Norman Takeuchi | nichola feldman-kiss | uOttawa 2022 MFA Graduates

Norman Takeuchi, Meeting Place, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 76.2 x 91.4 cm. Private Collection of Alana Kainz. Photo: Justin Wonnacott.

Ottawa Art Gallery kicks off 5th anniversary with exhibitions celebrating Norman Takeuchi, nichola feldman-kiss, and the recent uOttawa MFA graduates

The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) invites the public to the opening of 3 new exhibitions on April 13th, 2023. The artworks, testaments of each artists’ journey, reveal the impact, the understanding, and the embracing of one’s past, while also celebrating dialogue, curiosity, paradoxes and acceptance.

On the occasion of the OAG’s 5th anniversary in their new facility, together these exhibitions showcase the variety of support that the Gallery offers artists from this region and beyond, from retrospective solo opportunities, to group exhibitions, as well as acquisitions to the Permanent Collection.

Headlining is the retrospective exhibition of the life and work of Norman Takeuchi, an important senior artist who has worked for decades in this region. This event also marks the installation of OAG’s major purchase for their Permanent Collection in 2021: the immersive multi-media work after Africa by nichola feldman-kiss, an established Canadian artist with roots in the Ottawa region. Finally, with Le rendu, the Gallery presents a group exhibition of work from last year’s graduating cohort of MFA students from the University of Ottawa’s Department of Visual Arts.

“As we look back on the recent history of the Ottawa art scene, it is interesting to note that Norman Takeuchi is there throughout as he lent his voice to affect positive change while continuing a vital art practice in Ottawa. OAG’s mission is first and foremost to provide a platform for the artists of this region, that is what Norman and other artists such as Victor Tolgesy and Pat Durr agitated for all those years ago. As we celebrate our 35th anniversary and the 5th in our new home, the importance of that mission bears out when seen through the complexity and depth of Norman Takeuchi’s oeuvre which deserves national attention for its mastery of rendering, media, composition and meaning.”
– Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO, Ottawa Art Gallery

Artists featured in the new exhibitions include:

Norman Takeuchi
As a visual artist, Norman Takeuchi finds inspiration in Pop art, nineteenth-century woodblock prints, figurative art, and archival imagery and is skilled at still life, abstraction, and drawing. As a designer, he created work for Expo 67 in Montreal and Expo 70 in Osaka. The exhibition Shapes in Between | Norman Takeuchi, A Retrospective, curated by Catherine Sinclair, Sachiko Okuda, and Bryce Kanbara, presents a selection of his drawings, paintings, and prints, spanning the years 1961 to 2022, and also includes examples of Takeuchi’s little-known graphic art career and demonstrate the continuity of his artistic rigour. Arranged thematically, the works in the exhibition reveal Takeuchi’s variety of subject and technique, such as his talented use of collage-like aesthetic, telling the story of the artist’s personal engagement with the impact of the Japanese Canadian internment and ultimate acceptance of his cultural heritage. Viewing Norman Takeuchi’s decades of work together here not only demonstrates the result of a skilled and unique artistic practice, but also his story of finding an increasingly honest understanding of his own past and embracing the collective legacy of his community.

nichola feldman-kiss
For the creation of after Africa, nichola feldman-kiss sought first-hand experience to understand the history behind geopolitical dramas and worked with the Canadian Armed Forces within the complex 2011 United Nations Mission in Sudan. The artist is a first-generation Canadian of the Caribbean diaspora and a repatriated citizen of Germany and Jamaica. Their lineage includes those who adventured, forced, got entangled, profited, and endured migrations. Presented on the 4th floor, the three-channel audio/video installation nichola feldman-kiss | after Africa, an OAG Permanent Collection acquisition, poetically brings together key symbols drawn from the artist’s autobiography.

MFA Graduates Madeline Richards, Neeko Paluzzi, Maxime Boisvert-Huneault, Antoine O’Donoughue and Joel Secter
A unique partnership between OAG and uOttawa presents Le rendu: Art from the University of Ottawa Department of Visual Arts 2022, an exhibition built collaboratively between the curators, MA student Stephanie Corbo and OAG Senior Curator Rachelle Dickenson, and the 2022 University of Ottawa Master of Fine Arts (MFA) graduates Madeline Richards, Neeko Paluzzi, Maxime Boisvert-Huneault, Antoine O’Donoughue and Joel Secter. It invites the public to celebrate the achievements of these artists as they wrap up two years of studio work under the guidance of University of Ottawa Visual Arts professors. Thanks to the RBC Foundation’s support of the OAG’s Connect mentorship program, the Gallery is pairing the artists with established artists working in areas to which they aspire, throughout the exhibition’s cycle.

The public may register to attend the vernissage at the OAG on April 13th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The event will also be the occasion to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the inauguration of OAG’s new building at 10 Daly Avenue. Since 2018, the Gallery has welcomed a million people through its doors, has featured more than 600 artists, acquired over 400 artworks, toured exhibitions from Tunisia to Thunder Bay, and worked with 350 local and national partners.

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About the Ottawa Art Gallery
OAG is Ottawa’s municipal art gallery and cultural hub. Located in Ottawa’s downtown core, the expanded Gallery is a contemporary luminous cube designed by KPMB Architects and Régis Côté et associés.

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