Artist of the Month

by Mary Lou Devine

Even before I met Rosemary Breault-Landry, I was a fan of her work.  In the first instance, a few years ago, I was visiting the Kemptville Public Library and came upon a recently dedicated bas relief which was on public view on the north side of the building.  The bronze sculpture was one of a man and a woman dancing.  Through the gestures and the movement inferred by the piece, one could see the pleasure that this brought to both of them.  I read up on the background of the sculpture and learned that it portrayed a philanthropic couple who resided in Kemptville and who were being honoured by the town for their generosity. Breault-Landry says that the sculpture was inspired by the couple themselves.  Prior to starting the piece, she met with the couple, who were in their 90’s and were still actively contributing to their community.





I next encountered Breault-Landry’s work when I walked into newly opened Apple Crate Gallery in Manotick last year.  Her bronze works “Resistance”, inspired by Quebec Dance choreographer Tedd Robinson and “Surrender”, also a bronze which was a reversal in thought from the same inspiration, were on display and immediately caught my attention.  While Breault-Landry mostly works with live models, these two sprang directly from her head to her fingers after having seen a performance by Robinson.  The two sculptures were very different from the bas relief I had seen in Kemptville but both had an attention to detail that I found quite fascinating.

Rosemary Breault-Landry was born and raised in Windsor Ontario.  While sculpting has become her passion, it was not her first career.  She was a Registered Nurse and practiced for almost 30 years in Quebec City, retiring in 1996.  While working and raising a family, she says that she has always been drawn (pun intended) to art and took painting and other art-related lessons on a part time basis but felt that she needed to express herself creatively, with more depth.  As a result, she registered for summer courses at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) in Toronto.  Those part time courses soon became full time and, while it took her nine years to graduate from the school in 1992, she did so with honours and has not stopped living her dream since.

cv08Breault-Landry says that she has always been fascinated with the human figure and that she loves expressing feelings and spirit in her artwork.  Her knowledge of human anatomy and training in drawing and sculpture has served her well in this regard.  This is very obvious when one sees a depiction of Ashley MacIssac as “The Devil in the Kitchen” which is also a bronze piece.  MacIssac is immediately recognizable as the subject of the sculpture and Rosemary has completely captured his essence, vibrancy and joie de vivre.


Upon her retirement from nursing, Rosemary began teaching sculpture and drawing in Quebec City.  In 1998, she worked for an entire summer sculpting portraits in the style of Auguste Rodin at the Musee des Beaux-Arts on the plains of Abraham.  In the fall of that year, she was successful in winning a nation-wide contest to sculpt a bust of the first native Senator, James Gladstone, a Cree by birth and cv01Blackfoot by adoption.  Senator Gladstone became a Senator in 1958, two years before registered Indians gained the right to vote.  After much research and contact with the Senator’s family with respect to their preferences and wishes for his dress, Breault-Landry sculpted the Senator in full ceremonial feather headdress with boughs in the form of a crown.  He is wearing an undershirt and a leather jacket on which a native pattern was created using a hammer and metal punch.  The sculpture sits at the entrance to the Senate and has followed it to its temporary home at the newly refurbished train station until such time as it returns to Parliament Hill with the Senate.

While she sculpts in other media such as hydro-stone and hydrocal, her bronze sculptures are what captured my attention.  I asked her about the process for producing a bronze and she indicated that the sculpting process from clay to bronze is a complicated one.  In order to produce a bronze, she first has to be convinced of its worth and has to be completely satisfied with the initial clay figure.  Once she has reached that level of conviction, a rubber mold of the clay figure is produced and is taken to the foundry.  Layers of wax are then poured into the mold, with wax ports and air vents being added.  A ceramic shell is made both inside and outside the wax form.  This process can take up to 6 weeks as each layer has to be totally dry before adding another 6, 7 or even 8 layers.  When the ceramic shell is baked, the wax melts out and scalding liquid bronze is poured into the area where the wax once was.  After cooling overnight, the ceramic is broken away at which time the bronze can be finished, polished and a patina applied.

Breault-Landry says that her favourite part of the sculpting process is the initial one;  the production of the tactile “hands-on” work in clay.  She states that this is the most rewarding and, sometimes, frustrating part of this kind of creation but admits that she loves a challenge.

Screen Shot 2019-07-29 at 10.03.17 AMRosemary currently teaches college level courses in figurative sculpture and drawing at the Ottawa School of Arts, Orleans Campus.  When asked if she feels that teaching brings something to her work, she responds by saying that the interaction with other artists/students is always an important part of teaching.  She attempts to convince her students that they are also creators in their own right and she loves to see them evolve as they learn, loves “seeing the lights go on when they make discoveries that they get to express.”

While Breault-Landry feels that the steps to succeeding as an artist requires a lot of hard work drive, conviction and passion, it is important to note that art is not really work at all but, rather, a fulfilling expression of the soul.  When she is creating, she does not see time pass and is happy to state that artists can continue to create well into their later years and that she does not have to retire (again).

I, for one, hope that she continues to create for a long time to come.


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Artist of the Month

By Mary Lou Devine

IMG_4324If you are a visitor to or a resident of Ottawa, and if you take a tour around the city and its environs, you will see many beautiful examples of this month’s artist’s work.  In the Byward Market, the “Our Fence” project is a joy to behold.  Blackburn Hamlet has its own dancers, a sculpture which captures the movement of dance perfectly and which incorporates both adult and child sized figures, representative of any community.  Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General of Canada, displays many examples of his expertise and artistry, most notably that of the crests and coat of Arms on the Ceremonial Doors at the Queen’s Entrance to the residence.   Other, less visible works are either installed at private residences or in condominium lobbies.  One very intriguing installation is “The Enchanted Garden”, a 6’ by 22’ piece of beauty and whimsy which can be viewed in the portfolio portion of his website.  The garden fits perfectly into the infrastructure of the lobby and is sure to be a source of pleasure for the residents of the building.  Fortunate are the owners of “Waterfall”, a fantastic piece of art constructed from weathering steel and aluminum, which has been nestled into a corner between a small shed and the house.

Screen Shot 2019-06-30 at 9.25.29 PMCairn Cunnane is the artist behind all of this.  He has been connected with Ottawa for most of his life.  He took art classes in high school and became an architectural blacksmith, while also dabbling in sculptural work.  He believes that it is important to always learn more, from books, people and/or experience. He completed one year of art history at the University of Ottawa and has also taken courses in drawing, photography and clay.

He was drawn to blacksmithing because of metal’s durability – it can be out in the world with people, especially children, and weather.  The fact that metal can be so rigid in its solid form but so malleable when it is heated red hot, allowing one to change its form before it freezes into rigidity again, is another part of his trade that intrigues and interests him.  Most of his work is created by forging. Unlike casting, where a mould is made and metal is poured into it, Cunnane heats the metal and works it directly for each, brief moment it is glowing hot enough to manipulate.

While he was always working on artistic projects, paying work was more available on the architectural side of his craft and his main focus was originally centred on that.  He says that, sometimes, the two meet, as evidenced by the Fence and other projects.  Cunnane’s evolution from architectural blacksmith to artist blacksmith was a long, hard road.  Over the course of time, however, he realized that he wanted to say something with his work and he wanted people to hear what he had to say.

One can hear him loud and clear on the “Our Fence” project which was created in 2016.  Located on Dalhousie Street at Bingham Park, the fence is a wonder and a joy to those who pass by or use the park’s facilities.  When I visited the park on a recent sunny Saturday, there were a number of families enjoying the splash pool and the play structures within the grounds.  My attention, however, was drawn to the fence itself.  It is evocative of the origins of the area which was originally a swamp and no man’s land.  When the decision was made to build the Rideau canal to allow boat traffic to bypass the Rideau falls, the area was settled by “rough Irish and French” workers.  The  land on which the park is situated was donated to the city by Mayor Samuel Bingham, who was also a lumber Baron.  A portion of the fence, which consists of two large abstract trees, is representative of Mayor Bingham’s gift to the city.  There is a river which runs through the whole piece, as well as a waterfall.  Most intriguing to me was the construction of the fence, which is at times irregular and which incorporates a number of figures, some of whom (children) are trying to break into or out of the park, through the fence.  It is worth it to stop by and see this piece of figurative art and to see how something which provides safety and security can also be beautiful and long-lasting.

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The Hamlet Dancers, Blackburn Hamlet

Cairn has completed a number of public art installations throughout the city of Ottawa.  In approaching a project, he indicates that he first tries to understand its purpose, the site and who will experience it.  After that, he says it goes by feel.  He starts sketching ideas or making models and then lets things develop.  Any one project can take an amazing amount of time and effort.  From what  I have seen, it’s been worth it.  Cunnane can make steel dance, he can make it musical, he can make it fight.  Take a look at his portfolio on his website and you will see what I mean.  While he works on both large projects and smaller pieces of art, he says that he creates a piece according to how he sees it and in relation to the space it might occupy.  They evolve the same way; some are simply completed faster.

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Windows, Brain Project

While he mainly uses various types of metal, Cunnane also incorporates other elements such as glass, wood and found objects.  Examples of these pieces, such as Windows. Brain Project, Harmony,  Magical Mystery Tour and his Architectural Danse Series,  can be seen in his Crossover folio on his website.

In terms of his future, Cunnane says that he quite likes the work he is doing and that there is so much more that he would like to do.  When asked if he had any advice for those who may wish to get involved in artistic metal work as a hobby or leisure activity or to start along a path to a career in metal work, Cairn replied, “I’d say start.  There are plenty of courses and workshops (to take) if you can.  Or just explore with whatever is at hand and things have a way of evolving.  Have fun, take a chance, there are no rules, make your own!”.  Good advice, I’d say.

Cairn Cunnane’s marvellous work can be seen at various locations around Ottawa, such as:

  • Our Fence, Dalhousie Street
  • Connections, Overbrook Community Centre
  • Ripples, Aylmer, Quebec
  • Dancers, Blackburn Hamlet

You can also see examples of his work at




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Artist of the Month

Every month we will be recognizing and celebrating an artist from the National Capital Network of Sculptors. Learn more about your favourite artists’ methods, inspiration, creative process and more. This month’s featured artist is Danny Barber.

Danny Barber[1]


By Mary Lou Devine  

Step into Barber – Carving & Sculpture Inc.  studio on Triole Street in Ottawa and be prepared to be awed.  From the time you enter the door and take in the sculptures that have been created within its walls to the workroom with its full complement of tools and workspace, you can imagine being immersed in the art of stone carving.  There are pieces which represent the various types of classes currently on offer at the studio, some art sculptures, a beautiful fireplace surround and hearth created out of stone, as well as some replicas of work which was done on the Canadian Parliament Buildings.  And one very special sculpture, which led the studio owner to this destination, sits in a corner of the gallery portion of the studio, in its full glory.

Danny Barber, the name behind the company, was born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario.  His was not a typical upbringing in that it was multifaceted.  While always interested in art, he did not follow an artistic curriculum during his school years.  However, his creative interest and the discipline which would serve him well in his later years was developed through various activities that he was involved in during his teens.  For example, he was a member of both the Provincial and National Boxing teams which required dedication, stamina and focus; he played in many bands in the St. Catharines area for a number of years, with the focus being on song writing and original music.  He was also introduced to various aspects of stone carving by working at his family’s monument business during his teens and into his early thirties.

While he enjoyed these outlets for his creative energy, he felt that he needed to spread his wings and look further for other opportunities in the arts world.  As a result, he attended Sheridan College for two years where he immersed himself in weekly life drawing classes.  This interlude opened up to him the possibilities for learning and for developing forms of expression to which he had not yet been exposed.  At the end of this period, his father challenged him to carve a 36’’ tall dragon in granite from a 6’’ tall model that he had found.  Danny took on the challenge and was successful.  That dragon is now proudly displayed in the gallery portion of the studio.  This signified a turning point for Danny as it was when he decided that he definitely wanted to continue to pursue the art of stone carving, albeit at a different level and in a different direction than he had taken in the past.

In early 2002, Danny made the bold choice of moving to England, where he enrolled in an architectural stone carving and conservation course.  This was followed up by a three-year apprenticeship with an architectural stone carving company in Gloucestershire England.  Danny offers that this experience taught him a way of thinking that is always present in his work.  It provided him with an understanding of the best tools to use for a specific task and methods of problem solving that are always extremely useful.  Most importantly, he says, it taught him how to strive for and achieve a high level of quality in his work and imbued him with the knowledge that the project is not complete until that level of quality has been met.

Upon his return to Canada, Danny worked on a number of rehabilitation projects including the Mappin Wing at Rideau Hall and the East and West Blocks on Parliament Hill.  In 2012, he teamed up with friend and fellow carver, John-Philippe Smith and co-founded Smith & Barber – Sculpture Atelier Inc.  Together, they put together a team of highly skilled carvers and were responsible for providing all of the replacement stones for the rehabilitation of the entire West Block on Parliament Hill.

He has recently moved on to follow his own unique path and to continue on his stone carving journey.  In 2018, he created Barber – Carving & Sculpture Inc. which allows him to focus on his personal development in the art and craft of stone carving.  The experience he has gained from the many years of architectural restoration is a definite influence on the ideas and techniques that he is using in his current work.  However, he says that, while he can’t help be influenced by this experience, his aim is to further develop his thinking and style and to take it to a place that is more original, with a view to developing a style signature of his own.  He will continue to develop his skills and will spend more time carving projects for himself.  His goal is to have his gallery be a destination for people looking for original artwork.

Grumpy[1]In 2009 Danny established the Canadian Stone Carving Festival which will take place on the Sparks Street Mall in Ottawa July 19-21 this year.  The Festival was created as a means of building a craft and social fellowship among stone carvers in the National Capital region which did not exist at the time.  It was important that it be a Festival, not a competition, so that experience level was not a factor but, rather, the emphasis was on bringing together a community of people where they could all do something they love together.  Everyone is welcome; younger or less experienced craft people can work alongside those with more experience to learn and be inspired.  It was also important to build public awareness of the craft of stone carving.  The theme of this year’s Festival is “Comic Book Heroes and Tales and Legends of Canada”.  Visitors to the event will see 30+ stone carvers from Canada, the U.S. and Europe working very hard to complete their projects.  It will provide attendees a glimpse into what a historical construction site may have been like.  Using hand tools (chisels, mallets, etc.) only, participants will have 20 hours over the course of three days to complete their pieces.  On the afternoon of the last day, all pieces will be auctioned off to the public, with proceeds being donated to charity.  To date, the Festival has raised over $65,000 for various charities.

Danny has some advice for those who may wish to pursue a hobby or career in stone carving.  Starting with softer stones such as soapstone will allow one to achieve results without getting discouraged.  He also opines that taking a course is a good idea before buying too many tools, as a course will educate the carver on what tools to look for and how they are used.  For those who wish to break into stone carving as a career opportunity, he feels that taking a program overseas, where there is a long tradition in the craft, is a very good idea.  For those who may want to try a few courses out here in Ottawa, Barber – Carving & Sculpting Inc. offers a number of courses, including those in architectural ornamentation, soapstone carving and clay modelling and it will soon be adding a slate carving course to its offerings.  Information on the various courses can be found at

I, for one, look forward to seeing what comes out of the Barber – Carving & Sculpture Inc. studio in the years to come.

If you would like more information on the NCNS Artist of the Month feature, or you would like to nominate an artist, please contact Mary Lou Devine at


Posted in art classes, Art Shows, Art Workshops, Canadian Stone Carving Festival, Exhibition Opportunities, learn how to sculpt, Member Event, Member Profiles, Miscellaneous, Network Show, sculpting workshops, Sculpture Atelier, Sculpture events, sculpture show, stone carving, stone sculpture, workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


It’s finally here! We’ve been working on this idea for over a year, and we’re so excited to have the work of our talented artists collected in an easy-to-view format.
Our NEW Online Gallery is a convenient way to browse through available artworks. If you’re interested in one of the sculptures you can contact the artist directly – no middle man.  Check it out . . .

Visit us often as we update and add more work regularly.

While you’re there don’t forget to check out our Workshop page.
If you are interested in learning how, then this is your opportunity.

Posted in art classes, Art Shows, Art Workshops, Exhibition Opportunities, learn how to sculpt, Member Event, Member Profiles, Miscellaneous, Network Show, sculpting workshops, Sculpture events, sculpture show, workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sculpting Workshops Now Available

Creative activities make us feel happier, and they’re a great outlet for emotions. But what are their other health benefits? 


  • Stress relief. …
  • Confidence boost. …
  • Increases empathy. …
  • Improves quality of life for those with illness. …
  • Enhances brain productivity. …
  • Lessens effect of serious health conditions.

Check out our new Workshop page and sign up for one of several sculpting workshops available through members of the National Capital Network of Sculptors. Check often as new workshops are added and updated regularly.

Discover your creative side at


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A Tribute to Artist Joe Fafard

A Tribute to Artist Joe Fafard

Posted on March 18, 2019 | Emily Carr News

Artist Joe Fafard passed away over the weekend at the age of 76, at his home in Lumsden, Saskatchewan.

He was a prolific Canadian artist who produced dozens of bronze sculptures that are publicly installed across the country. During his lifetime, he received the Order of Canada and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, as well as honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba and the University of Regina. The National Gallery of Canada hosted a retrospective of his work in 2008, and his 2017 piece Running Horses can be seen outside the gallery.

Joe was inspired by Emily Carr, and shared her love of animals; many of his works depict cows, horses and other creatures. In 2012, he mounted a pop-up exhibition at the Emily Carr House in Victoria featuring depictions of the artist and her many pets.

Emily Carr University is fortunate to have two original sculptures by Joe. At the foot of the east stairwell is Emily Carr and friends, which depicts the artist, her horse, and her beloved pet monkey Woo. It was generously donated to the university by the Peter and Joanne Brown Foundation.

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A second sculpture by Joe, depicting Emily Carr on her horse, was donated by Heffel Fine Art Auction House. It can be seen at the west end of the second floor of the university.

Read more about Joe’s life and work in this tribute from the Globe and Mail.

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Season’s Greetings

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New  Year!

France Grice


National Capital Network of Sculptors


2019 NCNS events…

NCNS Sculpture Studio Tour weekend of May 11-12,

DIMENSIONS 2019, October 25-27 at Lansdowne Park, Horticulture Building.

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It’s finally here – DIMENSIONS 2018!

It’s opening night and a first look at the spectacular work of the National Capital Network of Sculptors!

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Meet the Artists

Gypsy Dance 2_5545

Gypsy Dance by Sandra Marshall

We’re just days away from our 20th Annual Sculpture Exhibit, DIMENSIONS 2018. We’ve shown you little bits and pieces of what you can expect and we hope we’ve peaked your curiosity. Come visit us in the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park to see the whole collection by the National Capital Network of Sculptors. This unique and biggest “Sculpture Only” art exhibit happens once a year, don’t miss it!


Friday, October 12th – 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Saturday, October 13th – 10:00am to 9:00pm


Upper Canada Cow by Thomas Murphy

Sunday, October 14th – 10:00am to 5:00pm

Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park


FREE Stone Carving Workshop on Saturday, October 13th, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm








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