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PDA Projects: the new work of two U of O grads

Anne Marie Dumouchel, Google Love, 2014, 43 x 43 Inches, Digital Print on Rag Paper Ed. of 5
Image courtesy of PDA Projects.

Two graduates from the University of Ottawa’s master of fine arts program have come together to open a brand new art gallery in Ottawa.

Snider and Brendan A. de Montigny are the creative minds behind PDA Projects, which stands for — you guessed it — Public Displays of Affection. The gallery is set to open Aug. 16 with a first exhibition that will feature five artists, including a current U of O master of fine arts candidate, Anne-Marie Dumouchel.

The owners wanted to create a space that promotes discussion and inspires new perspectives, and ideas among art enthusiasts.

“We want to develop a community of inclusivity and dialogue about Canadian art,” says de Montigny. “We want PDA to be an ethical shared space for artists, critics, curators, and audiences of different backgrounds.”

In just five months, they created a gallery they hope will give people a new perspective on visual art and the creative process. They’re using their distinct backgrounds and experiences in the art world and taking cues from what’s happening in other major Canadian cities in order to best represent Canadian art.

The Public Displays of Affection name acts as the gallery’s theme. As de Montigny describes, “It takes more than one person for PDA to occur. PDA Projects is really about bringing together all different types of artistic practices and bringing different people into the fold.” The acronym also works in French, as Pas D’acronyme.

PDA hopes to represent up to 10 artists in the near future, from various schools of art including painting, drawing, sculpture, video, and photography. There will be ongoing calls for new artists over the course of the next year. Art students are welcome to participate as well, provided they’ve produced professional work for at least two years.

“We want to be active players in the local community and foster national artists within this space,” says Snider. “We also think it’s important to bring a level of excitement to everything we do.”

She and de Montigny will also be hosting several workshops, such as introductory team building and art appreciation classes. They’ll even be hosting an art happy hour in the month of September and the first Tuesday of every month thereafter. The owners hope the event, rich with wine and conversation, will help further develop the artistic community in Ottawa.

PDA will participate in Ottawa’s third annual Nuit Blanche, on Sept. 20 with an exhibit called En Masse.