• By: Sofia Donato

Celebrate the life and legacy of Blair Sharpe

Photo credit: Alessandro Seccareccia

Blair Sharpe, the beloved Ottawa based artist recently passed July 15, 2019, leaving behind a five-decade-long legacy. In his honour, the Ottawa Art Gallery, will be hosting a celebration of Sharpe’s life to commemorate his time spent with friends, family and most of all, his time as a cherished artist.

Celebrate one of Ottawa’s local artists, Blair Sharpe, at the OAG, Thursday September 5th, 2019 from 7:00-9:00pm. All are welcome and light refreshments will be available.

Born in Montreal in 1954, Sharpe spent the majority of his professional painting career in Ottawa. Over the years, Sharpe explored the materiality and formal qualities of paint through vibrantly coloured and bold abstract compositions. Using nature as inspiration, he experimented with a variety of painting techniques, dripping, splashing and applying it by hand to create gestural pieces with an expressive colour and immediacy.

Having studied abroad in London and Germany, Sharpe continued his painting studies at the Ottawa School of Art (OSA) in 1974 under the tutelage of abstract painter Richard Gorman, who soon became a mentor. Sharpe quickly became an important member of the Ottawa arts community. He taught painting at the OSA, and represented artists by serving with CARFAC and on the boards of other local institutions such as SAW Gallery.

Represented by John Wallack, Sharpe’s work was shown in exhibitions at the OSA Gallery, Wells Gallery, SAW Gallery and Gallery 101, as well as very early on at the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG). He described his 1989 mid-career survey exhibition at the OAG, then the fledgling Gallery at Arts Court, as a “significant milestone” in his career.

Blair Sharpe was a foundational figure in the Ottawa community whose presence will be missed.

Celebrate the life and legacy of Blair Sharpe and his contributions to the Ottawa arts community this September.