By PAUL GESSELL
This gallery and frame shop is found in the midst of the hip Richmond Road strip in Westboro. Wall Space Gallery carries contemporary paintings, fine craft, and objets d’arts of all kinds. The artists are from across the country and include some of Ottawa’s most talented, including Stefan Thompson, Heidi Conrod, Joy Kardish, and Brandon McVittie. Wall Space also has an outlet in Orleans at 2316 St Joseph Blvd. 358 Richmond Rd., 613-729-0003, wallspacegallery.ca.
Anchoring the lively visual arts scene in the Hintonburg-Wellington West neighbourhood, Cube Gallery’s wares vary from affordable paintings and sculptures by emerging talents to works by such established artists as Russell Yuristy, Barbara Gamble, Eric Walker, Kristy Gordon, Victoria Wonnacott, and Norman Takeuchi. The emphasis is on contemporary Ottawa-area artists in both solo and group themed exhibitions. But Cube is also attracting artists from further afield; Saskatchewan superstar sculptor Joe Fafard has become a regular. 1285 Wellington St. W., 613-728-2111, cubegallery.ca.
This ByWard Market establishment has been an Ottawa trendsetter in fine contemporary art for decades. Galerie St-Laurent + Hill owner Pierre-Luc St-Laurent has an eye for young talent, nurturing such rising local stars as Geneviève Thauvette, Jean-François Provost, Marc Nerbonne, and Sarah Hatton. Other regulars include Réal Calder, Evergon, David Bierk, Pat Durr, Michael Harrington, and James Lahey. This is a gallery popular with both new and experienced collectors. The art is strictly contemporary, with a mix of mainly local and Quebec artists. 293 Dalhousie St., 613-789-7145, galeriestlaurentplushill.com.
Don’t be fooled by the location. Hard-to-find Patrick Mikhail Gallery, located in a south end strip mall, is home to some of Ottawa’s best and most imaginative contemporary artists. Patrick Mikhail began in 2006 specializing in photo-based works but has expanded his reach to include painting and sculpture from both local and national artists, whom he markets domestically and at international art fairs. Local headliners include Andrew Smith, Michele Provost, Adrian Göllner, Andrew Morrow, Jinny Yu, Cindy Stelmackowich, Jonathan Hobin, and Amy Schissel. 2401 Bank St., 613-746-0690, patrickmikhailgallery.com.
In the booming post-war economy, Benjamin Koyman opened small art galleries in Ottawa shopping malls. Many years later, in 2008, Koyman’s sons opened what is billed as the largest commercial art gallery in Canada — 13,000 square feet — along St. LaurentBoulevard. Koyman Galleries represents artists from across Canada, including superstar Toller Cranston and such popular locals as Shannon Craig, David Lidbetter, John Mlacak, and John Webster. The emphasis is on mainstream, rather than daring. 1771 St. Laurent Blvd., 613-526-1562, koymangalleries.com
Step into Old World charm. Galerie Jean-Claude Bergeron is located in a heritage building mere steps from the National Gallery. Bergeron specializes in works on paper, but also deals in paintings. The offerings are from such A-list 20th century Quebec artists as Guido Molinari, Ghitta Caiserman-Roth, and Marcel Barbeau, as well as such local contemporary talents as Eliane Saheurs and Dominik Sokolowski. 150 St. Patrick St., 613-562-7836, galeriejeanclaudebergeron.ca.
The lines between craft and fine art are blurred at L.A. Pai Gallery, a wonderfully eclectic and classy ByWard Market spot where you can find art to wear, art for the home, or simply art to stimulate conversations about what constitutes art.Expect to encounter truly unique objects, including ceramics by Lisa Creskey and Mimi Cabri, glass sculptures by Ione Thorkelsson, arty furniture by Mustapha Chadid, and kitschy silver pendants by Mary Anne Barkhouse. 13 Murray St., 613-241-2767, lapaigallery.com.
Originally just a tomato toss from the Parkdale Market, Orange Art Gallery now is located in a heritage building in the increasingly trendy City Centre industrial area on the western edge of LeBreton Flats. Orange specializes in contemporary works, mainly paintings and drawings by a variety of Ottawa-area artists, including Gwendolyn Best, who never met a cat she did not want to paint. 290 City Centre Ave., 613-761-1500, orangeartgallery.ca.
A long-standing quality gallery, Wallack Galleries is the place to visit to purchase work by some of Ottawa’s most established artists, including painters Duncan De Kergommeaux, Blair Sharpe, and David Jones, along with photo-artists Jennifer Dickson and Pedro Isztin and sculptor Dale Dunning. This mainly contemporary gallery also does framing, provides professional appraisals of artwork, and restores paintings, sculpture, and works on paper. 203 Bank St., 613-235-4339, wallackgalleries.com.
Gordon Harrison is one of Ottawa’s most popular landscape painters, rural Quebec scenes being a specialty. But there is much more to his namesake Sussex Drive gallery than the owner’s canvases. The heritage building also exhibits such other landscape artists as René Tardif and Normand Boisvert and such sculptors as Catherine Vamvakas Lay and Angela Verlaeckt Clark. A recent arrival at the gallery is Bhat Boy, whose paintings depict whimsical Ottawa street scenes. 495 Sussex Dr., 613-746-6853, gordonharrisongallery.com.