Nuit Blanche Ottawa 2012
Last weekend Ottawa experienced our first ever annual Nuit Blanche event, an-all night arts festival where museums and art galleries open their doors free of charge for the public to view their pieces. Traditionally included in this celebration is music, film and dances performances. Nuit Blanche, the french term, literally means "White Night", playing on the fact that the city becomes alive for one night around town. It was first founded in 1984 by John blaise in Nantes, France, where the celebration eventually passed on to other cultural cities such as Barcelona, Naples, and Havana. Now, Nuit Blanche is celebrated in over 120 cities around the world, and Ottawa can now proundedly say we are added to the list… and successfully so!
Ottawa's Nuit Blanche 2012 was nothing short of a success. As my first time taking part in Nuit Blanche activities I was really impressed with how many people showed up and how many great things there were to see and do. The event started at 6pm and was schedule to go until 4am. We started our Nuit Blanche adventure around 9pm, when the crowds were already in full swing. Our first stop was the Saw Art Gallerly, which is located at the Old Ottawa Jail Hospital. There were DJs in front, and the first piece was Saw (pun intended) was a large interactive black board mural painted on the wall with "Before I die I want too..." where people could write their dreams down in chalk. It was quite inspiring to read everyone's responses that ranged from "Before I die I want to own an alpaca" to "Before I die I want to change the world".
Walking inside, the fun continued. There were a couple contemporary pieces, and then of course video. One piece entitled "LIGHTSOUNDPLAY" took us some time to figure out. A dark hallway was sectioned off with white fabric. Along the fabric where displays with light. As the viewer moves through the piece, the lighting and sound reverberated in tune. It was quite an experience.
Next we went over to the other side of the building to the Ottawa Art Gallery. The first room featured new artists from 2010-2012, including a piece from Jonathan Hobin. After leaving this exhibit we took some time to take part in a little art project where we created our very own pet meteorite out of rocks, glitter, and national geographic background displays.The following room had a large wood-contructed piece (displayed below) reminiscent of kinetix.
After that we headed towards the market, where we followed a procession of people on stilts playing accordions and the guitar for a walking tour of Clarence St. Then we headed over to the market to have some fun with the pop up Canadiana photo booth by Apartment 613. Apartment 613 is a local blog in Ottawa featuring stories on art, culture, music and events in the city. The photo booth, run by their very own writers featured a Canadiana outfits of plaid and fur and an appropriately themed backdrop of snow-covered mountains. You can check out the fun photos here.
Finally, we checked out some of the art galleries in the area, with one of them featuring a live painting. Check out the artists in action:
Overall, it was a fabolous night and a great way to get out, see your city, interact with others and take in some art and culture. If you didn't get a chance to attend this years Nuit Blanche activities, be sure to next year!