Gallery 101 turns a new page with move to Little Italy

Rob Oldham, Centretown News

Rob Oldham, Centretown News

Gallery 101’s new space in Little Italy features work on paper by artists from H’Art of Ottawa and Arts Project Australia. It runs until May 3.

Gallery 101 broke in its brand new location in Little Italy on the weekend with a grand opening event featuring the unveiling of the Turning the Page exhibition.

“We’re very impressed with what we see,” said Lyn Apedaile, a first-time visitor to the gallery. “This is such a wonderful outlet for artistic talent and I’m excited to see more.”
Apedaile joined a steady crowd of patrons celebrating the gallery opening with finger-food, drinks and live music.

The fittingly named exhibition marks a new beginning for the art gallery while also displaying artwork produced on or with paper products.

“The gallery is definitely turning a page at the end of this busy moving process and that ties in well with the paper based art that we have here,” said Georgia Mathewson, administrative assistant at Gallery 101. “It is certainly good to be back.”

The artist-run gallery shut down its Bank Street location last month to move to its new home at 51B Young St. on the edge of Little Italy.

The new location is more accessible than the old second-floor Bank Street location which prevented some patrons from being able to experience the gallery.

Turning the Page features an extensive collaboration of work between H’Art of Ottawa and Arts Project Australia. Both organizations run studios that support the development of artists with intellectual disabilities.

Between the two groups, the work of almost 70 artists is on display at the gallery.

For the artists at H’Art of Ottawa, shows like Turning the Page are an excellent opportunity to contribute to the wider Ottawa artistic community.

Marika Smart, 39, has been painting with H’Art of Ottawa for years. She says she is happy others in the community will be able to see her work at Gallery 101.

“Painting is like putting hopes and dreams down on paper for me,” Smart said. “Sharing that feeling is nice.”

Organizers faced some challenges preparing the new location in time for the grand opening and new art installations.

“We had to install new lightening in the space to make it a more friendly area to display art,” Mathewson said. “Another unexpected problem came when the melting snow in the parking lot began to seep into the gallery through the garage.”

Lin Rowsell, executive director of H’Art of Ottawa, said the exhibition is a great example of what artists collaborating in Ottawa can achieve.

“The exhibition is an unprecedented effort of local artists on display,” Rowsell said. “This is what happens when we all come together on the same page, with the same vision.”

Rowsell said she had been in talks with Laura Margita, the curator of Gallery 101, for a long time and looks forward to collaborating more in the future.

The grand opening event at Gallery 101 marks the beginning of a larger partnership between H’Art of Ottawa, Arts Project Australia, Juno Award winning artist Jesse Stewart,
Indigenous Cultural Media Innovations, Guerilla magazine, and the National Arts Centre.

The Turning the Page exhibition runs at Gallery 101 until May 3, ending with a community BBQ and performance by Jesse Stewart.