• By: OLM Staff

Best of Ottawa 2020: Visual Artists

?After over 20-years writing about life in Ottawa, we think we have a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer. In this weekly series, we share our picks with you — our top hotels, live music venues, local brews, bands and more. Check, share and discuss #OLMBest every week!

 Ryan Smeeton — fine artist and muralist

After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Ottawa, Ryan Smeeton travelled to the Spanish countryside where he honed his skills for designing large outdoor murals. His style is identifiable through its vibrant use of colour and graphics. His murals are breathtaking and tell unique stories connecting back to the history of Ottawa.

Featured work: Mural for the Canada Science and Technology Museum

Jay Anderson — painter

Jay Anderson is a professionally trained plein-air painter. Her unique style expresses her profound love for the city of Ottawa. She paints 'moment-in-time' views of the city that remind us of Ottawa’s inner beauty. Her frequent use of bright colours including yellows, reds, purples, and greens, convey the friendliness and inclusivity of Ottawa’s culture.

Featured work: The Brown Tenements 153 – 161 York St., oil painting

Carole Brazeau — soap stone carver, painter, stain glass artist

Carole Brazeau is a versatile artist whose talent ranges from painting to soapstone sculpting and detailed stain-glass works. As a child, she was influenced by her mother, a professional portrait artist. In later years, Carole grew passionate about Inuit-style art and in particular wildlife scenery, that she depics in her soapstone carvings. Brazeau shares her lens of the natural world through colourful and delicate art pieces that speak to her Algonquin heritage.

Featured work: Field of Poppies, stained glass

Sean Sisk — photographer

Sean Sisk has had a camera in hand since the age of seven. He is well known for capturing the Ottawa music, cultural and arts scene but he also shoots weddings, portraits and commercial works for clients such as Bell Media and CTV. Full disclosure, we absolutely love working with Sean who has shot many of our covers over the last two years!

Featured image: Emma Lee Blazing

Charles Ponee — painter, mixed media artist

Well-known in the Ottawa arts community, Charles Ponee is a self-trained abstract artist and painter. A Nova Scotia native, Ponee always channeled his free time towards his passion for art. His work communicates his grasp of the global society and its differing cultures while his style involves mixing and matching distinctive shapes with expressive colour pops and historical references.

Featured work: Tai Chi, Beijing, 12" x 12" mixed media on wood panel

Malcolm Surette — painter

After retiring from his career in the Federal government, Malcolm Surette  dedicated his time towards a lifelong passion for outdoor landscape painting. Malcolm creates paintings that portray the joyful and vibrant atmospheres of the great Canadian outdoors. Whether it is a colourful,  blissful Canadian summer at the cottage, a winter skate on the chilly canal, or fresh blankets hanging from clothing lines in the gentle summer breeze, Malcolm's art creates a sense of community and reminds us of what it means to be Canadian.

Featured work: Tranquility, oil

Miriam Silburt — glass artist

Miriam Silburt is a natural born expert with stain glass art. Since 1995, she has tailored her artistic career towards designing ornamental objects using a combination of glass and specific fusing methods. Throughout her career, Miriam has transitioned from small jewelry objects to sculptures and landscape wall art. Her landscape pieces reveal Canada’s warm and crisp fall season through elaborate application of reds, oranges, and yellows.

Featured work: Windy Day, Killarney

Cairn Cunnane — sculptor, blacksmith

As a sculptor, artist, and blacksmith, Cairn Cunnane has dedicated his life to his art. He uses his home studio to sculpt his interpretations of people, nature and how they live amongst one another. His works enhance the public spaces throughout the city of Ottawa and range from exceptional sculptures in city parks to commission work for national momuments and buildings. Cunnane’s  handles and rails add character to some of Ottawa’s most historical buildings.

Featured work: Fence detail, Bingham Park, Lowertown

Gillian King — painter

Gillian King is a professionally trained abstract artist with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Ottawa. Gillian’s work is inspired by her childhood surroundings and family heritage in Treaty One Territory of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her abstract paintings are a beautiful combination of colour and splash, as they connect the shared history of humanity through her unique interpretation of geographical landscapes. 

Featured work: Keep Your Attention Toward The Lava, Cold Wax Medium, Oil, and Raw Pigments on Canvas, 8×10 feet, 2017 (diptych)

Claude Latour — sculptor, mixed-media artist

Raised in Ottawa with a matrilineal connection to the Algonquin of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation (formerly River Desert), Claude Latour's Algonquin heritage threads itself through his art. Latour's most recent contribution to the Ottawa landscape, Monz, was commissioned through the City of Ottawa's Public Art Program. The bench graces the Queen Elizabeth Driveway at the Flora Footbridge.

Featured work: Monz (moose), public art bench

Michelle Valberg — photographer

Michelle Valberg is a Canadian Nikon Ambassador, Canadian Geographic photographer-in-residence and a self-published author. She is an expert at capturing nature and landscapes through her lens. Through her work she aims to build deeper connections between the various species that populate the planet. Her breathtaking photographs tell tales of how living species exist in tandem with their environments.

Photo: Michelle Valberg