic excellence
  • Be a legacy of the community engagement from the Artist in Residence
  • Show sensitivity to the surrounding area and address site characteristics
  • Integrate with the style and function of the roadway design
  • Be engaging and safe for the public
  • Be made of highly permanent materials that are suitable to the environment and require minimal maintenance
  • Comply with all building and electrical codes and bylaws

Public Art Sites
Potential Public Art Sites have been identified on the Elgin Street Design Plan.  The Artist may select ideal locations for their proposed artwork anywhere within the roadway construction boundaries and adjacent public parks. Artwork installed along the sidewalk must not obstruct pedestrian traffic and must maintain a clearance in the right of way of 2 meters minimum. Exact installation sites for public art must be coordinated and approved with the Project Team to ensure that clearances are met so that the art does not conflict with other features such as benches, waste receptacles bike racks or operations such as snow plowing. Electricity for the artwork may be available for the artwork pending coordination with the Project Team. The public art for Elgin should be considerate of existing permanent public art in the vicinity and select sites accordingly.

The following locations have been identified as potential public art locations:

  • Nepean Street (North East corner)
  • Lisgar Street
  • Somerset Street
  • Maclaren Street (South West corner)
  • Gilmour Street
  • Minto Park
  • Lewis Street
  • Waverly Street (West side)
  • Frank Street (North East corner)
  • McLeod Street (South East corner)
  • Park Avenue (North East corner)

Commission budget
The total budget for this commission is $150,000 plus HST, and comprises of:

$15,000           Artist in Residence (August to December 2018)
$135,000         Public art installation

This budget includes all costs required to design, engineer, fabricate, store, transport and install the public art. The cost for anchoring / foundations and electrical will be covered by the Elgin Street Renewal project within reason and subject to negotiation.

Selection Procedure
This commission will be awarded following a three-stage arm’s length process as follows:

Request for Qualifications: Stage I – Qualifications will be evaluated by a Peer Assessment committee consisting of artists with public art experience, community and business representatives and a representative from the Elgin Street Renewal project. This committee will review and evaluate submissions in accordance with the selection criteria and will shortlist a maximum of four artists to advance to Stage II.

Residency Proposals: Stage II – Shortlisted artists will meet with the Project Team for an information session, (in person or remotely) and will be given Terms of Reference for refining their residency proposals. Shortlisted artists (maximum four) will be paid an honorarium of $1,500 plus HST for developing an approach to the artist in residence opportunity, a community engagement plan, a work plan, a draft budget and schedule for the residency component.

At a date following the submission of Stage II proposal, shortlisted artists will meet individually with the Peer Assessment committee for a 30-minute interview to present their Artist in Residency proposals and answer questions. The committee will evaluate shortlisted artists and will select one artist to proceed to contract for the Elgin Street Public Art, Artist in Residence. In addition, shortlisted artists will be reimbursed for travel and accommodation expenses in Ottawa for the interview, up to a maximum of $1,200 per artist or artist team with proof of expenses.

Public Art Proposal: Stage III - Following the Artist in Residency period, the selected artist(s) will prepare a detailed public art proposal for review, evaluation and approval by a technical committee and the Peer Assessment Committee.  A dialogue period between the artist and project team will result in finalising the public art proposal ready for fabrication and installation.

Selection Criteria – Stage I
All submissions will be evaluated based on the artist’s experience and qualifications (resumé), previous artwork (digital images) and creativity of approach (expression of interest).

Please note:
The City of Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all submissions, or any part thereof, or to terminate or re-advertise the project. The decision of the Peer Assessment Committee is final.

Community Resources
Councillor Catherine McKenney
Elgin Area Business Association
Centretown Citizens Community Association
Jack Purcell Recreation Association
Jack Purcell Community Centre
Elgin Street Public School
Bike Ottawa

References
Elgin Street Renewal
Elgin Street and Hawthorne Avenue Functional Design Study
Ottawa Past and Present - Elgin Street

Copyright and moral rights
Copyright, including any and all designs, drawings and final works of art, shall remain the property of the artist. Moral rights remain with the artist. The City of Ottawa will seek permission to reproduce the images for non-profit publicity purposes.

Confidentiality of information
City of Ottawa employees and peer assessment committee members are required to treat both the content of submissions and the deliberations of the committee as confidential. To protect confidentiality, committee members turn in their copies of proposal materials for shredding at the end of the assessment meeting.

Information provided by the applicant may be available to City of Ottawa employees and members of the peer assessment committee. Personal Information in your submission is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Program.

Inquiries
Melissa Black, Public Art Officer
Melissa.black@ottawa.ca
613-244-4261

Call to artists: Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
Maple Island Public Art Project

Updated April 27, 2018

image of Maple Island

This competition is now closed. 

Are you on the list? Email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca with the subject line “subscribe” and receive emails about Direct Purchase, Public Art commissions and gallery programming.

The City of Ottawa invites professional artists to submit qualifications to design, fabricate and install a permanent artwork on Maple Island in Ottawa, Ontario. This is a two-stage open competition held in accordance with the City of Ottawa Public Art Policy.

Introduction
Established in 1985, as one of the first in Canada, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program is committed to increasing awareness and appreciation of the visual arts in Ottawa by collecting, commissioning and exhibiting works of art. A renewed Public Art Policy incorporates the strengths of past decades in Ottawa and reaffirms the objectives of commissioning professional artists to create original works of art for integration into public places. One percent of funds from municipal development are mandated for public art in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.

Eligibility
This request for qualifications is an equal opportunity, open to local, national and international professional artists and artist teams with experience in creating permanent public art. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activities that are inclusive of Ottawa's diverse communities including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations.The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting cultural activities that respond to the Calls to Action put forward in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists and curators are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Project background
As part of the redevelopment of the Minto Bridges, a public art piece will be installed on Maple Island. This small island sits on the Rideau River, at the intersection of two of the Minto Bridges. The island and bridges connect two Ottawa neighbourhoods, Lowertown and New Edinburgh (Wards 12, 13), for pedestrians and cyclists. The island is a serene and hidden green space, with a great view of Canada’s Peace Tower to the west. The island has a rich history which includes Indigenous peoples and railway and industrial use, and was originally part of the ceremonial route which connects Rideau Hall and Parliament.

Reference material

Public art vision
Public art for Maple Island should be conceptually and visually innovative and reflect a thorough and sensitive understanding of place, context and setting. The artwork will enhance the area by creating a tranquil and inviting sanctuary that is aesthetically interesting. The artist should take into consideration the background of the site and the surrounding neighbourhoods, past and present. In particular, artists are asked to consider the historical significance of the Rideau River.

Design requirements for public art
Completed works of art shall:

  • Demonstrate contemporary artistic excellence
  • Be conceptually timeless and enduring
  • Show sensitivity to the surrounding environment
  • Address site characteristics
  • Be engaging to park and bridge users, including pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular traffic
  • Not disrupt or negatively impact the natural habitat and wildlife
  • Be safe for the public
  • Be made of highly permanent materials that are suitable to the environment and require minimal maintenance
  • Comply with all bylaws

Public art site
Maple Island is a small, green and lush island on the Rideau River, located in the middle of the Minto Bridges on Union Street. The entire green space south of the bridge is available for public art. This curved green space comprises grass and large tress, with shrubbery along the riverbanks. There are no walking paths, lights, electrical outlets or seating, with the exception of a bench at the Hungarian Monument, located at the south end of the island. Artist should respect a 6-metre radius around this monument. Artists shortlisted to advance to the proposal stage of the competition will have an opportunity to meet with the project team to review the site details and ask specific questions related to their proposal.

The City of Ottawa acknowledges that Ottawa is located on land which is part of ancestral unceded Algonquin Anishinabe territory. The City of Ottawa honours the peoples and elders of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, whose ancestors have occupied this territory for millennia, and whose culture has nurtured and continues to nurture this land and its people. In addition, we would like to recognize all First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities in Ottawa.

Commission budget
The budget for this commission is $52,000 plus HST and must include all costs required to design, fabricate, store, transport and install the public art, including the cost of engineering, attachments, anchoring or foundations and reinstatement of landscaping.

In keeping with the Public Art Policy, funding for Maple Island public art has been allocated from the Minto Bridges East & Centre Rehabilitation. The City of Ottawa completed major bridge work throughout 2015 and 2016.

Commission schedule
Submission deadline: March 16, 2018, at 4 p.m. EST
Stage II notifications: March 23, 2018
Meeting: April 9, 2018
Open House: July 22, 2018
Stage II interview: August 2, 2018
Final selection: August 10, 2018
Installation: Summer 2019

Selection procedure
This commission will be awarded following a two-stage arm’s length process as follows::

Request for Qualifications: Stage I – Qualifications will be evaluated by a peer assessment committee consisting of artists with public art experience, a community representative, a representative from Canadian Heritage and a representative from the project design team. This committee will shortlist a maximum of four artists to move forward to Stage II.

Request for Qualifications: Stage I – Qualifications will be evaluated by a peer assessment committee consisting of artists with public art experience, a community representative, a representative from Canadian Heritage and a representative from the project design team. This committee will shortlist a maximum of four artists to move forward to Stage II.

Request for Proposals: Stage II – Shortlisted artists (maximum four) will be given an honorarium of $1,000 plus HST and a detailed Terms of Reference for preparing proposals, drawings and budgets for Stage II of the competition. A technical review of proposals will be requested prior to the final submission date. Proposals will be reviewed by the project team, which will provide feedback on the technical and logistical feasibility of the proposed artwork. Draft proposals will not be shared with the voting members of the peer assessment committee. Comments will be shared with shortlisted artists in order to be incorporated into final proposals.

Shortlisted artists are required to attend a public open house to present their designs to the public and to answer questions. In addition, shortlisted proposals will be posted online for comment by the public. All comments received from the public during this consultation will be submitted to the peer assessment committee for consideration.

At a date following the public consultation process, artists will meet individually with the peer assessment committee for a 30-minute interview to present their proposals and answer questions. A final selection will be made at that time.

In addition, the National Capital Commission / Canadian Heritage must review and approve the final proposal. 

Selection Criteria- Stage I
All submissions will be evaluated based on the artist’s experience and qualifications (resumé), previous artwork (digital images) and ability to address the public art vision (expression of interest) in relation to this Call to Artists.

The City of Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all submissions, or any part thereof, or to terminate or re-advertise the project. The decision of the peer assessment committee is final.

Copyright and moral rights
Copyright, including any and all designs, drawings and final works of art, shall remain the property of the artist. Moral rights remain with the artist. The City of Ottawa will seek permission to reproduce the images for non-profit publicity purposes.

Confidentiality of information
City of Ottawa employees and peer assessment committee members are required to treat both the content of submissions and the deliberations of the committee as confidential. Committee members turn in their copies of materials for shredding and delete their computer files at the end of the peer assessment meeting.

Information provided by the applicant may be available to City of Ottawa employees and members of the peer assessment committee. Personal information in your submission is collected under the authority of the City Council-approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa Public Art Program.

Call to artists: Expression of Interest
Rideau Canal Crossing Public Art Project

Updated April 27, 2018

This competition is now closed. 

Are you on the list? Email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca with the subject line “subscribe” and receive emails about Direct Purchase, Public Art commissions and gallery programming.

The City of Ottawa invites visual artists, no matter their medium,  to submit an Expression of Interest to participate in a mentorship opportunity to design, fabricate and install an artist-designed public bench.  Two artists will be selected to design benches that will be installed on the western side of the Rideau Canal, between the Rideau Canal and the re-landscaped wetland area.  One bench will be commissioned specifically to an Algonquin artist or artist team. Theses benches should help create a unique sense of place. This is a two-stage open competition held in accordance with the City of Ottawa Public Art Policy.

Introduction
Established in 1985, as one of the first in Canada, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program is committed to increasing awareness and appreciation of the visual arts in Ottawa by collecting, commissioning and exhibiting works of art. A renewed Public Art Policy incorporates the strengths of Ottawa over the past decades and reaffirms the objectives of commissioning professional artists to create original works of art for integration into public places. One percent of funds from municipal development is allocated for public art projects in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.

Eligibility
The Call to Artists will seek artists for two public art commissions. One bench must be designed by an Algonquin artist or team of artists.  The other bench can be designed by any other artist or team of artists. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.

Artists must be able to work effectively within the project timeline and collaborate with the engineers, general contractors, multiple governmental agencies, community groups, City staff and fabricators whenever it is required in a supportive manner.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse communities, including people from diverse ancestries, varied levels of ability, different age groups, countries of origin and cultures, genders, income levels, languages, are of a different race or sexual orientation. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. Applications from artists and representatives of diverse origins including First Nations, Inuit and Métis are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Project Background
The Canal, constructed between 1827 and 1832, is an important cultural heritage asset and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as a National Historic Site of Canada, and a Canadian Heritage River. Construction of the Canal was a catalyst for development around which the Capital grew, and it is still a defining element of Canada’s Capital today. In the 1950s and the 1960s, the National Capital Commission (NCC) constructed wooden footbridge, in the winter, annually, between Second Avenue and Herridge Street. 

The objective of the new Rideau Canal crossing is to support sustainable and active transportation solutions by enhancing east-west connectivity and linking the crossing to the broader pedestrian and cycling networks.  The new bridge will improve access for all users of the City’s extensive network of pedestrian multi-use pathways and connect communities such as the Glebe, Old Ottawa South, Lansdowne Park and Old Ottawa East.

A significant component of the Rideau Canal Crossing project is the beautification, restoration and expansion of the wetlands area on the western side of the Canal, which includes the restauration of the Lilly Pond. 

The City of Ottawa is working closely with the Algonquins of Ontario on this initiative along with key project stakeholders including the National Capital Commission, Parks Canada and Transport Canada.

Reference material

Public art vision
The construction of the bridge will include landscaping and the addition of benches along the pathway for resting, meeting friends and watching passersby. This presents an opportunity for unique artist-designed furnishings.  Two benches on the western side of the Rideau Canal, between the Rideau Canal and the re-landscaped wetland area will be artist-designed benches.  These benches will help create a unique sense of place and presents an alternative to standardized benches.  Although designated as public artworks, the artist-designed furnishings will need to fulfill the traditional functions of a bench or seating element, as well as meet safety requirements set out by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).  The selected artists will work under the mentorship of a third-party manufacturing company contracted by the City of Ottawa to produce the artwork.  The fabricator will translate the artist’s design to production and installation.

The artists are asked to consider the landscape, local community and the essence of the neighbourhood’s past, present and/or future in their design.

Design requirements for public art
Completed works of art shall:

  • Demonstrate contemporary artistic excellence (conceptual, aesthetic and technical)
  • Be conceptually timeless and enduring
  • Be engaging to pedestrians and cyclists using the bridge, and adjacent pathways
  • Be safe for the public
  • Not impede movement along the pathway near the north side of the Lily Pond
  • Address the site characteristics, architecture, landscaping and plantings
  • Will not disrupt or negatively impact the natural habitat and wildlife of the Rideau Canal or the wetland/pond areas
  • Be made of highly permanent materials that are suitable to the environment and require minimal maintenance
  • Comply with building and electrical codes, bylaws, accessibility standards, etc.

Public art site
The restored and expanded Lily Pond will be the focal point of the re-landscaped wetlands area on the western side of the Rideau Canal. The artist-designed benches will be installed in the wetlands area, facing the Lily Pond, and among native flora. 

The City of Ottawa acknowledges that Ottawa is located on land that is part of the unceded Traditional Territory of the Algonquin people.  The City of Ottawa honours the Algonquin people and elders, whose ancestors have occupied this territory since time immemorial, and whose culture has nurtured and continues to nurture this land and its people.

Commission budget
The selected artists will work under the mentorship of a third-party fabricator contracted by the City of Ottawa.  Up to six shortlisted artists will each receive a $1, 000 plus HST design fee to refine their proposed design for Stage 2.  The two final selected artists will each receive a $3,000 plus HST production fee to work with the manufacturing company who will create and install the benches within a maximum fabrication budget of $15, 000.  Funding for this art commission is provided through the designation of 1% of the overall construction budget towards public art. 

Commission schedule

  • Submission deadline: February 26, 2018 at 4 pm EST
  • Stage 2 notifications: March 16, 2018
  • Meeting: March 23, 2018
  • Open House: July 10, 2018
  • Stage 2 interview: July 19, 2018
  • Final selection: August 10, 2018
  • Installation: Summer 2019

Selection Procedure
This commission will be awarded following a two-stage arms length process as follows:

  1. Expressions of Interest (Stage I) – Expressions of interest will be evaluated by a peer assessment committee consisting of artists with public art experience, a community representative, a representative from Canadian Heritage and a representative from the project design team and representatives from the Algonquin community. This committee will shortlist a maximum of six artists to move on to Stage 2.
  2. Request for Proposals (Stage II) – Each shortlisted artists will be given a design fee of $1, 000 + HST and detailed Terms of Reference for preparing proposed designs for Stage 2 of the competition. A technical review of proposals will be requested prior to the final submission date. Proposals will be reviewed by the project team and contracted fabricator, which will provide feedback on the technical and logistical feasibility of the proposed artwork. Draft proposals will not be shared with the voting members of the Peer Assessment Committee. Comments will be shared with shortlisted artists in order to incorporate into final proposals. Shortlisted artists will be required to attend an open house, where they will present their designs to the public and answer questions. In addition, shortlisted proposals will be posted online for public comments. All comments received during this consultation process will be submitted to the peer assessment committee for consideration. At a date following the public consultation process, artists will meet individually with the peer assessment committee for a 30-minute interview to present their proposals and answer questions.

Selection Criteria- Stage I
All submissions will be evaluated based on the artist’s ability to address the public art vision (expression of interest) in relation to this Call to Artists, as well as on previous artwork (10 digital images).

Please note: The City of Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all submissions, or any part thereof, or to terminate or re-advertise the project. The decision of the peer assessment committee is final.   In addition, the National Capital Commission/Canadian Heritage must review and approve the final proposal.

Copyright and moral rights
Copyright, including any and all designs, drawings and final works of art, shall remain the property of the artist. Moral rights remain with the artist. The City of Ottawa will seek permission to reproduce the images for non-profit publicity purposes.

Confidentiality of information
City of Ottawa employees and peer assessment committee members are required to treat both the content of submissions and the deliberations of the committee as confidential. Committee members turn in their copies of materials for shredding and delete their computer files at the end of the assessment meeting.

Information provided by the applicant may be available to City of Ottawa employees and members of the peer assessment committee. Personal information in your submission is collected under the authority of the City Council-approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Program.

Announcements

New public art selected for Fire Station 55

Published September 11, 2018

The artists’ landscape-based piece will be comprised of stone pillars.

Local artist team Alisdair MacRae and Che Wei Lee have been awarded the public art commission for the New 2 Bay Fire Station #55 at 2283 Portobello Boulevard.   

The artists’ landscape-based piece will be comprised of stone pillars. The pillars will pay homage to the firefighters as first responders, commemorating their role within and their service to the community.  The stone pillars will also draw attention to local history, including settlement of the area, geology, and the environment.

To involve both firefighters and local young people, the artists will ask what it means to be brave, what does courage mean to me, and how can I be strong.  Responses to the questions will be anonymous and topics of bravery, courage, and strength will create a relationship between the firefighters and young people.  The responses will be engraved into stainless steel medallions and set into place on the pillars.  

“Very unique to seek children's input and engrave them on medallions!” – Online consultation survey participant

The artwork will be installed on the north side of the Fire Station located at 2283 Portobello Boulevard, where the artwork would be visible from the parking lot of the adjacent François Dupuis Recreation Centre. Artwork installation scheduled for summer 2019.

This work and others are commissioned by the Public Art Program. In keeping with Public Art Policy one percent of funds for municipal development projects is set aside for public art to enhance the space and make art accessible to everyone.

The City’s Public Art Program initiated a two-stage public art competition for the Fire Station 55 Public Art Project. Proposals were reviewed by an Art Selection Committee who selected the proposal of artist team, Alisdair MacRae and Che Wei Lee.  Evaluation criteria included such considerations as feasibility, artistic concept, community engagement plan. 

For more information about the new public art visit ottawa.ca or email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

New public art selected for the OAG Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project

Published August 2, 2018

Large LED screen displaying a video of a pair of eyes installed on stone wall of Arts Court building

Brooklyn based artist, Adam Frank has been awarded the public art commission for the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project for his artwork Spectator.

Spectator is a dynamic, interactive billboard. The art installation will operate as a beacon, attracting people to Arts Court and the Ottawa Art Gallery. A large LED video screen installed on the exterior facade will display the eyes of everyone who has ever participated in the artwork.

Inside the newly renovated Arts Court facility, the public will be invited to look into a viewing portal, which will show a real time view of outside, from the point of view of the video screen. The participants’ eyes will be video captured as they look out to the street below. Spectator will show the viewing history of everyone who has ever engaged with the artwork. This work is truly participatory as it allows the public to become a permanent part of the artwork and see themselves in it.

Spectator celebrates and elevates each viewer by reversing the traditional relationship between viewer and artwork. The installation will be a dynamic, ever-changing portrait of the community that adds subtle human expression to the Ottawa skyline. The artwork is scheduled to be installed by fall 2019.

This work and others are commissioned by the Public Art Program. In keeping with Public Art Policy one percent of funds for municipal development projects is set aside for public art to enhance the space and make art accessible to everyone.

The City’s Public Art Program initiated a two-stage public art competition for the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Art Court Redevelopment Project. Proposals were reviewed by an Art Selection Committee, who selected Adam Frank’s proposal based on evaluation criteria that included such considerations as artistic excellence, experience of the artist, and site integration. 

For more information about the new public art visit ottawa.ca or email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

Image: Large LED screen displaying a video of a pair of eyes installed on stone wall of Arts Court building

Public Art Online Consultation
Maple Island Public Art Project

Updated July 30, 2018

The island is a serene and hidden green space, with a great view of Canada’s Peace Tower to the west.

The public is invited to partake in an online survey, to view the four final proposals and to provide feedback. The Art Selection Committee will take the public’s comments into consideration when they meet to evaluate the proposals and select the winning design.

Survey closed. Thank you for your interest in this survey. 

Four artists have been shortlisted to submit qualifications to design, fabricate and install a permanent artwork on Maple Island in Ottawa, Ontario. This small island sits on the Rideau River, at the intersection of two of the Minto Bridges. The island and bridges connect two Ottawa neighbourhoods, Lowertown and New Edinburgh (Wards 12, 13). The island is a serene and hidden green space, with a great view of Canada’s Peace Tower to the west.

After 51 artists enthusiastically responded to a Request For Qualifications, the Art Selection Committee shortlisted four artists: 

  • Amy Thompson
    The imagery in the piece represents both a Great Blue Heron frozen in flight, and a Beluga whale ascending to the sur­face.
  • Christopher Griffin
    This log will become a time traveller resting on a green and picturesque little island at the mouth of the Rideau River called Maple Island.
  • Cooke-Sasseville
    three great blue herons on top of spiraled, classically-inspired columns.
  • Jean-Yves Vigneau
     the form of a small boat

The City of Ottawa commissions professional artists’ works for display in public spaces.  A percent of funds for municipal development projects is set aside for public art in order to beautify the space and make art accessible to everyone.

For more information email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

Public Art Online Consultation
Rideau Canal Crossing Public Art Project

Updated July 16, 2018

Rideau Canal Crossing

The public is invited to partake in an online survey, to view the four final proposals and to provide feedback. The Art Selection Committee will take the public’s comments into consideration when they meet to evaluate the proposals and select the winning design.

Survey closed. Thank you for your interest in this survey. 

Join us at one of Ottawa’s Farmer’s Markets for a chance to take the survey:

Date: Saturday, July 14
Time: 9:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m.
Place: Old Ottawa East

Date: Sunday, July 15
Time: 9:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m.
Place: Lansdowne Park

Four artists have been shortlisted to participate in a mentorship opportunity to design, fabricate and install an artist-designed public bench. Two artists will be selected to design benches that will be installed on the western side of the Rideau Canal, between the Rideau Canal and the re-landscaped wetland area.  One bench will be commissioned specifically to an Algonquin artist. 

After 46 artists enthusiastically responded to an Expression of Interest, the Art Selection Committee shortlisted four artists: 

  • Claude Latour
    Claude Latour: artist-designed public bench
  • Doreen T. Stevens
    Doreen T. Stevens: artist-designed public bench
  • Emily Brascoupé-Hoefler
    Emily Brascoupé-Hoefler bench
  • Sally Lee Sheeks
    Sally Lee Sheeks: artist-designed public bench

The City of Ottawa commissions professional artists’ works for display in public spaces.  A percent of funds for municipal development projects is set aside for public art in order to beautify the space and make art accessible to everyone.

For more information email: publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

The Public Art Program’s Faceted Search Tool is ready for you!

Published May 18, 2018

4 images

A new tool to help you search your collection!

You can search for art by medium!
Installation / Mixed Media / Mural /Other / New Media / Painting / Photography / Sculpture / Textile / Work on Paper

You can search for art by venue!
Art along the Confederation Line / Art along the Transitway / Art along the Trillium Line / Art at buildings / Art at parks / Art in the street

  • Find, share and explore digital content about the City of Ottawa’s Art Collection.
  • Browse city-owned artworks and artwork by local artists more frequently
  • Use digital information to find out when, why or how an artwork was collected and where it’s located in the city!
  • Check back regularly!  New items will be added to the faceted search tool.

Search City of Ottawa Art Collection!

Public art brings colour, inspiration and imagination to neighbourhoods all over town. Whether it’s a mural at a Transitway station or a sculpture along the sidewalk, public art has become part of the fabric of this city - inspiring residents and visitors alike.

A renewed Public Art Policy incorporates the strengths of past decades in Ottawa and reaffirms the objectives of commissioning professional artists to create original works of art for integration into public places. By presenting art in public spaces, the City of Ottawa Art Collection enriches communities, supports local artists and forms a visual art history of the Ottawa area.

Public art commissions accompany major capital projects such as the O-Train Confederation Line. Using a percent of the capital project's total budget, new art commissions are planned for public sites and are awarded to an artist based on a peer assessment committee's recommendation. When complete, public art commissions enter into the City of Ottawa Art Collection

Artwork from this collection is presented at over 150 public sites across Ottawa! Library branches, community centres, parks, playgrounds, employment centres, transit stations and City Hall display artwork for residents.

Public art is coming to a neighbourhood near you! 
For more information email: publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

Images (left to right): locomOtion, Erratic Field, The Spirit of OC Transpo, Morphology

Public Art Online Consultation
Fire Station 55 Public Art Project

Published May 18, 2018

front of the building’s “house” side, to the right of the main entrance, facing Portobello Boulevard.

Have your say!

The public is invited to partake in an online survey, to view the four final proposals and to provide feedback. The Art Selection Committee will take the public’s comments into consideration when they meet to evaluate the proposals and select the winning design.

Survey closed
Thank you for your interest in this survey.

Four artists have been shortlisted to create detailed designs of their creative public art concepts for Fire Station 55 in Orleans. The artwork is to be installed on the Fire Station 55 property, which is located at 2283 Portobello Boulevard.

The preferred artwork site is in front of the building’s “house” side, to the right of the main entrance, facing Portobello Boulevard.  An alternate location is on the north side of the Fire Station, where the artwork would be visible from the parking lot of the adjacent François Dupuis Recreation Centre.

After 24 international artists enthusiastically responded to a Request for Qualifications, the Art Selection Committee shortlisted four artists: 

  • Chi Wei Lee and Alisdair MacRae
    installation
  • François Mathieu
    installation
  • Frédéric Laforge
    installation
  • Jennifer Demitor
    installation

The City of Ottawa commissions professional artists’ works for display in public spaces.  A percent of funds for municipal development projects is set aside for public art in order to beautify the space and make art accessible to everyone.

For more information email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

Public Art Open House - OAG Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project

Published April 27, 2018

Arts Court buidling

Image courtesy of David Barbour

Public Art Open House
Date:
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Time: 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Place: Arts Court Theatre
2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa

Five artists have been short listed to create detailed designs of their creative public art concepts for exterior spaces at the Arts Court facility as part of the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project.

The public is invited to meet the artists, view the proposals and record their comments. The Art Selection Committee will take the public’s comments into consideration when they meet to evaluate the proposals and select the winning design.

After 148 international artists enthusiastically responded to a Request for Qualifications, the Art Selection Committee shortlisted these artists: 

Artist: Adam Frank

Adam Frank is a lighting designer, inventor and public artist. His body of work represents an ongoing investigation of light, interactivity and our perception of nature. Adam uses new techniques to add natural lighting phenomena to the built environment.

Artist: Christian Moeller

Many of Christian Moeller’s site-specific works are of architectural scale and kinetic in nature.  He usually works with metal, sometimes with composites, and most recently for the first time with wood. He has a strong appreciation for simplicity, and increasingly, his works carry an anthropomorphic element. 

Artist: David Spriggs

The work of David Spriggs lies in a space between the 2 and 3 dimensions. In his work, he explores the representation and strategies of power, the symbolic meanings of colour, and the thresholds of form and perception. Spriggs primarily uses a technique he pioneered in 1999 using multiple painted layered images in space to create 3D ephemeral-like installation artworks on grand scales.

Artist: Josée Dubeau

Josée Dubeau’s practice is situated at the junction of drawing, architecture and sculpture. The installations explore our relationship to the world by deconstructing the morphology of public and domestic spaces. Derived from the ideology underlying the organisation of spaces, the installation work explores the properties of geometry, symmetry and order that are conveyed in architecture today.

Artist: Mathew Mazzotta

Matthew Mazzotta works at the intersection of art, activism, and urbanism, focusing on the power of the built environment to shape our relationships and experiences. His community-specific public projects integrate new forms of civic participation and social engagement into the built environment and reveal how the spaces we travel through and spend our time living within have the potential to become distinct sites for intimate, radical, and meaningful exchanges.

The City of Ottawa commissions artists’ works for display in public spaces.  A percent of funds for municipal development projects is set aside for public art in order to beautify the space and make art accessible to everyone.

For more information: publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

New public art selected for Barrhaven

Published February 07, 2017

Brandon Vickerd’s proposal has been selected for a public art project in the Greenbank Road area of Barrhaven. The working title for the project is Imagined Monuments. The project begins with an artist-in-residence component in early 2017. Vickerd intends to use the language and materials of traditional public sculpture to capture everyday stories from the neighbourhood and is planning story-telling events and neighbourhood tours as a way to research the final artwork. Vickerd wants the project to show that all stories and shared experiences are worthy of monuments. Find out more at imaginedmonuments.com.

The residency will be followed by the fabrication and installation of a permanent artwork along Greenbank Road. The members of the peer assessment committee who chose Vickerd for the project commented on “the refreshing way he defines public art, not falling back on history or artifacts, but validating the experience of the community in a contemporary context.”

Brandon Vickerd has an extensive background in the field of public art. He has received numerous grants and awards for his sculptures and has completed artist residencies in Iceland and in Yukon. He is recognized for his innovative art projects with non-artists, such as auto body workers and crane operators. An educator and artist, Brandon Vickerd received a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Past projects include kinetic sculpture, land art and public performances.

The City of Ottawa initiated a competition for public art along Greenbank Road in July 2016. Funds for public art have been allocated from the Greenbank Road Widening project. This construction project includes widening of Greenbank Road from two lanes of undivided traffic to four lanes divided by a central median.

Terms of use

The City of Ottawa provides public access to its art collection for your personal entertainment, information, education and convenience.

The term “materials” includes all and any information, images, artwork, text, video clips, audio, animation and all other public art content on ottawa.ca. This website contains copyrighted works protected by the Copyright Act, and the regulations there under, and by similar international laws.

The materials are used by the City of Ottawa with permission and may be subject to other restrictions including copyright and other proprietary rights held by third parties. Public art content on ottawa.ca is provided for browsing, viewing, downloading, listening where such activities are limited to non-commercial, educational and personal use only. By downloading, printing or otherwise using the materials, users agree that they will limit their use of public art content to fair dealing, as defined by the Copyright Act, and will not violate the City of Ottawa or any other party's proprietary or moral rights. Users must acknowledge the source of the materials by including the URL www.ottawa.ca.

Questions regarding content, access to, loan of, or use of any associated images or content should be addressed to the City of Ottawa using the contact information found on the art collection pages on ottawa.ca.