The CAO has changed its space once more. The walls have been rehung and the space refurbished. Gone are the beloved bees and drills of the inaugural Art at the CAO exhibition. They have been replaced by poetic photo portraits that reward long patient gazes over fleeting glances and assuredly inspire and compliment the interior space.

On Friday September 12th 2008, the CAO hosted the second in their ongoing series of seasonal exhibitions that focus on and promote local artists. The current show, in participation with photography festival, Festival X, spotlights 3 young emerging female photographers from the School of Photographic Arts in Ottawa. The CAO was pleased to participate and exhibit in conjunction with Festival X, along with a strong contingent of other gallery spaces showing promising and established work by photographers. The three artists whose work is being shown at the CAO, Sarah Fisher, Sarai Strikefoot and Michelle Wilson, were selected for their technically proficient and striking work and for how the photos engage with each other within the space.

The show is comprised of photos from 4 portrait series and each artist manages to bring an individuality and distinct style to the photos that allows their work to remain crisp and personal when juxtaposed next to the other series. In the Michaela Fitch Boardroom 19 new fresh face portraits adorn the walls and look out into the space, creating an enlarged spectatorship for the meetings and workshops held within. Michelle Wilson's photographs of a choir in mid note, captures the sheer delight and exuberance these women feel while singing, stacked two high the exuding elation is unmistakable. Adjacent Sarai Strikefoot's close-up black and white photos of faces reveal a certain reticence in the subject, a certain intimacy and personalness, that while quiet still have a commanding presence. Sarah Fisher's series in the entrance, also presents a view of private moments and personal thoughts through a beautifully arresting and poignant use of text and image that together open up these moments to viewer scrutiny and voyeurism. Together the artists show just how far reaching the abilities and creative capabilities of Ottawa's emerging artists extend.

The exhibition, Fisher-Strikefoot-Wilson, is on view at the CAO until October 24, and is certainly a notable stop on the Festival X exhibition circuit. The CAO is open Monday to Friday from 10-5, or by appointment.