Glen Bloom on the Art of Collecting

Glen Bloom and wife Deborah Duffy with Leslie Reid’s ‘Cape Pine: The Barrens,’ 2012, Oil on canvas, 127 x 182.9 cm.

When Glen Bloom thinks about the Ottawa Art Gallery’s annual Le pARTy fundraising art auction, the first thing that comes to mind is the list of talented Ottawa artists who’ve shown at it over the years.

One of the paintings he mentions from his primarily Canadian collection, which also includes works by Evan Penny, Rodney Graham, John Massey, Barbara Steinman, Arnaud Maggs and Max Dean, is by Ottawa’s Leslie Reid.

“Leslie creates her paintings from photographs,” says Bloom, an Ottawa lawyer who lives in Perth. “This is one about fog. It’s in a very abstract environment that includes reference to the fog and landscape.”

Bloom didn’t purchase Reid’s painting at the auction, but the painter has donated works to it for many years, and will return for 2016’s event in June.

When the collector perused the list of artists contributing to this year’s auction, he found nine artists whose work appears in his collection, including Jinny Yu, Andrew Morrow, Mimi Cabri, Jeff Thomas, Uta Riccius, Marie-Jeanne Musiol, Carol Wainio, Anna Williams and Russell Yuristy.

Related: OAG Announces a New, Very Artistic, Gift

Asked about the auction’s value, Bloom said it’s especially useful for people who want to start a collection.

“In recent years, there are larger, more substantial pieces in the auction, and for those looking to grow their collection, they’re quite affordable,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to see a wide selection of works by a large number of Ottawa artists working today. You might like the work at the auction and might want to purchase it, or you might want to follow up on that artist separately to explore what they’re doing. That’s probably the greatest opportunity.”

The man speaks from experience. He himself has used the auction as a survey of what Ottawa artists are doing today and who he’d like to add to his collection.

Bloom suggests Ottawans should count themselves lucky to live in a thriving art city: “There have been, over the years, some very important Canadian artists who’ve participated in the Le pARTy art auction,” he said.

Le pARTy Art Auction is Ottawa Art Gallery’s signature fundraising event, a silent art auction of 65 original artworks by regional artists working in a variety of media. It will be held June 9, 2016 at the Ottawa Art Gallery, 2 Daly, Ottawa. Buy your tickets today at