The artists of the Outaouais

June 4 2015

The region's artists are busy little bees. But, like bees, they are easily overlooked, even though they work really hard. Being quite interested in all things artistic myself, I told myself "Hey man! Why don't you use that great platform of yours and talk about the local art scene?" Or at least something like that. Though it's true that one can visit studios and galleries year-round, THE best way to discover those who colour our worlds on a daily basis: studio tours!

It all starts in the Pontiac!

The first studio tour of the year is in picturesque Pontiac, in the western part of the region. June 13-14 and 20-21, creators from Quyon to l'Isle-aux-Allumettes invite you in their homes, or at least the studio part, during ther Pontiac Artists' Studio Tour. Behind a work of art, be it painted, sculpted, or built piece by piece, is an artist who spent years perfecting his craft and the beauty of these tours is precisely that you get to meet the artists and understand where that piece that caught your eye came from. This year, twelve artists are there to meet you. And the feast for the eyes continues on the road between stops, through the beautiful Pontiac scenery. My favorite hidden gem: Portage-du-fort and the Stone School Gallery, home of the Pontiac School of the Arts.

Petite Nation, how inspiring you are!

This part of the region holds a special place in my heart. Having been invited to take part in several artistic events in the area, I understand why several artists leave the city to settle here. I know a few who left their native Montreal and chose the Petite Nation for the surrounding nature and great sense of community. About halfway between Gatineau, Montreal, and Mont-Tremblant, the Petite Nation la Lièvre is getting quite a reputation for all things local, art included. From September 5 to 7, around fifteen artists from the Créateurs de la Petite Nation will open their doors for you.

Sculptor Ozgen Eryasa at work


 Coming this fall in Chelsea and Wakefield!

Though we don't know the dates of the 2015 edition just yet, every year at the end of September and beginning of October, artists from Chelsea, Wakefield, and the surroundings invite you in their studios during the Chelsea-Wakefield Studio Tour. By the way, did you know that these villages have more artists per capita than Paris or New York? In a 30 minutes radius from downtown Ottawa-Gatineau, at a time of year where the forest puts on its coloured coat, about twenty creators invite you in a part of the region that seduces locals and visitors alike, visit after visit.

Painting by artist Marilyn Smith


So, next time you need inspiration or that your eyes need to be stimulated, hit the Outaouais's roads and be amazed! And even if there are no tours scheduled during your visit in the region, here is a list of galleries and studios that will be happy to have you over, year-round!

Have an #outaouaisfun summer!