Art School Confidential at Ottawa Art Gallery

Art School Confidential

Art School Confidential celebrates five decades of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa, representing the work of 50 artists who have taught and studied in the historic building located at 100 Laurier East since 1974. That year, artist, educator, administrator, and creator of the Canada Council’s ground-breaking Art Bank Collection, Suzanne Rivard Le Moyne, arrived at the University, where she brought together a formidable team of artists – several of whom had been her students at L’École des beaux arts in Montreal – and important art historians, to become the founding faculty members of the Department of Visual Arts.

As part of a bilingual university, the Department is unique among Canadian art schools: a dynamic and artistically productive site of exchange among artists and students from diverse language and cultural communities. The Department has largely been a hidden gem within the city of Ottawa, despite the many critically-acclaimed accomplishments of its artists and the wide-ranging impact of their works both in Canada and abroad.

Painting, sculpture, photography, media, installation, performance, and the intersection of these in interdisciplinary practice are all taught in the Department and are reflected in the exhibition. The branding and layout of the exhibition is designed by Visual Arts MFA graduate Sam Loewen and echoes the studio spaces shared by senior students in the Department, where interaction between artists generates not only artistic cross-fertilizations but also support systems and networks that endure long past graduation.

Art School Confidential opens April 20 and is on view until September 22, 2024. This exhibition is supported through several programming initiatives, including the public vernissage on the evening of April 25, which will celebrate the opening of both Art School Confidential and Spanning the Divide: Art from the University of Ottawa Department of Visual Arts 2023. On April 28, the OAG will host a live panel discussion linked to these two exhibitions and will speak on the role of art schools within the contemporary art ecosystem and feature exhibition artists Rebecca Bair, Martin Golland, Cara Tierney, Sarah Tompkins and Jinny Yu, and art historian Anna Paluch, moderated by Art School Confidential curator Penny Cousineau-Levine.

Stayed tuned to OAG’s events calendar for regular updates and event listings related to the Art School Confidential exhibition.

In addition to this public programming, the OAG is excited to release a digital catalogue featuring an essay written by art historian and past professor of the Department, Olivier Asselin. This digital catalogue will be available online through the OAG once the exhibition opens to the public.

Featured artists include: A Fine Discipline, Edmund Alleyn, Rebecca Bair, Michael Belmore, Geneviève Cadieux, Alexandre Castonguay, Lynne Cohen, Heidi Conrod, Sylvain Cousineau, Max Dean, Pierre Dorion, Josée Dubeau, AM Dumouchel, Rah Eleh, Evergon, Rosalie Favell, Charles Gagnon, Chantal Gervais, Lorraine Gilbert, Martin Golland, Trevor Gould, Michel Goulet, Peter Gnass, Jacques Hurtubise, Zainab Hussain, Germaine Koh, Shelby Lisk, Kenneth Lochhead, Ken Lum, Gavin Lynch, Jennifer Macklem, Deborah Margo, Julia Martin, Andrew Morrow, Ron Noganosh, Gunter Nolte, Roland Poulin, Leslie Reid, Catherine Richards, Jean-Jacques Ringuette, Suzanne Rivard Le Moyne, Denis Rousseau, Amy Schissel, Michael Schreier, Cindy Stelmackowich, Laura Taler, Carol Wainio, Justin Wonnacott, Andrew Wright, and Jinny Yu.

Curator: Penny Cousineau-Levine
Assistant Curator: Chloë MacLeod-Boucher
French Translation: Marie-Camille Lalande
Editing: Rebecca Basciano, Véronique Couillard, Rachelle Dickenson, Meghan Ho
Exhibition Designer: Sam Loewen
Installation: Jennifer Gilliland, Dan Austin, Rob Keefe, Mark Garland

This exhibition is realized with the support of the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Faculty of Arts, University of Ottawa.

If you require accommodation, please contact the event host as soon as possible.
Date and time
Apr 20, 2024 to Sep 22, 2024
All day
Format and location
In person
English, French
General public
Organized by
Faculty of Arts