Urban art walkabout
Obviously, not everyone is into spiders. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s up to you to decide if this soon-to-be mother is protective or menacing outside the National Art Gallery’s front entrance. This towering bronze sculpture by renowned French artist Louise Bourgeois stands nine metres tall, looming over anyone who ventures beneath her for a photo op.
Listen for the twinkling jazz keys of Oscar Peterson near the
National Arts Centre, where visitors are invited to sit next to Peterson’s commemorative statue. Unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in 2010, the homage to the late Canadian jazz virtuoso from Montreal was created by artist Ruth Abernethy. The legendary pianist’s output still continues to influence music today.
Its name alone will charm children, and can be found in Jeanne d’Arc Court in the ByWard Market. This was the first public art piece by an Inuit artist from Nunavut placed in Ottawa. When not making art, Pauta Saila supplemented his livelihood as a hunter. He said that this carved bear is playing the way he saw real bears play on the ice field.
Want to explore the city for more urban art? This map and app allows visitors to self-guide their own public art tour. The many murals, sculptures, and galleries that pepper Ottawa’s downtown are the perfect treasures to find on this hunt. It’s also a great way to get to know the city, with many bars and cafés to stop at along the way. downtownrideau.com/ culture-walk/