Meet the 2017 Ottawa Arts Council Award Finalists

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Finalists for the RBC Emerging Artist Award and Ottawa Arts Council Mid-Career Artist Award were announced at an intimate reception at Arts Court on March 30th, 2017

Ottawa Arts Council Mid-Career Artist Award finalist biographies


Maura Doyle, photo: Christian Villemaire

Maura Doyle

Maura Doyle lives and works in Ottawa. Her multidisciplinary practice has included video, ceramics, sculpture, book works, printed matter and drawing. Her recent work focuses on the medium of clay, prehistoric pottery and processes, which includes the traditional techniques of hand building and pit firing. Her work has been exhibited across Canada in artist-run centres and art institutions, and internationally in New York, Japan, Sweden and Vienna. She received her MFA from the University of Guelph and is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto (


Jesse Stewart, photo: Christian Villemaire

Jesse Stewart

Jesse Stewart is an award-winning composer, percussionist, artist, instrument-builder, and educator. His music has been documented on over twenty recordings including Stretch Orchestra’s self-titled debut album, which was honoured with the 2012 “Instrumental Album of the Year” JUNO award. He has performed and recorded with musical luminaries from around the world, and has been widely commissioned as a composer and artist. He is a professor of music in Carleton University’s music program and an adjunct professor in the visual arts department at the University of Ottawa. In 2015, described him as “one of the most innovative musicians in Canada."


Andrew Wright, photo: Christian Villemaire

Andrew Wright

Andrew Wright's work is described as multi-tiered inquiries into the nature of perception, photographic structures and technologies, and the ways we relate to a mediated and primarily visual world. He has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, with exhibitions in London, UK, Presentation House, Vancouver, Ulsan, Korea, Oakville Galleries, Photo Miami, ARCO Madrid, to name of few. Wright is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. Nominated six times for the Sobey Art Award he was a semi-finalist in 2007. In 2016 he was nominated for the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. In 2011 he won the inaugural BMW Exhibition Award at Contact Photography Festival in Toronto.


RBC Emerging Artist Award finalists biographies

Olivia Johnston, photo: Christian Villemaire

Olivia Johnston

Olivia Johnston is an Ottawa-based artist. She completed a BAh in Art History at Carleton University in 2015, graduating with High Distinction, and is currently the Photographic History Instructor at the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa. Johnston’s work has been displayed locally, including in Ottawa's Karsh-Masson Gallery and as a part of the City of Ottawa’s collection, and internationally, in New York, NY; Portland, OR; Saint-Louis, Senegal; and London, England. Her first major exhibition taking place outside of Ottawa will be a Featured Exhibition in Toronto’s CONTACT Festival in May 2017 entitled I May Be Crazy But Not That Crazy.


Gillian King, photo: Christian Villemaire

Gillian King

2016 MFA graduate (University of Ottawa), Gillian King is multidisciplinary artist, curator, and art educator. In 2016, she exhibited recent paintings at PDA Projects and Karsh-Masson Gallery for the City of Ottawa Annual Acquisitions Exhibition, for 'Full Catastrophe', and a solo show at the Ottawa Art Gallery. She was selected as the 2017 Ontario representative for the Robert McLaughlin Gallery's 50th Anniversary Exhibition featuring five emerging abstract Canadian painters. Upcoming, she has solo shows at the University of Marinette Wisconsin and PDA Projects, and is part of a group show at La Maison des Artistes in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Catherine Voyer-Léger, photo: Christian Villemaire

Catherine Voyer-Léger

Following her studies in political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Catherine Voyer-Léger made her career in cultural management. Settled in the Ottawa/Gatineau area for the last seven years, she has published three books: Détails et dédales and Désordre et désirs (Hamac), two collections of her articles, and Métier critique (Septentrion), an essay on the state of cultural critique. She is a reporter for the Ici Radio-Canada Première programs C’est fou and Les Malins. She also writes for several magazines and collective works. She is the board president of the Salon du livre de l’Outaouais.