• By: Shannon Ing

Unique Local Art Gallery: Worldview Studio

Worldview Studio is a local art workshop and fine art gallery nestled in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood of Ottawa. It hosts two talented artists, Janet K. MacKay and Mitchell Webster. The pair work under Worldview Studio as individual painters and sculptors. However, they tell us the term makers best narrates what they do. “We are always making something,” says MacKay.

“It sounds simplistic but in the end all we are is makers,” explains Webster. “When we travel the car is much heavier than when we arrived because we will collect rocks, driftwood, and anything we can make out of it." MacKay and Webster’s art endeavours often take them between the Capital and Sharbot Lake in Frontenac.

The town of Sharbot Lake is significant to MacKay, Webster and Worldview Studio because it is where it all began. MacKay had a cottage in Sharbot Lake and Webster was working out of their studio in the same location. Following a studio tour, the two decided to meet for a coffee over their commonality of being artists, “and the rest is history,” says Webster. "We’re partners in life and in art." 

Like any good relationship, whether in partnership or artistry, they help each other grow. “Our art really cinched the deal because when we saw each others art, we saw the connection," MacKay remarks. “We’re each other’s best critics and I don’t think I would be pursuing my art in the same way if I didn’t have Mitchell”.

Webster agrees, saying MacKay is his greatest motivator and describes her as an educator. "She teaches me so much. She taught me how to make my first mould, and constantly drives me to be a better artist." 

MacKay smiles and replies, “We’re a pretty good team if I do say so." Together they form an accomplished and distinctive unit.

The pair has collaborated a bit in the past, but for the most part their artwork is independent to their respective styles. “Our art is so different from one another that very often a couple will come to a show, and one will absolutely fall in love with Janet’s work and the other will like mine," says Webster. "There is something for everyone’s individual taste." MacKay agrees, comparing the diversity of the gallery to a coffee shop. “Mitchell offers coffee and I offer tea," she says. Their distinctive styles are complementary and a testament to their expansive painting and sculpting skills; a rare pairing amongst accomplished artists.

MacKay and Webster independently represent their work through Worldview Studio because they value personal interactions with their clients. “There’s a joy of being in that moment with people,” says Webster. “I love being a fly on the wall and hearing what people say as they walk through the gallery, especially when they find the exact emotion I was trying to convey. It feels like they understand me." 

MacKay relates this feeling to how a musician feels when they are performing. “Musicians have an audience and are able to make that connection right away. They get that instant feedback," she says. The duo take joy in connecting with others over their art just as much as they enjoy creating it.

Worldview Studio is a space that combines artistry and dialogue in the beautiful city of Ottawa.