Take a first look inside new Ottawa Art Gallery expansion
'We're finally coming of age,' says gallery director
Ottawa's new art gallery has plenty of airy spaces, natural light and much more room for art and social activities.
CBC got a sneak peek of the new Ottawa Art Gallery this week. And while the art is not yet installed, construction on the building — set to open on April 28 — is largely complete.
The $34-million renovation spans five floors and features more than 5,000 square metres of exhibit space including permanent and contemporary galleries.
It also includes studios, storage areas and the new Jackson café, a place "where people can have a glass of wine, some tapas and talk about art," said OAG director and CEO Alexandra Badzak.
The expansion will show the art world that Ottawa has come of age, Badzak said.
"We're finally playing in the same sandbox as other key municipal and regional galleries across Canada," she said.
The OAG was slated to open in autumn of 2017, but that was pushed back due to construction delays.
"Like any big project we saw it getting more and more complicated," said Badzak. "Hooking a new building into a historic building has some complications to it."
When the expansion opens, the first show will cover 6,500 years of art making in the local area, including 193 historical and contemporary works of art by 181 artists.
The exhibition will have three titles: Àdisòkàmagan, Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes, We'll all become stories, and will fill three floors of gallery space.
It's important for the region to have a gallery to showcase the great artists who work here, Badzak said.
"The artists in this area will finally have a space that is worthy of their talent," Badzak said.