The Art Scene in Ottawa
Here in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, we’re proud of how modern design and art have leapt from the galleries walls into the realms of our daily lives. The city and its artists have added whimsical and practical art throughout every neighborhood. We can find art floating above us – like Nautilus by Paula Murray, with its delicate ceramic tiles suspended daintily over the entrance of City Hall – or we find it lighting up the city in unique ways, like TRANSPOtting, an installation that features 80 LED panels that light up based on the number of public buses rushing by.
Ottawa has proudly featured work by local artists like Charlynne Lafontaine and Ryan Lotecki, who were commissioned to design a series of practical yet delicate glass and aluminum additions for street lamps in the city’s China Town district. The project, titled Silk Road Flower Rain, features eight pieces with elements distinct to Chinese culture, such as chrysanthemums for good health, bamboo for longevity, and pomegranates to ward off evil.
In 2008, the city called upon its local artists to submit line drawings, which were then etched and cut from panels of stainless steel before being transformed into practical canvases for daily life, serving as functional bike racks. Over 26 local artists helped designed the city’s 90 racks that stretch across the downtown core.
As the city continues to grow and expand, the call for local artists to highlight the vibrancies of the capital is only increasing and making art more accessible to all of us. Whether a new street mural pops up on Rideau Street, or we’re treated to a new sculpture in Commissioners Park, the city will continue to surprise us in the most creative ways.