Paint the City Red at the Ottawa Art Gallery’s Give to Get Auction

The opening gala of the GAO’s Give to Get Art Auction painted a very optimistic picture of our city’s arts and culture scene on Friday as hundreds of art lovers and collectors turned out for a night of bidding, absorption and lively banter.

The Ottawa Art Gallery’s flagship fundraiser has become our city’s artistic celebration of the year since its inception over 20 years ago. The performance was back in person for the first time in three years and included over 95 works of art donated by regional artists.

No one was more excited about it than OAG’s Director and CEO Alexandra Badzak. “It’s great to see everyone here tonight,” she told OBJ.social in the early evening. “We’re going to have a full house, and that’s exactly what we were hoping for.”

There was positive energy and excitement in the air. “It looks like there’s a pent-up demand from people who really want to see and feel the art,” the OAG board chair said. Marc SchaanAssociate Assistant Deputy Minister at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

“The OAG is very much a community in many ways and while you can do some of that online and the art is still beautiful, it’s so different when you can actually be peer-to-peer. Artists can meet patrons, patrons can meet artists. You can chat about art, you can bring your friends.

“It’s really about creating those relationships, which is what the gallery is all about.”

The art auction, which continued through the weekend with online bidding, sees half of the auction proceeds going to artists and the other half to maintaining access free public to the gallery, exhibitions, workshops and artist talks, ongoing public and educational programming, and the care and preservation of the GAO collection, as well as opportunities and supports for artists and artisans in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Give to Get Art reached its goal by raising $110,000 through ticket sales and the art auction.

The OAG also hosted a weekend Give to Get Art Market which transformed the building into an art market.

The Ottawa Art Gallery’s opening gala for its Give to Get art auction on Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
The Ottawa Art Gallery’s opening gala for its Give to Get art auction on Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips

When selecting pieces for Give to Get Art, organizers looked for artists at different stages of their careers, such as emerging, mid-career, and established. They also chose artwork that reflected the diversity of the community, Badzak said. “We’re definitely checking our blinders to see who’s out there.”

Sasha SudaDirector and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada, was present, as was the outgoing Mayor of Ottawa jim watson, who cited the completed 2018 expansion of the Ottawa Art Gallery and Arts Court as a project he was particularly proud of when he was mayor. We have also seen Andrew Peak, who is about six months into his new role as general manager of the BIA of Downtown Rideau, who sees the OAG as an important part of his neighborhood. “It’s an incredible hotspot for creativity,” he said.

Pierre Tilley was there from the Ottawa Mission, a non-profit organization located around the corner from the OAG kitty. It feeds and shelters the homeless, in addition to offering programs and services. His social enterprise, Chef Ric’s, was helping organize the opening night gala for OAG, which is known for running art therapy classes for users of The Mission’s services.

Don Masterspresident and creative director of Mediaplus Publicité, and his wife, Lynn Buffonwere among the patrons who have attended the annual art auction since the start, even participating in last year’s virtual option (they were the highest bidders on a Christopher Griffin The painting).

“I love this event because it supports local art, and honestly, we’ve decorated many walls in our home with artwork from this event,” Masters said. “We are running out of space.”

Familiar faces included Lindsay Taubwife of Shopify president Harley Finkelstein, director of Studio Sixty Six gallery Carrie Coltonformer television journalists Don Newman and TomClark (his wife, Jane Clarkis a member of the board of directors of OAG) and the real estate agent Engel & Völkers Sarah Grand, who was among those on the seventh day without power due to the recent deadly and destructive storm. Urban landscape artist Eryn O’Neillwho had a piece in the exhibit, is beginning her master’s degree in architecture this fall at Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture and Planning.

Artists also included Don Kwan, recent recipient of the Peter Honeywell Award for Mid-Career Artists from the Council for the Arts in Ottawa. He was there with his brother Ed Kwanwho is a stage performer in her own right under the name China Doll.

oag
From left to right, Guillermo Trejo, Ottawa Art Gallery Board member and visual artist, with Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO of the Ottawa Art Gallery, and Mayor Jim Watson at the GAO’s Donner To Get Art Auction Opening Gala Party, held Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
From left, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada, Sasha Suda, with Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO of the Ottawa Art Gallery, at the gala evening opening night of the GAO’s Give to Get Art Auction, held on Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
Left to right, Ottawa Art Gallery Board Member Jane Clark with her daughters Atlee Clark (Director at Shopify) and Alexandra Clark (VP of Strategic Initiatives at Shopify) and the former journalist Tom Clark, President of Global Public Affairs, at the opening gala of OAG’s Give to Get Fine Art Auction, held Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
From left, Lindsay Taub with Emily Segal and Monica Singhal alongside a work by Ottawa artist Pat Durr that Segal had his eye on, at the Give to Get Art Auction Opening Gala from the OAG on Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillip
oag
Andrew Peck, General Manager of the Downtown Rideau BIA, with his wife, Erin Connell, at the opening gala evening of the OAG’s Give to Get Art Auction, held on Friday May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
Left to right, Studio Sixty Six gallery director Carrie Colton with Ottawa Caribbean-Canadian artist Stéphane Alexis and Ottawa Art Gallery Director/CEO Alexandra Badzak alongside the artwork by Alexis, Crochet Locs, at the OAG Give to Get Auction Opening Gala, held Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
obj
Don Masters, President and Creative Director of Mediaplus Advertising, with his wife, Lynn Buffone, of Canadian Heritage, at the opening gala evening of the GAO’s Give to Get Art Auction, which will is held on Friday, May 27, 2022 at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
From left, leadership coach, animator and sculptor Dominique Dennery with two of her fellow Ottawa Art Gallery board members, political journalist Althia Raj and Barry Fong, intellectual property lawyer and partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, at the opening gala of the GAO’s Give to Get Fine Art Auction, held Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
Left to right, Ottawa urban landscape artist Eryn O’Neill at the Donner for Have art auction with Ottawa Art Gallery board member Sylvia Dreaver, who just join the Canada Council for the Arts in its grant program for Aboriginal artists. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
New parents Margaux McDonald, head of Global Affairs Canada’s Afghanistan task force, and Patrick Kennedy, director of Earnscliffe Strategies, enjoyed a night out together at the opening gala of the auction of OAG Give to Get Artwork, held on Friday, May 27. 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
Shannon Day-Newman and former broadcast journalist Don Newman, executive vice president of Rubicon Strategy, at the opening gala evening of the GAO’s Give to Get Art Auction, held on Friday, May 27, 2022 at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
Peter Tilley, CEO of The Ottawa Mission, with Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO of the Ottawa Art Gallery, on the patio during the Art Auction Opening Gala GAO’s Give to Get, which took place on Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
Don Kwan, recent recipient of the Ottawa Arts Council’s Peter Honeywell Mid-Career Award with his brother, Ed Kwan (aka China Doll), at the Art Gallery’s Give to Get Art auction from Ottawa. Photo by Caroline Phillips
gg
From left, Emma Gilfillan, National Accounts Manager at Panasonic Professional AV, with Sarah Grand, Realtor at Engel & Völkers, at the opening gala of OAG’s Give to Get Art auction, which s is held on Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
From left, Ottawa artists Marisa Gallemit, Christopher Griffin and Zainab Hussain at the GAO Give to Get Art Auction Opening Gala, Friday, May 27, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
oag
Lydia Blanchard, Director of Community Engagement at the CHEO Foundation, attended the opening gala evening of the GAO’s Give to Get Art Auction, along with her husband, Guillaume Blanchard. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Never miss a story. Get OBJ’s daily update delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday. Click here to subscribe.

[email protected]

Comments are closed.