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The SPAO Centre is home to the SPAO Centre 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 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.

The SPAO Centre Gallery produces seven exhibitions per year celebrating the work of regional, national and international artists working in lens-based media. Four of these exhibitions pay CARFAC fees to professional exhibiting artists; the remaining three exhibition opportunities are provided to the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa as an opportunity to celebrate the 3 facets of its mentorship structure: the Photographic Arts and Production Program, Part-Time Studies, and International Artist Residency.

OPENING HOURS:

The SPAO Centre Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 12-5, or by chance. Holiday exceptions apply, and hours are subject to change without notice. There is no admission fee and the gallery is wheelchair accessible. 


The SPAO Centre Gallery is honoured to present Roger Ballen: There Is No Outside, the first exhibition in Ottawa of work by the internationally acclaimed South Africa-based photographer. Known for his inspired use of black and white film, Roger Ballen has sparked controversy through his exploration of the shadowy depths of human consciousness. Developing a style he describes as ‘documentary fiction,’ he has collaborated with people living on the margins of South African society to create powerful psychodramas. 

Curated by SPAO’s Creative Director Jonathan Hobin, the exhibition presents a selection of photographs and videos that capture Ballen’s signature mix of raw and surreal imagery, inviting viewers to enter into an uncanny dreamworld. Roger Ballen: There Is No Outside is the first in SPAO’s new series of annual exhibitions that feature an international artist. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Roger Ballen is one of the most influential and important photographic artists of the 21st century. Born in the United States in 1950, Ballen has lived and worked in Johannesburg, South Africa since 1980. By integrating drawing into his photographic and video works, Ballen has made a lasting contribution to the field of art and produced a powerful commentary about the human condition and its creative potential.

Jonathan Hobin is an award-winning and internationally noted photo-based artist and art director. He is currently the Creative and Executive Director of the SPAO Centre (School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa).


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 info@spao.ca; for programming and submission details, please contact gallery@spao.ca.