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Karsh-Masson Gallery

Location and hours

Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
613-580-2424 ext. 14167 (TTY: 613-580-2401)

Open daily 9 am to 8 pm, including holidays.
Free admission. Wheelchair accessible. Parking available. 

While at City Hall, be sure to visit City Hall Art Gallery, featuring contemporary exhibitions by professional artists.

Current exhibition

In recognition of Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017, the City invited professional artists, artist collectives and curators working in visual arts, media arts and fine craft to propose exhibitions that address the theme of mapping.

“Mapping is a fundamental way of converting personal knowledge to transmittable knowledge.”-Arthur Howard Robinson, The Nature of Maps

Mapping includes ways of knowing, organizing and presenting the world as well as our place in it and in relation to others. It helps us track where we’ve been and where we’re going. In addition to cartography, the term mapping has been used in reference to biological, psychological and digital terrains, among others. Mapping can be physical, cultural and emotional. Like an art practice it is a process in constant transformation.

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

December 14, 2017 to January 21, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, December 14, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Mélanie Myers uses drawing and the fabrication of objects to modify the all too familiar urban environment. Ce qui touche au sol (What Touches the Ground) is an observation of systems and incentive measures put in place to ensure the adequate administration of a city. To highlight certain variances in conduct, the spaces assigned to the residence and the landscape, as well as to traffic and contemplation, are represented in a realistic yet improbable way.

An example of Mélanie Myers work

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

An example of Mélanie Myers work

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


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


Upcoming exhibitions

Andrew Ooi – Anatomy of Resilience

February 8 to April 18, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, February 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Catalogue excerpt

Andrew Ooi has chosen an unpretentious material to work with, even if his paper is Japanese gampi, made by hand from the inner bark of a bush.  He cuts it into strips, then into small rectangles before drawing and painting it; after that comes the folding, gluing, and assembling.  This is patient work, the gradual building occurring over many hours, and there is, I imagine, a playful element here, something of the concentrating child sitting cross-legged on the floor.  This painting and folding seems a simple practice, but what Ooi produces isn’t simple at all.  This is the first of the many contradictions in his work.

-Cary Fagan

An example of Andrew Ooi's artwork.

Andrew Ooi, Matrix 2, 2015, acrylic on gampi paper, 25 (diameter) x 2 cm. Photo: Natalie Shahinian, courtesy of the artist.

an example of Andrew Ooi's work

Andrew Ooi, Trinity, 2015, acrylic and ink on gampi paper, 19 x 35 x 3 cm. Photo: Natalie Shahinian, courtesy of the artist.


Self-taught in matters of art and origami, Andrew Ooi made his debut in the interior design community who quickly took notice of his radiant objects. The works were published in Illuminate: Contemporary Craft Lighting (Bloomsbury Publishing) and 1,000 Product Designs: Form, Function, and Technology from Around the World (Rockport Publishers), after touring at events and exhibits in Ontario, Canada and Jyväskylä, Finland. Exhibiting in galleries introduced him to the potential freedom of pursuing a visual art practice, which has led him to explore paint and paper; colour, and especially pattern. Andrew Ooi’s artworks have been exhibited in group and solo shows in the US and in Canada where he is currently based. His work is represented by L.A. Pai Gallery in Ottawa, ON and by BoxHeart Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. 

Andrew Ooi gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.


Jennifer Anne Norman – Forest for the trees

April 26 to July 4, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, April 26, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

This exhibition blurs the lines between the biological and the manufactured, imagining an ecological glimpse at the proverbial forest through its very trees. Transformed into prosthetic memories of the tree limbs they once were, the drawings of fragile, reassembled branches evoke a playful sense of possibility and hope in the face of ecological anxiety. 

An example of Jennifer's artwork

Jennifer Anne Norman, Suspicious, 2017, graphite and mixed media on paper, 48 x 61 cm. Courtesy of the artist.


René Price – The Art of City Building

July 12 to September 4, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, July 12, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Reacting to the never-ending controversial development plans in Ottawa, satiric artist René Price has built a model utopian city, “OTTOWA” that will be presented on the floor, sprawling out from the middle of the gallery, giving the viewer an overview of it all, zoning and OMB permitting. Profit, growth, gentrification, human foibles and luck, all play a part in mapping out our collective future.

An example of René's work.

René Price, Towers of Power, 2012-2017, mixed media, 300 x 500 cm. Courtesy of the artist.


The Karsh Award 2018

September 14 to October 31, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, September 13, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

This exhibit features artwork by the recipient of the 2018 Karsh Award, which is presented every two years to an established local artist for outstanding work in a photo-based medium. This award honours the artistic legacy of celebrated Ottawa photographers Yousuf and Malak Karsh. Yousuf Karsh documented history by photographing thousands of celebrated icons. His younger brother Malak Karsh focused on Canadian landscape and architecture, and is especially known for capturing Parliament Hill and its tulips.

Yousuf and Malak Karsh

Yousuf and Malak Karsh. Photographer unknown.


Barbara Brown and Cynthia O’Brien – Life Cycle Conversations

Judith Parker, curatorial collaborator

November 8, 2018 to January 9, 2019
Vernissage: Thursday, November 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Brown and O’Brien’s collaborative project entwines ceramic objects and photographic images of plant forms to create an immersive installation. Contrasting the timelessness of white ceramic flowers and leaves against the seasonal colour changes of a cultivated garden or wild forest, it suggests a conversation on dying, human frailty and how gardening is a memento mori, a reminder that death is inevitable. 

An example of Barbara and Cynthia's work.

Barbara Brown and Cynthia O’Brien, Remains of the Day, 2017, inkjet print of clay and compost installation detail, 20 x 30 cm. Courtesy of the artists.

Public consultation: 2018 exhibitions

Posted August 31, 2017

The 30 day consultation period is now closed. The final exhibition schedule for the Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery 2018 exhibition season will be announced in November 2017. More information about the 30 day public consultation process is included in section 4.2 of the Public Art Policy. Thank you for your participation in this review process.

Call for proposals: 2018 exhibitions

Public Art Program – Karsh-Masson‎ Gallery & City Hall Art Gallery

This competition is now closed. The Call for proposals: 2019 exhibitions at Karsh-Masson‎ and City Hall art galleries will be announced in February 2018. To receive emails about gallery exhibitions, programming and calls for proposals, email with the subject line “subscribe – exhibitions.”

Once a year, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program invites professional artists and curators to propose exhibitions. Proposals are reviewed by a peer assessment committee and selected exhibitions will be presented at Karsh-Masson Gallery or City Hall Art Gallery the following year.

Exhibitions at Karsh-Masson and City Hall art galleries feature the work of professional artists working in visual art, media art and fine craft, including solo, two-person and group exhibitions; curated exhibitions; exhibitions from the diplomatic sector, and circulating exhibitions from other institutions. Annual programming includes artist talks, tours and panel discussions as well as one exhibition of the City of Ottawa Art Collection and one exhibition of artwork by a graduating student from the University of Ottawa MFA program.


  • This call for proposals is open to professional visual artists and curators who are emerging, mid-career or established, and working in visual art, media art, fine craft, design and other new art forms. A professional artist is someone who has specialized training in his or her artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions), who is recognized by his or her peers as such, is committed to his or her artistic activity, and has a history of public presentation.
  • Applicants who have exhibited at Karsh-Masson Gallery within the last two consecutive years are not eligible to apply. City of Ottawa employees and elected representatives are not eligible to apply.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse community, 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. Applications from artists and curators 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.


All eligible proposals are reviewed by a peer assessment committee based on the following criteria:

  • artistic merit and professionalism
  • regional importance and innovation
  • quality and cohesiveness of the artwork examples and the written proposal statement
  • appropriateness of the proposal to the public nature of the gallery space