Get to know Ottawa's art scene during the West End Studio Tour
- Ottawa Travel Guide
- Tuesday, 07 August 2012 17:59
Quickly becoming the most hopping part of downtown Ottawa, the West End is a hotspot for younger travellers and locals seeking a bustling nightlife and burgeoning art scene. This neighbourhood is filled with contemporary restaurants that highlight organically sourced produce as well as a growing demand for local musicians and artists to grace the stage with concerts and performances. For guests staying at Ottawa hotels this September, the West End Studio Tour (WEST), will attract hundreds of art enthusiasts eager to welcome a new generation of Canadian artists to the capital.
Touring the studios
Unlike most other art festivals, WEST allows visitors to walk through studios where local craftspeople construct their stunning pieces. During this rare opportunity, art lovers can avoid the blank white walls of galleries altogether and experience the grungy aspect that makes painting, printmaking and sculpting so real. Many of the studios are located in the backyards of artists, and for two weekends in September, these visual experts will open their doors to welcome both residents and those who travel to Ontario.
Oftentimes, artists are dismayed by the constraints of contemporary galleries, particularly because they rarely show the nitty-gritty side of production. Because of this one-of-a-kind event, they will have the opportunity to share their craft with hundreds of strangers and friends.
Welcome the newest artists
This year, Venz Vesselinov and Gwendolyn Best will be added to the long list of local artists opening their personal studios to the public.
Venz Vesselinov, who studied illustration and print graphics in Sofia, Bulgaria, now calls Ottawa his home. His paintings look more like stained glass than acrylic-on-board, depicting natural images of toucans, crabs and peacocks as well as still lives with potted plants and domestic scenes. Similar to Pablo Picasso, Vesselinov ignores the third dimension altogether and creates images that seem to defy perception.
Gwendolyn Best, on the other hand, specialises in paintings of commonly dark animals like black cats, crows, rats and bats in a sort of macabre light. Using minimal colours, Best highlights the inner quality of each of these animals that are commonly misrepresented by the mainstream media.
Along with Best and Vesselinov, visitors will have ample chances to gain a better understanding of a growing art scene in Canada's capital.