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Art at buildings


Sculpture by Don Maynard. More information is available in the following paragraph.

Title: Archive
Artist: Don Maynard
Year: 2011
Materials: stainless steel, stone, light-emitting diode (LED)
Location: James K. Bartleman Centre
Address: 100 Tallwood Drive
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2011-0005

As if defying gravity, a stainless steel house floats twenty feet off the plaza. Tethered to the ground, ropes and boulders anchor the house, preventing it from floating away. Archive speaks to the challenge and importance of collecting and preserving our shared memories and histories for future generations lest they fly away just as the house threatens to do.

Illuminated from within, the artwork is a beacon of light welcoming the public into the James K. Bartleman Centre, the home of Central Archives and the Ottawa Public Library Materials Centre. Cut from the walls of the house are random patterns of letters, the building blocks of narrative, from which the light glows. Visitors are encouraged to follow the pathway which meanders like a river and appreciate the sculpture from various perspectives.

Don Maynard is an artist living and working in Kingston, Ontario. His work can be found in the collections of the City of Ottawa, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and the Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery.

Bathing in Champagne

Mimi Cabri and Jill Elder, Bathing in Champagne,1990

Title: Bathing in Champagne
Artist: Mimi Cabri and Jill Elder
Year: 1990
Materials: ceramic tile
Location: Champagne Fitness Centre
Address: 321 King Edward Avenue
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 1990-0001

Bathing in Champagne is a series of hand-painted and colour-washed ceramic tiles on the deck, pillars, and inside wall of Champagne Fitness Centre's sky-lit extension. Mimi Cabri and Jill Elder designed and installed the tiles. The main mural, a fourteen-foot series of tiles, represents a trio of turn-of-the-century bathers and is framed by small picture scenes set into two larger tiled areas. The pastel seaside motifs and 1920s bathers in swim dresses and beach boots reflect a bright and cheerful attitude. The tile design was inspired by the original pool tiling and by architectural features in the building.  The tiles arrived from England without glaze and were painted with the artists’ designs using majolica stains. The tiles were then glazed and fired at Mimi Cabri’s Ottawa studio.

Blanding’s Turtles of the South March Highlands

Blanding’s Turtles of the South March Highlands at West District Branch, Ottawa Public Library.

Title: Blanding's Turtles of the South March Highlands
Artist: Christopher Griffin
Year: 2014
Materials: concrete
Location: Beaverbrook Branch, Ottawa Public Library
Address: 2500 Campeau Drive
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2014-0103

Inspired by the natural ecosystems of Kanata and the South March Highlands, Griffin's gestural concrete murals feature the Blanding's turtle, an important local species, as well as other indigenous flora and fauna. Thirteen concrete turtle sculptures roam the grounds of the library, offering places to sit, read or rest. Each is inscribed with a month in the Algonquin calendar, acknowledging some beliefs that each of the 13 plates on a turtle's shell represents one moon in a blue moon year.

Griffin carved a 'bale' (group) of 13 Styrofoam turtles and volunteers added the concrete layers to ensure the sculptures survive the elements. Over 50 local volunteers joined artist Christopher Griffin for a series of evening sessions to complete part of the artwork.

Griffin is inspired by ancient artwork on cave walls, and created all of his murals by hand, etching and inscribing the images directly into the wet concrete. With no time for hesitation, the creation of the artwork became a performance piece celebrating the natural local treasures and fostering inspiration and pride in the region.

Blanding's Turtles of the South March Highlands was commissioned by the City of Ottawa as part of the renovations at this branch, located beside the John G Mlacak Centre. The artwork and the renovated library officially opened to the public on August 23, 2014.


Over 50 local volunteers joined artist Christopher Griffin for a series of evening sessions to complete part of the artwork.


chase chase 2

Title: Chase
Artist: Erin Robertson and Anna Williams
Year: 2013
Materials: bronze, stainless steel
Location: Richcraft Recreation Complex - Kanata
Address: 4101 Innovation Drive
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2013-0069

Chase is a sculptural installation in bronze, mapping the trail of a red fox chasing a ball. Chase captures the animal in gestural movements as though stopped in motion, offering the viewer a sustained gaze of something that usually unfolds too fast for the human eye to perceive.

Chase conveys athletic grace and beauty rooted in our fluid and ever changing connection to the natural world. This artwork encourages a closer and more active connection to art, animals, activity and our shared environments through the development of an ongoing interactive relationship with the piece.

Erin Robertson and Anna Williams use conceptual and visual elements to provide an energizing and lyrical addition to the space as it draws on the regional environment and the Complex's proximity to Trillium Woods.

Community Channel

Community Channel at dawn

Title: Community Channel
Artist: Andrew O’Malley
Materials: LED and acrylic panels
 The Bronson Centre
Address: 211 Bronson Avenue
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2014-0105

Perched on the canopy above the front doors, Community Channel is a collection of silhouettes that, for the artist, represent the diversity of the community that converges at The Bronson Centre. Artist Andrew O’Malley programmed light-emitting diodes (LEDs) within each figure to radiate colour schemes that change across the seasons and over the course of each day. Through this use of light, O’Malley explores and animates notions of individuality and community.

Trained as an engineer, Andrew O’Malley investigates the relationship between art and technology by designing experiences and situations.

Community Channel was commissioned through the City of Ottawa in partnership with The Bronson Centre and Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, as part of the renewal of Bronson Avenue.

Curtain Time

Curtain Time, lower level Curtain Time, lower level

Title: Curtain Time
Artist: Lynda Cronin and Michèle Provost          
Year: 2010
Materials: glass
Location: Centrepointe Theatres
Address: 101 Centrepointe Drive
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2011-0004          

Incorporated onto the corridor and lobby walls of Centrepointe Theatres, the artists created two glittering tile murals. Thousands of small iridescent glass tiles reflect and glow with colour and light as if illuminated, slowly revealing lines of text to the viewer.

This artwork celebrates the crucial role that the public plays in the arts by positioning the audience and its experiences as the subject of the artwork. Written in the form of a minimalist theatre script, complete with characters, stage directions and lines, the multilingual text at the stage entrance portrays a scene of audience members attending the theatre. At the upper level, the graphically bold SHHHHH, tiled in vibrant red, resembling a draped theatre curtain furthers the quiet anticipation before a performance.

For Everyone a Garden

Deborah Margo, For Everyone a Garden. Further information about the artwork is included in the following paragraph.

Title: For Everyone a Garden 
Artist: Deborah Margo
Year: 2011
Materials: copper
Location: Ottawa South Community Centre
Address: 260 Sunnyside Avenue
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2011-0102  

In collaboration with members of the Ottawa South community, Deborah Margo developed the imagery which was embossed and punctured onto these copper panels. Collected in an accompanying archive, the source imagery for the artwork focuses on local gardens and recreational spaces. Images, artefacts and stories were submitted by local residents of the Ottawa South community. Deborah Margo says that the sculpture is “celebrating the conversation between the past and present architectural identities of the Ottawa South Community Centre." 


Jean-Yves Vigneau, Glacier, 1991

Title: Glacier
Artist: Jean-Yves Vigneau        
Year: 1991       
Materials: aluminum and glass
Location: Jim Durrell Recreation Centre
Address: 1265 Walkley Road
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 1991-0040

The aluminum base of the sculpture’s pyramid is 16 feet on its longest side and 6 feet on its shortest side. The top is a small glass pyramid about 4 feet high, reaching 18 feet high in the air. This is the mountain and its summit of ice.         

The City of Ottawa (OTT) spoke with artist Jean-Yves Vigneau (JYV) in March 2015, on the occasion of Glacier’s 24th birthday.

OTT: What are your memories of making the artwork Glacier 24 years ago?

JYV : The image of the sculpture came to me on the way to Boston while I was driving on the road around the White Mountains. It was a large project in terms of volume. I remember I held my breath following the truck that was transporting the sculpture as it was passing under the overpasses in Ottawa; we were at the limit of the permitted height. The Plexiglas pyramid on top of the sculpture was built in my workshop. After all the attempts to get it out through the door, in the end we had to disassemble the shop window to get it out. 

OTT: Has your perception of the work changed since it was installed? If so, how do you see the sculpture now?

JYV : It is a sculpture that ages well and is still relevant in relation to its installation site. It seems to have aged well. To fabricate this sculpture now, it would cost between two and three times the price it cost during its production.

OTT: Can you impart a birthday wish for Glacier?

JYV : I hope the sculpture can still live at least another 24 years and that the City of Ottawa will continue to take steps to keep it in good condition.

OTT: What projects are you working on now?

JYV : I am working on some personal research projects with the support of the Arts Council of Canada and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. I am also currently fabricating a permanent work that will be installed in front of a fire station in Gatineau in May or June 2015.

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Pat Durr, Home Is Where the Heart Is, 1990

Title: Home Is Where the Heart Is
Artist: Pat Durr 
Year: 1990
Materials: acrylic on canvas
Location: Heron Road Community Centre
Address: 1480 Heron Road
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 1990-0030

On Floor 3 of the centre, artist Pat Durr has created an 18 foot long curved mural. Predominantly abstract, the mural uses playful colours and abstract symbols that relate to ideas about environmentalism and the complexities of life. For Pat Durr, the fate of the earth is an ongoing concern. The frog is an important environmental indicator and draws attention to the damage caused by human activity. Her son Sean’s pet frog was used as a model in many of her paintings. The artist’s hopes and dreams for her children are represented by these images of a rich natural world.

For more than 40 years, Pat Durr has been dedicated to creating artwork in a variety of mediums ranging from painting to print making to video. Throughout all of her work is an exploration of contemporary life and its impact on the environment. Pat Durr was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1983 and joined its governing council in 1984. She has advocated for artist’s rights in Canada since the late 1960s and continues to be a key figure in the development of arts and culture in Ottawa.

House of the Great Blue Heron

Christopher Griffin, House of the Great Blue Heron (exterior). Further information about the artwork is included in the following paragraph

Title: House of the Great Blue Heron
Artist: Christopher Griffin
Materials: concrete
 Glebe Parking Garage
Address: 170 Second Avenue
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2016-0002

Animals etched and sculpted out of concrete found on the walls, columns, and roof guide us through this building. Christopher Griffin worked with the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club and the Canadian Museum of Nature to create a list of wildlife living in and around the Glebe's waterways. Each floor of the parking garage has its own theme and way finding system:

  • Floor 1  Fishes: Dow's Lake
  • Floor 2  Amphibians and reptiles: Patterson Creek
  • Floor 3  Birds: Rideau Canal
  • Floor 4  Mammals: Brown's Inlet

 Christopher Griffin, House of the Great Blue Heron (interior). Further information about the artwork is included in the following paragraph

Each animal is native to the Glebe and represents the diversity of species and ecosystems that exist downtown. It is easy to forget that city dwellers are living in close proximity to many wild animals. Griffin’s artwork reminds us to look out for these species and to celebrate the rich natural environment around us.

Glebe resident Christopher Griffin has been creating unique concrete murals and sculptures for many years. His drawing style is inspired by ancient art found on cave walls. His images of birds, fish and mammals hold personal meanings for the artist and often reference biodiversity.


hanging sculture by Deborah Margo

Title: Inflorescence
Artist: Deborah Margo
Materials: copper
 OC Transpo Customer Services and Para Transpo Bookings Centre
Address: 925 Belfast Road
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2016-0001

Based on the common spider plant, these five sculptures were inspired by the clusters of tiny plantlets known as inflorescences that grow from the spider plant’s central stem. For the artist, Inflorescence represents the idea of interconnectedness, a fitting theme for OC Transpo.

Deborah Margo handcrafted these sculptures: cutting, hammering, and assembling multiple copper pieces into plant-like forms. The artwork’s richly coloured and textured copper surfaces absorb and reflect artificial and natural light.

Deborah Margo has been working in Ottawa as a sculptor, writer, professor and gardener for 25 years. Growth and change are important environmental themes present in many of her artworks. 

Metabolics of Peace: A Video Triptych

 A Video TriptychVideo, mixed media installation, 2011

Title: Metabolics of Peace: A Video Triptych
Artist: c j fleury
Year: 2011
Materials: digital media installation
Location: Greenboro Community Centre
Address: 363 Lorry Greenberg Drive
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2011-0008

Metabolism refers to the chemical processes responsible for maintaining life. Beyond physical survival, this artwork explores the energetic body and ideas related to wellness and spirit. 

Created in collaboration with over a hundred Greenboro participants, many physiques, ages and activities are portrayed through evolving images. Manipulating camera angles, speed and colour, the artist has created familiar and abstract compositions, speaking to the beauty of the body-in-motion. fleury's work is a meditation on achieving inner peace through exercise and dance.

c j fleury works with diverse media and is recognized for her innovative projects that bring the public into the creative art process.

 A Video TriptychVideo, mixed media installation, 2011

Mr. Kurokawa

Daniel Young & Christian Giroux, Mr. Kurokawa (arena view), 2014

Title: Mr. Kurokawa
Artist: Daniel Young & Christian Giroux
Year: 2014
Materials: aluminum
Location: Minto Recreation Complex - Barrhaven
Address: 3500 Cambrian Drive
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2015-0002

The two modular sculptures suspended overhead, inspired by the late, celebrated Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, revisit a utopic vision of the future, expressing past ideals within a contemporary framework. With its retro-futuristic quality, Mr. Kurokawa enhances the space by encouraging a dialogue between old and new. Pods set within the grid of aluminum tubes reflect the colours and textures of surfaces found in the building. Both industrial and organic, the artwork gives the impression that it will continue to grow and expand through the space.

Nationally acclaimed artists Daniel Young and Christian Giroux have been working together since 2002. Their artworks examine architecture, urban development and public space through a combined knowledge of art history and the latest in industrial technologies.

Daniel Young & Christian Giroux, Mr. Kurokawa, 2014


Nautilus by Paula Murray. Further information about the artwork is included in the following paragraph.

Title: Nautilus
Artist: Paula Murray
Year: 1990
Materials: aluminum and ceramic
Location: City Hall
Address: 110 Laurier Avenue West (suspended from ceiling at Lisgar Street entrance)
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2001-0361

Drawing inspiration from the nautilus shell, Paula Murray created this work to celebrate the rhythmic energy paralleled in nature and society.  The mathematically correct architecture of the symbolic spiral structure instils energy, strength, power, and unity into the work.  Whether viewed from below on the first floor or at eye level from the second floor, Nautilus reveals an airy sense of movement with a continuous play of light and shadow.  The lustrous and delicate appearance of the work is achieved through the use of translucent porcelain arcs, with each arc individually moulded and fired in an electric kiln to 2400 F to achieve translucency. Living in Gatineau Park on the shore of Meech Lake, Murray has been a studio potter for more than thirty years. Paula Murray is one of Canada's leading contemporary craft artists.

Night Patrol

Erin Robertson, "Night Patrol", 2009, mixed media – acrylic paint, cured resin

Title: Night Patrol
Artist: Erin Robertson
Materials: acrylic and resin on wood
Location:Police Station - West
Address: 211 Huntmar Drive
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2009-0053

Night Patrol is the focal point of the main entrance lobby at this police station in Kanata. The artwork reflects the role of the new station in the community through a composite night scene of a patrol car moving on a rainy street. The complex layering of acrylic paint washes and cured resin creates an illusion of space and depth. It is painted on 16 four-by-eight-foot panels that occupy almost the full height and width of one of the main lobby walls.

Robertson’s aim was to “capture the energy, and mesmerizing reflection of lights and movement that is indicative of the atmosphere of night patrol on a rainy night.” The high gloss reflective surface that Robertson created with cured epoxy resin adds an additional dimension to the artwork as it picks up the image of those who enter, temporarily making them a part of the mural.  

Objective Memory

polar bear

Title: Objective Memory
Artist: Catherine Widgery
Year: 1993
Materials: cast bronze and aluminium
Location: John G. Diefenbaker Building
Address: 111 Sussex Drive (courtyard)
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 1994-0005

Catherine Widgery's three-part outdoor sculpture offers a whimsical look at the relationship between nature and the human order of things. A polar bear atop a pyramid of star constellations, a man inside a rocket ship-like cone and a tree enclosed in a metal cylinder — all complement the building's design while playfully inviting observers to reflect on the timeless balance between nature and people. This piece is best viewed from the rear courtyard of former City Hall, located at 111 Sussex Drive.


Image of Maskull  Lasserre’s sculpture, titled ResonanceImage of Maskull  Lasserre’s sculpture, titled Resonance

Title: Resonance
Artist: Maskull Lasserre
Year: 2009
Materials: bronze, stainless steel, limestone      
Location: Shenkman Arts Centre
Address: 245 Centrum Boulevard
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2009-0016

Resonance consists of an upright piano made from hammered bronze and stainless steel accompanied by a partially-carved piano stool carved into a limestone boulder. Excavated during the construction of the Shenkman Arts Centre, the boulder establishes a link between the natural history of the site and the essence of the building as a home for the arts. Both the piano and the boulder rest on a concrete pad in the shape of a stage. According to the artist, the stage encourages patrons to participate in the work as a site of material meditation, or as a permanent prop in an outdoor performance. A bronze and stainless steel reproduction of the original boulder rests on the plaza surface off to the side.

The Second Story

Kenneth Emig, The Second Story. Further information about the artwork is included in the following paragraph

Title: The Second Story
Artist: Kenneth Emig
Year: 2004
Materials: wood, mirror, fluorescent light
Location: Eva James Memorial Community Centre
Address: 65 Stonehaven Drive
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2004-0004

Kenneth Emig, a local visual and performance artist, created three-framed artworks located in the rotunda. The artwork generates the illusion of expanding the architectural space through multiple reflections. The artist hopes to stimulate your curiosity, encouraging you to look at the world in new ways, with new awareness. This commissioned artwork incorporates the architect's vision for the building, recognizing the area's rural and 'high tech' communities in the design and choice of materials.  Emig's visual art investigations of optical, acoustic and motion concepts are inspired by his performance art and his work in 'high tech' research and development. 

Shelf 759-760

 759 - 760, 2004

Title: SHELF: 759 - 760
Artist: Adrian Göllner    
Year: 2004        
Materials: aluminium and stained glass
Location: Ottawa Public Library, Greenboro Branch
Address: 363 Lorry Greenberg Drive, Floor 2
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2006-0005          

Shelf: 759-760 is an abstract composition in which the colour, texture and position of the glass is dictated by the type of binding found on the first book on each row of the fine arts shelf at the Greenboro branch. The resulting grid becomes a screen through which the daily rhythms and ordered calmness of the library can be viewed and enjoyed.

Adrian Göllner is a contemporary artist living in Ottawa, who employs a wide variety of mediums and styles to create challenging site-specific works of art.

The Spirit of OC Transpo

The Spirit of OC Transpo by Bhat Boy

Title: The Spirit of OC Transpo
Artist: Bhat Boy
Materials: acrylic on canvas
 OC Transpo Administration Building
Address: 1500 St. Laurent Boulevard
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2015-0001

Local artist Bhat Boy has drawn on medieval painting traditions and his love of history and mapmaking to form an imaginative portrait of Ottawa’s transit network. The 15-foot long painting features 28 different examples of vehicles used for public transportation over 125 years, all brought together beneath a starry winter sky.

As a way to shine a light on the future of transit in Ottawa, he placed the light rail system at key intersections in the painting using warm yellow and pink colours. Bhat Boy planned, painted and installed the artwork at the same time the Confederation Line was being built.

Bhat Boy is recognized for his dynamic contributions as a painter, instructor and community organizer. His personal painting style infuses Ottawa with an unusual element of fantasy. As an avid traveler, Bhat Boy uses transit systems across the globe, sharing his time between two capital cities: Ottawa (Canada) and London (England).

The Spirit of OC Transpo by Bhat Boy, detail

Stilt Walkers

Stephen Brathwaite, Stilt Walkers. Further information about the artwork is included in the following paragraph.

Title: Stilt Walkers
Artist: Stephen Brathwaite
Materials: bronze
 West Carleton Community Complex
Address: 5670 Carp Road
City of Ottawa Art Collection:  2008-0005         

In the spring of 2008, local artist Stephen Brathwaite installed two bronze stilt walkers in West Carleton. The teetering stilt walkers, which are partial castings of real people, are highly detailed in some areas and defined by leaves in others. Through natural imagery including the use of leaves and real saplings to cast the stilts, the artist connects these figures to the land referencing the special relationship of the West Carleton community to its rural environment.

Vision Weave

Thoma Ewen and Gabriel Ewen, Vision Weave, 2010

Title: Vision Weave
Artist: Thoma Ewen and Gabriel Ewen
Year: 2010
Materials: mixed fibre tapestry and wood
Location: Albion-Heatherington Recreation Centre
Address: 1560 Heatherington Road
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2010-0081                                  

Vision Weave, by artists Thoma Ewen and Gabriel Ewen, is a visual expression of inter-cultural and inter-generational creative collaboration. Hidden within the woven wool banners suspended from the foyer ceiling are over 100 ‘vision messages’ for the present and future written by members of the Heatherington community.

The artist team set up their portable loom outdoors at a June 2010 celebration for “Better Beginnings Better Futures” and in the Centre throughout July 2010 to teach, animate, communicate and direct the weaving of the Vision Weave project with community members of all ages. On strips of ribbon and fabric entwined throughout the textiles community members declared their shared hopes, dreams and visions for a vibrant, peaceful and creative community.

Thoma Ewen is Artistic Director of Moon Rain Centre, and Gabriel Ewen, Project Coordinator of the Centre. An award-winning tapestry artist, and former instructor at the Ottawa School of Art, Thoma directs community projects in Canada and Europe. An assistant at the Moon Rain Centre for over 12 years, Gabriel has studied at Richard Robinson Fashion Academy, Arts Canterbury and Ottawa School of Art.

Community weaving event, 2010


Water by Jennifer Stead at the François Dupuis Recreation Centre

Title: Water      
Artist: Jennifer Stead
Year: 2013
Materials: aluminum
Location: François Dupuis Recreation Centre
Address: 2263 Portobello Boulevard
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2013-0001

Water introduces the force of nature to the built environment of the François Dupuis Recreation Centre through a visual exploration of water’s many moods and manifestations.  The artwork amplifies the experience of being at the pool and our relationship with water, while acknowledging the building’s activity and purpose. 

Inspired by the artist’s charcoal drawings, the aluminum panels incorporate large open spaces and abstracted patterns to create a dynamic composition, describing water’s movements and reflections as well as some of the life forms it sustains. 

Jennifer Stead has been depicting landscapes in her work for over twenty years. Her work is represented in various private, public and corporate collections in Canada.  Stead received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax and earned an MFA at the University of Calgary.