Heart of Orléans BIA

A bounty of beauty

Did you know the Shenkman Arts Centre is home to not one, not two, but SIX exhibition spaces that are free to the public? And, new art is shown every month? These galleries are an incredible bounty of beauty for any art lovers living in or visiting the Ottawa region and they’re right here in Orléans.

One of the galleries, Trinity Art Gallery, showcases visual art by emerging or established artists working in a variety of mediums: sculpture, painting, projections/installations, video, mixed media, printmaking, among others. Current and upcoming exhibits include:

  • Sélections: an annual, juried exhibition of works in a variety of media by members of Arts Network Ottawa. September 20 to October 16. 
  • Nancy Halpin: River’s Edge. Photographs of serene moments, combined with encaustics (an ancient technique using molten wax), bring a new dimension and ethereal quality to the images.October 18 to November 20. 
  • “Meet the Artists” event on Sunday, October 21, from 1 to 3 PM.

Arts Centre Programmer Mike Taylor, a photographer himself, oversees the logistics and day-to-day operation of the Trinity Art Gallery. He states, “The local community feels a sense of pride in the talented artists who have chosen to live and work in Ottawa. Many of these artists could be taking their vision to other cities but they prefer to be here because of the quality of life they have here.”

He continues: “I love working at the Centre, being surrounded by ever-changing arts experiences and working with dedicated, passionate colleagues and partners, but also because of the opportunities to tag along with artists for a tiny portion of their artistic journey. I learn a lot.”

There are regular “Meet the Artists” events held monthly on Sunday afternoons. Taylor adds, “There’s a strong sense of community here, with family and friends, as well as the general public, coming out to these receptions. There’s a richness of culture here that gives both Orléans and the Centre its unique and textured flavour.”

Visiting the galleries is a fun activity, whether it’s with a date, the whole family, or on your own. You can get there easily by public transit or, if you drive, the parking is free, and there are many award-winning restaurants  along St. Joseph Boulevard for a wonderful après-art excursion.

William Morris once wrote:

“Do not have anything in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

Words to live by. The art that is on display is for sale and what could be finer than having original art in your home? Though it may be a bit more expensive than the mass-produced art you find in the mall, you may find it’s worth it for a number of reasons: You have a unique piece that you fell in love with; you are supporting a local artist; it will last a lifetime and perhaps be a legacy piece you can hand down through the generations; and, you could instill an early love of art in your family members.