Coming into Sight: 50th Anniversary Art Bank Acquisitions

View of the Art Bank collection. Photo: Brandon Clarida Image Services.

If you’re in the Ottawa area over the coming months, be sure to stop by the Canada Council for the Arts at 150 Elgin Street for a special exhibit of new artwork purchased as part of the Art Bank 50th anniversary celebrations.

From June 20, 2023 to May 20, 2024, the Canada Council’s Âjagemô exhibition space will host Coming into Sight, an exhibit highlighting selected pieces recently added to the Art Bank as part of ongoing efforts to build a more inclusive public collection that reflects people and communities in Canada today.

The new acquisitions include many new artists from across Canada to the Art Bank collection and include a variety of media, from photographs, paintings, and fine crafts, to sculptures, prints, drawings, mixed media, and textile art.

Over 1700 submissions from talented artists across Canada were received under the Art Bank open call last year. In selecting the pieces to add to the collection, the peer assessment committee gave special emphasis to young artists, emerging artists, and artists traditionally under-represented in the Art Bank collection, including women, Indigenous and Black artists, and other under-represented communities in Canada.

The exhibit celebrates unique and rich stories, and a range of themes from community and belonging, to rejection of the status quo.

Annie Briard, In Possible Lands I, 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Brandon Clarida Image Services.

Among the pieces featured is In Possible Lands I, a photograph by Vancouver-based artist Annie Briard. The piece reflects the artist’s journey retracing the steps of her father’s cross-country geological excursions and reshooting his photographs from the same vantage point.

Briard’s series of images are created using an overlapping of archival slides and new images in layers, resulting in a piece that is both fantastical and reflective of scientific predictions around climate change.

Maureen Gruben, Moving with joy across the ice while my face turns brown from the sun, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Cooper Cole, Toronto. Photo: Brandon Clarida Image Services.

Also on display is a piece by Inuvialuk artist Maureen Gruben, Moving with joy across the ice while my face turns brown from the sun. In it, the artist portrays fourteen hand-built sleds she borrowed from families around her home in Tuktoyaktuk.

Used for hunting, fishing, and transportation, each sled has an intimate connection to the family that created it. In arranging these sleds together, the work makes a powerful statement on the importance of community in Arctic life.

“Coming into Sight is a chance for the public to see the emergence of new artistic voices and to experience inspiring and thought-provoking art,” says Head of the Art Bank, Amy Jenkins. “The artists invite viewers to consider how art can bring about social change in Canada and to reflect on shared histories.”

The exhibition includes pieces by Ning Ashoona, RĂ©mi Belliveau, Deanna Bowen, Annie Briard, Kelli Clifton, Ruth Cuthand, Dayna Danger, Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Anthony Gebrehiwot, Jonathan S. Green, Maureen Gruben, Brandon Hoax, Bushra Junaid, Kablusiak, Fariba Kalantari, Jim Logan, LaĂŻla Mestari, Azadeh Monzavi, Calvin Morberg and Brian Walker, Zinnia Naqvi, Krystle Silverfox, Stanley Wany, Nelson White, Jane Meredith Whitten, and Jessica Winters.

The wheelchair-accessible exhibition space is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., admission is free. Join us for the vernissage on June 20.

For more on the artists, the exhibit, and the Art Bank, visit artbank.ca or search #ArtBankAcquisitions, on Instagram (@artbank_banquedart) and Facebook (@CCartbank).


Not going to be in the National Capital Region this year?
Follow on-line for more about the Art Bank exhibition and watch for these pieces on the walls of workplaces across the country where they’ll be featured in the future.

New to the Art Bank?
The Canada Council Art Bank strives to increase the visibility of art by artists from Canada, to celebrate the vibrancy of creators, and to promote an innovative arts sector. It maintains a collection of over 17,000 artworks by over 3000 artists and rents them to government and corporate clients across Canada—helping workplace lobbies, boardrooms, and hallways in Canada be more engaging spaces that inspire, impress, and celebrate Canadian culture.

Stanley Wany, Ancestry, 2019-2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Brandon Clarida Image Services.

Dialogue(s) with Stanley Wany at L’Imagier
You may also want to stop by Aylmer, Quebec, to see two new Art Bank acquisitions in rotation from June 2023 to May 2024 at the Centre d’exposition L’Imagier. A piece by Montreal-based artist Stanley Wany, Ancestry, will be on display from June 20 to November 20, 2023, and on June 29, L’Imagier will host a conversation between digital designer and art writer Leah Snyder and the artist. Find out more at limagier.qc.ca.


Canada Council for the Arts
Ă‚jagemĂ´ Exhibition Space
150 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5V8
Hours: Open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free Admission

Art Bank
921 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1K 3B1
Email: artbank@canadacouncil.ca