A Walk of Art 2022: Old Ottawa East community outdoor art tour now a popular fixture for local artists and art lovers

Mainstreeter Staff

Pictured above are event sponsor Michele Parent of ReMax Absolute Realty and OOE portrait artist Sarah Lacy who exhibited many of her portraits to highly appreciative art lovers on Mason Terrace. This year’s A Walk of Art sponsors included Watson’s Pharmacy & Compounding Centre, Ottawa Physiotherapy & Sports Clinics (Main Street), Oat Couture/Montgomery’s Scotch Lounge, ReMax Absolute Realty (Michele Parent – Agent) and Merriam Print Inc.

Pictured above are event sponsor Michele Parent of ReMax Absolute Realty and OOE portrait artist Sarah Lacy who exhibited many of her portraits to highly appreciative art lovers on Mason Terrace. This year’s A Walk of Art sponsors included Watson’s Pharmacy & Compounding Centre, Ottawa Physiotherapy & Sports Clinics (Main Street), Oat
Couture/Montgomery’s Scotch Lounge, ReMax Absolute Realty (Michele Parent – Agent) and Merriam Print Inc.

Blue skies and warm weather combined to draw hundreds of Old Ottawa East residents and other art-lovers to our community’s third annual outdoor art tour on September 10th that featured many of OOE’s most talented local artists and photographers exhibiting and selling their work to an appreciative public.

Newly dubbed A Walk of Art, the outdoor art tour presented by The Mainstreeter, has grown organically through word-of-mouth among local artists from three presenting artists in 2020, to 12 last year and to this year’s bumper crop of 20 artists, along with a waiting list that almost ensures an even larger tour next year.

Five commercial sponsors provided financial support for the event which has become an established fixture on the community calendar of Old Ottawa East and an important opportunity for artists to display their work to their friends, neighbours and family.

Lorne Abugov, the editor of The Mainstreeter, was buoyed by the support of the sponsors and by the growth and community acceptance of A Walk of Art.

“This event really began as a rather humble, COVID-inspired idea to give our residents something beautiful to witness as they strolled the community to get out of their homes during the pandemic,” he says. “Today, it continues to display its informal roots, but it has grown in scale and stature because of the phenomenal support we have had from the artists and from our local businesses that understand the role that art and photography can play in community-building.”

Geographically, the artists were widely scattered throughout Old Ottawa East, ranging from Ruth Browning who exhibited her landscape paintings on Echo Drive near Avenue Road to Louise Rachlis who presented her watercolour and acrylic paintings on Graham Avenue near the Rideau Canal.

Organizers of the event are keen to extend the scope of A Walk of Art into other pockets of the community north and east of Graham and into the Greystone Village development. Steve Fick, one of the three founding artists on the tour, took time out from an out-of-town community gathering to return to Ottawa to present his diverse portfolio of paintings in front of his home on Drummond Street.

As the lone artist who has participated in all three OOE art tours, Fick was pleased by the turnout and level of interest in the event from those strolling the streets of the community. In his career, Fick was a leading Canadian cartographer, a skill that has come in very handy in his creation of the OOE art tour map that helps to guide those walking around OOE to take in the exhibiting artists and photographers.

For Tanis Browning-Shelp, the Art Editor of The Mainstreeter, A Walk of Art is a doubly rewarding experience. As a major booster of the arts, she has witnessed the growth of the art tour and the exposure of talented local artists since the outset of the event. But she also has a personal connection and stake in the success of the event.

“My mother, Ruth Browning, exhibited her artwork again this year and thoroughly enjoyed the many conversations she had with the visitors to her exhibition. People wanted to know so much more about the locations of her landscapes, her travels, and also about her acrylic painting techniques. There were 96 visitors who stopped by during the fourhour show.”

There are other benefits that accrue to the artists and to the community from the annual art tour. For example, artists and photographers residing and working in OOE get the opportunity to learn of and meet up with other artists with whom they might not otherwise interact.

“Painting as a vocation can be an intensely isolated way of life. Getting outdoors in your community and meeting people and other artists exhibiting next to you is a wonderful opportunity to socialize,” says first-time exhibitor Sarah Lacy of Glenora Street.

To allow the exhibitors a chance to meet other community artists and to view their artwork, the art tour organizers will schedule a face-to-face or Zoom “debrief ” session in October. And for members of the community, A Walk of Art has served to alert OOE residents to the incredible pool of artistic talent that lives and works in their midst.

“I had no idea Old Ottawa East did this kind of thing,” observed one resident who noticed a promotional poster on Main Street in the days preceding the event. “I thought they only had something like this in the Glebe.”

Planning is already underway for next year’s event, with organizers considering suggested enhancements that could include a separate and parallel art tour and art contest for neighbourhood children. In addition, The Mainstreeter is looking for volunteers who would enjoy participating in A Walk of Art organizing and implementing group.

If you would like to get involved in the planning and staging of A Walk of Art in 2023, kindly email Arts Editor Tanis Browning-Shelp at tanis@browningshelp.com.

Filed in: Front Page

You might like:

A Walk of Art 2022: Old Ottawa East community outdoor art tour now a popular fixture for local artists and art lovers A Walk of Art 2022: Old Ottawa East community outdoor art tour now a popular fixture for local artists and art lovers
Rideau River Nature Trail gains recognition in new book Rideau River Nature Trail gains recognition in new book
Affordable seniors housing confirmed: Inside the massive transformation of the Deschâtelets Building Affordable seniors housing confirmed: Inside the massive transformation of the Deschâtelets Building
As OOE pet owners have learned…Dogs and skunks are a potent mix As OOE pet owners have learned…Dogs and skunks are a potent mix
© 2022 The Mainstreeter. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.
Proudly designed by Theme Junkie.