Join us on Saturday, June 16 from 5-7pm at the SPAO Centre for Parfocal Lens: Challenging Canadiana, the second session in our 2018 visiting artists’ lecture series. Enjoy refreshments, good company, and gain a deeper appreciation of the art on display in the exhibition currently on view (until July 1) in the SPAO Centre Gallery, CANADIANA: Selections from the Art Bank Collection.

The curator of the exhibition, Johanna Mizgala, will join exhibiting artists Denis Farley, Lorraine Gilbert and Angela Grauerholz in a far-ranging conversation about contemporary Canadian photography and sense of place. In her curatorial statement, Mizgala claims that the artists in the exhibition have turned their attention to the land “as a site of interaction, of conflict or of contemplation.” The conversation will redefine the terms of what constitutes Canadiana.


Denis Farley lives and works as a professional artist and photographer in Montreal. His work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States and Europe, and is part of several private and public collections.

Lorraine Gilbert is currently the Graduate Program Director for Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa. Her works have been featured in solo, group and two-person exhibitions such as Global Nature and The Tree: From the Sublime to the Social.

Angela Grauerholz is a German-born Canadian photographer, graphic designer and educator living in Montreal. She was won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2014, and the prestigious Scotiabank Photography Award in 2015.

Johanna Mizgala, curator of the House of Commons Heritage Collection, is an educator and art critic who has lectured and published extensively on contemporary and photo-based art. She is committed to dialogue and interpretation of art and photography to a wide diversity of audiences.


On June 17, taking place between 10AM-4PM, SPAO will be hosting portfolio reviews open to the general public with the curator and three of the participating artists from CANADIANA: Selections from the Art Bank Collection. These Portfolio Reviews will coincide with our lecture series, Parfocal Lens: Challenging Canadiana. A small group of photographers and photo-based artists will have the opportunity to have their work reviewed by Johanna Mizgala, Denis Farley, Lorraine Gilbert, and/or Angela Grauerholz

Only fifteen portfolio review opportunities are available. Five spots are available for participants to work with all four reviewers, at a cost of $75; ten spots are available for participants to work with only two reviewers, at a cost of $45. Participants wishing to work with only two reviewers may select the artists they wish to work with, but SPAO cannot guarantee availability of the selected reviewers. Participants may present a physical portfolio, prints, and/or works on a laptop or tablet. Reviews are 25 minutes each. PLEASE NOTE: In the event that a reviewer is unable to attend due to circumstances out of their control, SPAO will substitute another reviewer to fill their spot. Refunds will not be provided.

** $75 spots are sold out! To register to work with all 4 reviewers, contact**

image by SPAO alumna Angelina McCormick

image by SPAO alumna Angelina McCormick

The SPAO Centre is home to the SPAO Gallery, the Ottawa region's only independent and critical gallery space dedicated to photographic and video art. Located in the heart of Little Italy, within SPAO, the SPAO Gallery is close to Ottawa's new Light Rail Transit system, Dow's Lake, and the Arboretum. The Gallery is a short walk from other arts hubs, small businesses, museums, restaurants, nightlife and entertainment.

Gallery programming includes the exhibition of photographic and video art work by emerging and established artists, working locally, nationally and internationally. For inquiries or partnerships, contact; for programming and submission details, please contact