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Arboretum festival :: Panel discussion :: Why I left Ottawa

It was so great to hear a different perspective on Ottawa, "The Boring City," by some great Ottawa artists.

The discussion was around the premise that artists leave / are leaving Ottawa because it's not big enough, not creative enough, there aren't enough venues or people, etc.

The conclusion our panelists came to was something along the lines of "There is some great stuff happening in Ottawa, but you have to go out and find it." - I'm paraphrasing of course.

Though the discussion was mainly around the "liveliness" of the Ottawa art scene, my big take-aways were more career based; both came from Rémi Thériault:

  •  First, his answer to this question posed by an audience member:
    • Q: How do you value your art?
    • A: You have to put it out there to be seen.
  • Second, he brought up the concept of the "mentorship program" within any scene (e.g. when he was coming up, he had access to great photographers that could show him the ropes.)

A little self-evaluation, given these take-aways

I have to put together a show; I don't know what photos I want to put out there or where I want to exhibit them. One thing is for sure, I need to show my work!

I think what I need to do is find myself a photographer mentor (or two) to go through my photos and guide me toward what needs to happen next:

  • Either take new photos with the goal that I want them in a gallery.
  • Or put together all the photos I've taken since I started and pick the ones that share a common theme and, of course, that myself and my peers deem good enough to represent me.

What now? I'll get ready by following Zack Arias' guide to filtering through photos that can be found in his book "Photography Q&A - Real Questions. Real Answers."

Until next time,



Nic Desjardins1 Comment