The Nation’s capital got a taste of American Contemporary Art this past weekend, with the official launch of the U.S. Embassy Ottawa’s Contemporary Conversations: Art in Embassies series.
Created and produced in conjunction with the National Gallery of Canada and the Department of State’s Art in Embassies program, the Contemporary Conversations series aims to stimulate conversation around issues that transcend borders, focusing on topics that inspire, teach and create connections. To this end, the first artist brought to Ottawa was Marie Watt, a multidisciplinary artist from Portland, Oregon. Over three days, from February 26th to 28th, Ms. Watt took part in several events that highlighted not only her art, but also its guiding principles: indigenous design, oral tradition, personal experience, and Western art history.
- a lecture at the National Gallery of Canada, during which Ms. Watt spoke about her work with both a slideshow and a discussion with the Gallery’s Audain Curator of Indigenous Art, Greg Hill.
- a panel discussion at the Carleton University Art Gallery, titled “Indigenizing the Gallery.”
- a reception at Lornado, the residence of U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman and his wife, Vicki Heyman.
- a sewing circle in the National Gallery’s Great Hall.
All four events were extremely well-attended, with more than 600 people in total participating across the three days.
The Contemporary Conversations will continue in May, with a visit by by Missouri performance artist Nick Cave.