Sculpture Studio Tour

Here’s a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and experience “where” and “how” some of the National Capital Network of Sculptors create their masterpieces! The NCNS Studio Tour takes place on Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23 with 13 stops along the route. Not only can you visit the artist’s in their studios, but you’ll see demonstrations as well as the opportunity to try your hand at some of the various sculpture mediums. This is a free event so come enjoy the art, the entertainment and the refreshments all while supporting and being inspired by the amazing talent of our local sculptors. Don’t forget to enter our draw – the more studios you visit the more chances you’ll have to win.

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Edmonia Lewis: First Female Black Sculptor to Achieve International Acclaim When Slavery Was Legal

edmonia-lewis“There is nothing so beautiful as the free forest. To catch a fish when you are hungry,cut the boughs of a tree, make a fire to roast it, and eat it in the open air, is the greatest of all luxuries. I would not stay a week pent up in cities, if it were not for my passion for art,” Edmonia Lewis, February 27, 1864.
Mary Edmonia Lewis was born around July 1844, in New York, her father was of African Haitian origin and her mother of African American and Native American descent.
At the age of 15, Lewis enrolled at Oberlin College, a private liberal arts school in the US state of Ohio. The year was 1859, and Oberlin was one of the very few institutions to admit women and people of colour at a time when slavery was still legal.
Shortly after, she left Ohio and headed east, arriving in Boston in 1864 to pursue a career as a sculptor. Working in a field that was at the time dominated by white men, she was repeatedly rejected by instructors, until she met Edward A Brackett, a sculptor whose clients included some well-known advocates for the abolition of slavery.
Lewis earned her name in Boston with her many works paying homage to abolitionists and heroes of the Civil War.
Her local success and popularity in Boston made possible her decision to move to Rome, and it was in the Italian capital that she became a highly respected artist. There, she focused on naturalism and themes relating to African American and Native American issues, achieving both financial and critical acclaim.
But it was her Cleopatra sculpture for which she became most well-known. It was featured at the 1876 Centennial Expo in the US city of Philadelphia and is now part of the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.


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NCNS Glass Artist France Grice: January Member Interview by Glass Art Association of Canada

Here is a preview of the interview  with NCNS glass artist France Grice, given to “Glass Art Association of Canada (GAAC)”, in January 2017.

GAAC: What was it that drew you to glass as your artistic material of choice?

A Warm Spring Day; Kiln Cast Gaffer Crystal on fused glass base; 6.5"H x 12 x 4; 2015

A Warm Spring Day; Kiln Cast Gaffer Crystal on fused glass base; 6.5″H x 12 x 4; 2015

France Grice: A friend in Nancy, France’s mecca of early century 20th century pâte de verre, was doing fused glass since the 80’s. She was using mostly float glass and doing beautiful pieces using frit, thermoforming and sandblasting. I was hooked! In the early 90’s it was evident that Ottawa did not have the teaching capacity as it has now. I set up to learn on my own and, of course, a kiln was purchased. I bought books and did fused glass for a few years. Experimenting, failing, succeeding and with a kiln which had no programming, it was a big challenge.

GAAC: How much of a role has education played in your development with the material?
FG: My background is interior design. My glass making education is self-directed and on-going… Read more…  

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How do you react when one of your works is stolen?

       This was a first experience of having  my artwork stolen.  I had  poured my heart into its creation.
       I have experienced breakage (more than once) and that hurts, but I got over the disappointment and took measures to avoid, if not eliminate this occurrence.



Now this is different, and one wonders what happened to my Reader sculpture! This is the reason for  the Missing poster.
      I made a police report and send them a picture of the work. I can’t help thinking  someone in the neighbourhood took it, someone familiar with the gallery . But I also know there is little hope of seeing my Reader again. Little hope as well of payment slipped under the door as someone suggested.

… Heartbroken Artist

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Congratulations to Our Winner

Congratulations Christine Kirkland! The winner of the beautiful fused glass sculpture “Tree of Life” by France Grice. She just picked up her treasure and she’s thrilled. img_5412

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A Big Thank You . . .

DIMENSIONS 2016 ended on a high note on Sunday afternoon. It was a pleasure to meet so many art enthusiasts who appreciate sculpture and all the talent, passion and bits and pieces of our soul that goes into each piece we create. The artists of the National Capital Network of Sculptors truly appreciate all the beautiful comments you left behind in our guest book and we are re-energized and inspired to bring you an even bigger and better event next year. Our goal . . . 150 sculptures to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary!

Many of you entered our draw on Facebook and in person at the show. The prize . . . a beautiful fused glass sculpture called “Tree of Life” by France Grice. Well, we have a winner!screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-2-22-41-pm


This beautiful piece of art will be an heirloom treasure for your family.

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All Good Things Come to An End

img_5358Today is your last chance to drop by our Sculpture Exhibit DIMENSIONS 2016. FREE ADMISSION! We open the doors at 11:00am and we are so excited to have a guest artist speaking today – Nationally and internationally renowned artist David Clendining will be our guest speaker and he will be talking about the process of making monuments using today’s new technology. This is an amazing opportunity not only to meet David but to see some of his maquettes up close, ask questions and get a better insight into the process. His “Art Talk” will also touch on the importance of Art in Society. You don’t want to miss this rare opportunity.

img_5356The rain has stopped, so please drop by the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park. Over 120 amazing sculptures in every possible medium will be on display until 4pm. Our Gift Boutique has been re-stocked, our ephemeral artist has been creating some amazing carved pumpkins and all the artists will be present and eager to share their art, their process and their passion with you.

img_5365See you at Lansdowne – last chance until next year. Doors open at 11:00 am and close at 4:00pm.


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Where Will You Be On Thursday Night?

The city has been buzzing with exciting art events recently, from show openings in galleries to the Mayor’s first annual Gala for the Arts last weekend. Ottawa is finding it’s place as a leader in the development of the arts. The momentum continues on Thursday evening, October 20th with the Opening Reception for DIMENSIONS, the 2016 Sculpture Exhibit put on by the National Capital Network of Sculptors.

pheonix_nesting_box_eric_grice_2012This is the largest collection of sculptural works ever in the city. Over 120 sculptures – over 40 artists. But there’s more! Presentations, demonstrations where you can try your hand at a sculptural techniques, guest speakers and live ephemeral pumpkins carving. For the budget-conscious looking for unique gift ideas – support an artist and buy local! Check out our Gift Boutique where original artworks are priced under $100.

Whether you come out for the Opening Reception or take advantage of the presentations and demonstrations going on all weekend – this event is the best bargain in town – Admission is FREE!

Visit us in the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park, October 20-23.

f211512689cfb217dd43ef3213add0c7bf6bf5a40c58a121814b1c8fd5dcf97fOPENING RECEPTION – Thursday, October 20th, 6:00pm to 9:00pm – Mayor Jim Watson will officially kick-off the 18th annual Exhibit. Come meet the artists and enjoy some refreshments.

  • Friday, October 21st, 12:00pm to 5:00 pm
  • 1:00pm – Patrick Imai – Stone Carving presentation and hands-on experience
  • 2:00pm – Line Labrecque – Polymer Clay – exploring this exciting new medium
  • 3:00 pm – Garry Bowes – Wood Turning Presentation
  • Saturday, October 22nd, 12:00pm to 5:00pm
  • 1:00pm – France Grice – Glass is Amazing!
  • 2:00pm – Stephane Tremblay – The Art of Letter Carving in Stone
  • 3:00pm – Alenka Pacquet – Working with Clay – a hands-on-experience
  • SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23rd, 11:00am to 4:00pm
  • David will be talking about the process of doing bronze monuments from concept to casting and the importance of art in society. David is the owner   and operator of Summit Studios. Based  out of the National Capital Region Summit Studios has displays, sculptures and installations in Museums and public areas across the nation and around the world. In Ottawa, you can see David’s bronze work on Confederation Blvd. and the Gargoyles on Parliament Hill. You will have the rare opportunity to see the oil clay carved maquette of his life size bronze, Merchant Marines Monument and the original carve of Animals in War Monument. Don miss this unique opportunity.



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More to look forward to at DIMENSIONS

DIMENSIONS 2016 is without a doubt one of the city’s biggest and boldest art events. What makes this event even more unique is that it is strictly about sculpture. With over 120 sculptures in a wide variety of mediums and in sizes that range all the way up to 30′ in length, DIMENSIONS promises to be a delight to all your artistic senses. From whimsical and silly to deep and introspective, each piece represents a statement, a movement, an observation and ultimately a part of each artist’s psyche. Opening night is a perfect opportunity to meet the artists and learn about their process and their vision.

But it doesn’t stop there. Each day we will have a series of presentations and demonstrations – some are even hands-on experiences for the audience. In our previous post we talked about the events scheduled for Friday. Here’s what to expect on Saturday, October 22nd, drop in for three very special one hour events. It’s FREE ADMISSION!

the-red-bench-360x3601:00 pm – Glass is amazing! Meet Glass Artist France Grice. “I still think about whether it is the process or the result that keeps me captivated. The fusing process I use to make my trees is meticulous and involves cutting, crushing, and assembling fragile pieces of glass. The firing of these assembled pieces is relatively simple, but I love the results and the many possibilities it brings. My other main body of work is created by casting glass. These pieces begin as wax sculptures, often inspired by gestures or emotions, which are then surrounded by a refractory mold material which can withstand high temperatures. Once the mold has hardened, I steam away the wax, and then eventually fill the empty space with molten glass. Cast glass is a long and difficult process which yields amazing but also sometimes heartbreaking results.” France will be showing examples of her process and welcoming questions and inquiries about learning more.

_dkt10582:00 pm – You don’t want to miss this one! Stephane J.D. Tremblay introduces the “Art of Letter Carving” in stone.  Dying art or making a come back?  Technology advances at a scary pace (sand blasting machine, laser etchers, CNC machines and the list goes on.  Time is in everyones mind and now it equals Money more than anything else.  Technology is to be embrace and fear at the same time. “In my opinion, One needs to slow down enough to enjoy life.”  Letter cutters share some and possess (base on my living and work experience as a sniper) a lot of skills and traits that one would find in a Military Sniper unit.  Precision, steadiness, patience,and…. are only a few examples.  Letter Carving in Stone is an Art on its own.  One needs a lifetime to Master it.  The cutting techniques are one aspect, Calligraphy 004another, and on and on….

3:00 pm  – Pottery and Ceramic Sculptor, Alenka Paquet gives the audience an opportunity to experience building some simple forms from white clay. You’ll learn about rolling a slab, impressing decorations and forming  the object. This presentation is a must for anyone interested in pottery or ceramic.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars. DIMENSIONS 2016, opens Thursday evening, October 20th. Show hours, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 21-23, noon to 5pm.  See you at Lansdowne Park in the Horticulture Building. FREE ADMISSION!



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Presentations and Demonstrations

DIMENSIONS is not just an art exhibit – it’s a place to meet artists, learn about their medium and techniques, watch a demonstration and even enjoy a hands on experience. Best of all – it’s FREE!!

Drop by the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park on Friday, October 21st and sit in on one of these three fabulous presentations:

imai_lifes-a-beach1:00pm                                                                    Meet Patrick Imai from Carved Stone Bears.      Patrick will be demonstrating his skills and techniques for shaping soft stone (soapstone, serpentine, alabaster).  He will show how he uses hand tools, sandpaper and wet polishing paper to produce shiny sculpted bears. This will be an interactive demonstration where you will have an opportunity to experience stone carving and take home your own little stone sculpture.

spirit-bowl-monarch-print2:00 pm                                                                           Meet Line Labrecque, polymer clay and mixed media artist.                                                                  Polymer Clay is a relatively new medium, and is no longer exclusively a child’s toy. There are literally hundreds of ways to use polymer clay in your creations. Line Labrecque will demonstrate a few techniques using polymer clay showing its versatility . Come witness how polymer clay borrows techniques like mokume gane and millefiori caning to create the most amazing surface treatments.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-3-08-38-pm3:00 pm                                                                                                   Garry Bowes, Turned Wood.  Garry’s turned wood sculpture has been collected throughout the world and many of his pieces have been gifted by the Canadian Government to Heads-of-States including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, American President George W. Bush and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Garry will be narrating a slide show presentation on wood turning techniques, talking about tools, woods and the history of his journey with WoodSong Studio.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Saturday’s list of artist presentations. See you at DIMENSIONS 2016!

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