Art Lending of Ottawa: Art for everyone

by Leslie Firth

What is Art Lending of Ottawa? What sets it apart from a commercial art gallery?

Art Lending is a non-profit cooperative whose sole purpose is to connect local artists with the community of art lovers in Ottawa. We want to see our art on your walls! The unique aspect of Art Lending is right there in its name. Unlike in most galleries where purchase is the only option, our art can not only be bought, it can also be rented for a fraction of the cost of purchasing. If you fall in love with the piece and can’t part with it after the three-month rental period, you can re-rent again and again. If you decide to buy after renting, every dollar you’ve paid to rent will be applied to the purchase price. One customer at a recent show had just moved into his first home and wanted to replace his old posters with original art. Given the cost of a new house, the more affordable option of art rental was the perfect solution for him. Another customer, one of our regulars, has an “art lending wall” in her house and likes to try out new art there frequently.

Another difference between Art Lending and an art gallery – we do not have a permanent space. We hold four one-day shows at the R.A. Centre on a Saturday in March, June, September and December. Each of our 35 artists has gone through the jurying process to be accepted into Art Lending and can bring up to five pieces to each show. You will find a wide range of style, subject matter and media on display at each Art Lending show – truly something for everyone.

Here are just two of the artists whose works will be on display at our March show:

Christiane Kingsley is a resident of Riverview Park and has been an artist member of Art Lending for over five years. She is an award-winning painter in watercolour, acrylic, oil and mixed media. One of her watercolour series is of stone carvings, particularly carved heads over archways in Venice and on the Gothic façade of the Canadian Parliament. She loves to paint leaves with light or water shining through, and a lot of her work includes the shimmer of gold leaf or pewter.  She is well known for her Arctic and African series in pewter.  Her most recent focus is large oil paintings of flowers. Kingsley is an explorer at heart and loves to try new surfaces, new styles and techniques.  From Renaissance-inspired art to modern abstracts and mixed media, Kingsley’s artwork embraces it all.

“Golden Hour in Tuscany,” acrylic painting by Shelly Amor

Shelly Amor is one of a group of 13 artists new to Art Lending this year. Born and raised in Ottawa, she has had many creative careers that have influenced her art: landscape architect, high school art teacher and wearable design artist. This artistic journey has led her to her present career as a full-time artist. Amor describes her style as fauvist, depicting the world in vivid bright colours. “My acrylic paintings depict various locations I have visited in the last few years, as seen through my kaleidoscope eyes,” she says. “My bright palette reflects the joy of the day and my leanings as a fauvist artist. These jeweled colours raised my spirits these past two years, and I hope they raise the spirits of those who view my work.”

Kingsley, Amor and all of the Art Lending of Ottawa artists look forward to seeing you at our show on March 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the R.A. Centre at 2451 Riverside Drive. Admission and parking is free. Submit your name at the door for a chance to win a door prize.

If you can’t make it to the March show, mark your calendar for our next one on June 24. Find out more at, Facebook: /artlending613 and Instagram: /artlending613.

Leslie Firth is an artist member and board member of Art Lending of Ottawa.


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