• By: OLM Staff

Best of Ottawa 2021: 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 spots for takeout, live music venues, local brews, bands and more. Check, share and discuss #OLMBest every week!

Colin White

ABOVE: Sunshine on Bank and Gilmour

Ottawa artist Colin White has been documenting the city around him, capturing the essence of Ottawa with his gestural works. The artist has illustrated many of the buildings in the city's core and in some cases capturing storefronts before they are lost forever. Limited edition prints are available for purchase on his website.

Drippin Soul Creations (Kalkidan Assefa)

ABOVE: Graffiti wall commission in Vancouver

Kalkidan Assefa, also known as Drippin Soul, has painted murals across the province and across the country. Look for his beautiful vibrant works in the ByWard Market, in Vanier, the Ottawa Art Gallery, and in Toronto. Assefa has been featured in group projects around the world and hosts interactive workshops.

Michelle Valberg

ABOVE: Polar Bear Family I

Award winning Canadian Geographic photographer-in-residence and a Nikon ambassador, Michelle Valberg captures images of remarkable landscapes, nature and wildlife. Her photos of bears are featured on a series of Canadian postage stamps while others are featured in her four self-published books. Valberg is also the founder of Project North, a not-for-profit that is dedicated to developing education and athletic opportunities for Canada's youth in the north. 
Photo of Michelle Valberg by Lindsey Gibeau Photograph

Sean Sisk

ABOVE: Gord Downie print in support of the Sunnybrooke Health Sciences Centre

Sean Sisk shoots headshots, advertising photos, concerts, and has also photographed numerous OLM covers. Sisk first picked up a camera at the young age of seven and has never stop looking through the lense. Sisk has a unique eye and has captured exceptional images of local artists as well as international celebrities, including Shawn Mendes, Elton John and the late Gord Downie.
Photo of Sean Sisk by John Wenzel

Allan André

ABOVE: Mural for the School of Social Work, Carleton University

Multi-disciplinary artist Allan André explores the human experience through his vivid paintings and creations. The artist has had his work featured in exhibitions in New York, Orlando, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. André is a two-time national champion in Art Battle Canada’s speed painting competition.

Ryan Smeeton

ABOVE: Mural in Hintonburg, 2018

Local muralist Ryan Smeeton did a residency in a small village in Spain where he built his portfolio before returning to Ottawa to enliven the culture of the city with his beautiful art. Look for his work on the sides of buildings and in underpasses, or view at his online gallery.

Dan Metcalfe

ABOVE: Two poster designs from a series for Escape Manor

Dan Metcalfe is an artist, designer and illustrator from Ottawa. The artist is a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design with a bachelor degree in design. His work includes commissions for branding, murals, portraits and event posters.
Photo of Dan Metcalfe via @stiffinc

Jocelyn Van Wynsberghe

ABOVE: West Coast Collection 2, oil on canvas, 40"x48"

Jocelyn Van Wynsberghe is an Ottawa-based painter who trained under Canadian landscape artist Gordon Harrison. Van Wynsberghe started displaying her work in 2014 and her paintings are already part of over 60 private collections. The artist offers workshops and studio classes for those who want to explore their artistic side or try something new.

Stanley Wany

ABOVE: Ancestry, Ink on paper, 42” x 57 1/4”

Stanley Wany is a graphic novelist who specialises in pen and ink drawings. The artist has shown his works in the United States, France, Portugal, and Finland. His art can be found in private and public collections in Canada, the United States, and Australia. Wany's work explores mainstream culture and myths that relate to the experiences of people of African descent in the Western world.
Photo of Sanley Wany www.conundrumpress.com

Janet K. MacKay

ABOVE: Autumn Glory, oil on canvas, 30″ x 60″

Janet MacKay captures distinctly Canadian scenes in her canvases. Her beautiful landscapes often include kayaks and canoes. MacKay is also an accomplished sculptor. Her life partner Mitchell Webster is also an artist and together they are WorldView Studios. The couple have a gallery in Sandy Hill were they show their works.