Call for Submissions: SPAO Photo Walk

Open Call to All Photo-Based Artists from Across Canada

Submission Deadline Extended: Tuesday, April 11 by 10:00am EDT.

To accommodate more artists, we’ve extended the SPAO Photo Walk submission deadline to April 11 by 10:00am EDT. If you were unsure about submitting to this upcoming public art initiative, this is your sign! To submit your photographic artwork, click here.

The SPAO Photographic Arts Centre is calling photo-based artists from across the country to submit their artwork for a one-of-a-kind public art initiative in Ottawa.

Artists are invited to submit one photographic artwork for consideration for this paid public art initiative. Selected artists will have a large-scale reproduction of their original artwork produced and installed as part of the SPAO Photo Walk at no cost. Artists will also be paid the appropriate CARFAC fee for their inclusion in this outdoor installation.

Submissions Are Now Open

Photo-based artists from anywhere in Canada at any level are encouraged to apply! To submit your photographic artwork, click here.

Digital rendering of the SPAO Photo Walk featuring work by Alex Does.

About the SPAO Photo Walk

In Spring 2023, the SPAO Photographic Arts Centre, in partnership with Ottawa’s Preston Street BIA, will debut the SPAO Photo Walk – an outdoor public art initiative like no other in Canada.

The SPAO Photo Walk will be an ongoing and evolving outdoor installation featuring large-scale photographic artworks designed to enhance Ottawa’s Little Italy, draw attention to local businesses and engage with residents and tourists alike. Participants can access information and the map for a self-guided tour via QR codes located next to each artwork, providing opportunities to learn more about the artists, the neighbourhood, and participating businesses. The photographs will be selected from a nationwide open call and by an assessor jury made up of nationally recognized industry leaders. To learn more and submit, click here.

A Renowned Jury of Arts Professionals

The SPAO Photo Walk Jurors include: Ann Thomas (former Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Canada), Robert Steven (Director of the Portrait Gallery of Canada), Sylvia Dreaver ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ (Emerging Curator of Indigenous Art at the Canadian Museum of History), Frédéric Loury (Founder of Art Souterrain in Montreal), and renowned photo-based artist Sandra Brewster.

Images (left to right): Ann Thomas, Robert Steven, Sylvia Dreaver, Frédéric Loury, Sandra Brewster

Photographic Art is Critical to Canadian Cultural Discourse

Engaging with the photographic arts and its diverse voices is one of the most vital ways to understand contemporary culture and develop artistic literacy. The SPAO Photo Walk will support, highlight and raise the voices of contemporary artists at all levels, producing nuanced discourse about the visual complexity and multitude of approaches to Canadian photography.

Image of the SPAO Centre

About SPAO

SPAO is one of Canada’s foremost Photographic Arts Centre, housing the only two-year photographic arts college in Canada, numerous recreational part-time classes, a unique international artist residency and the only critical and independent gallery in the region dedicated to lens-based art.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact: Katie Lydiatt, Gallery Manager, by email or by phone 613-562-3824.

SPAO Centre
77 Pamilla Street
Ottawa ON, K1S 3K7

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Digital rendering of the SPAO Photo Walk featuring work by Danielle Labonté, with SPAO Photo Walk supporters below.

This project is kindly supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Community Foundation of Ottawa, City of Ottawa and the Preston Street BIA.