The Ottawa Art Gallery hosts a community-engaged mural created by MASC artist Claudia Salguero with students from Viscount Alexander Public School.

OTTAWA, June 3, 2021: This summer, the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is delighted to host a special display of the community-arts project The future awaits created by MASC artist Claudia Salguero in collaboration with MASC intern Edgar Hernandez and grade four students (ages 9 to 10) at Viscount Alexander Public School. This project is part of MASC’s Awesome Arts program, which allows participants of all ages to explore issues important to their community through the arts.

The virtual vernissage and preview of the mural and the students’ individual artworks on exhibit at the OAG will take place next Thursday June 10, 2021 at 11am. The artists and students, as well as Ottawa City Councillor of Rideau-Vanier Ward Mathieu Fleury will be in attendance. 

“Over the past year, the OAG has been looking for ways to connect more closely with the communities around us. We knew that MASC was already doing great work in these neighbouring communities, so it seemed like a natural partnership. It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to showcase some homegrown talent at our gallery.”

Michael Davidge, Manager of Learning and Engagement at the OAG.

For the Awesome Arts ‘Mini Series’ this spring, Claudia and Edgar led a series of virtual workshops, with art supplies included. Each student worked on individual paintings that Claudia then combined to create a large mural representing “hope, endurance, beauty and freedom,” and leading us “towards the future with determination, consciousness and grace,” as she says in her artist statement.

The mural, and individual pieces by each student, will be on display until September at the OAG. This fall, the mural will be installed in an exterior, public location in Strathcona Heights. 

“This is an incredible opportunity for the students to view their work on display at a professional gallery in their neighbourhood. It’s sending such a strong message to them: your work has value; your creativity has value; you have value. At the end of such a difficult school year, this program has really uplifted the students’ spirits and they are thrilled to have their art celebrated.”

Jessica Ruano, Community Program Coordinator for MASC. 

The Awesome Arts ‘Mini Series’ was supported by Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa, a program presented by Arts Network Ottawa and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Ottawa Community Foundation. MASC is also grateful for funding from the Cajole Inn Foundation

About the artists:

Claudia Salguero is a Colombian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist who believes in art as a tool for a better society. Working in collaboration with different social institutions, she has created more than 40 community murals in Ottawa since 2014. Her murals are created with the participation of people from all backgrounds and corners of the city.

Edgar Hernandez is a media artist based in Ottawa. An Aguacateco-speaking Mayan from Guatemala, he works in sculpture, film, media projection, and digital technologies in order to ask difficult questions related to habitat renewal, conservation and restoration. He is an active community volunteer and a member of the Eagle and Condor collective.

About MASC:

MASC brings the arts and culture alive for over 120,000 children, youth, teachers, and seniors each year. Founded 30 years ago, this Ottawa-based community arts organization represents a roster of 138 professional artists of diverse backgrounds, who offer workshops, performances, artist-in-residence programs, and professional development in all artistic disciplines, including music, dance, drama, literary arts, media, and visual arts. MASC currently offers over 600 programs, of which 200 are offered virtually to schools and communities across Canada.

About Ottawa Art Gallery:

The OAG is an independent, not-for-profit, charitable organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. It was founded in 1988 as the Gallery at Arts Court by a group of local artists and community leaders and renamed the Ottawa Art Gallery in 1992. As a leader in the arts community, OAG presents new ideas and provide a cultural meeting place to actively promote relationships and exchanges between artists and various diverse facets of our community. OAG explores and reflects on diversity and social change through a spectrum of visual arts practice, focused on but not exclusive to the region in a national and international context. Over time, the OAG has built a significant permanent collection that now numbers more than 1,020 works including paintings, sculpture, graphic arts, photographs and new media.

For more information, or to arrange for interviews with Claudia Salguero, the Ottawa Art Gallery, or Viscount Alexander Public School, please contact Jessica Ruano, MASC Communications Director and Community Program Coordinator, at 613 806 0398 or