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About

There are two aspects of painting which hold a particular interest to me. The first are the qualities of the different colours, individually and in balance with each other. Colour itself is a reason to paint. The second aspect is form, in this case, the form of a creature, be it cat, crow or rat, and how that form speaks of the subject's inner nature. The colour black is an interesting one with which to express this form. It is an impenetrable colour, both mysterious and protecting.

-- Gwendolyn Best

Events 2013

Gwendolyn Best

THIS YEAR'S CHRISTMAS SHOW OPENED AT ORANGE ART GALLERY TO 100 ''MINI BESTS''.
THE SHOW RUNS FROM DECEMBER 5 TO JANUARY 5, 2014. GET THEM WHILE THEY LAST!

Gwendolyn's second Halloween show attracted many new visitors to Orange, including kids, who spent a Sunday afternoon with the artist making Halloween crafts, while surrounded by her magical creatures. Thank you to all who came and enjoyed Gwendolyn's company.

The West End STudio Tour is over for another year. Many thanks to everyone who visited Gwendolyn.

   
   

 

IN LIGHT OF THE HUGE POPULARITY OF GWENDOLYN'S EXHIBIT ON THE PARLIAMENTARY CAT SANCTUARY AT ORANGE ART GALLERY, WE DECIDED TO DEDICATE OUR 2014 CALENDAR TO THE CATS OF PARLIAMENT HILL. 



Gwendolyn's calendars are available in these local stores:
    

In the Glebe:
The Papery 850 Bank Street, corner Fifth Avenue www.papery.ca

In Westboro:
The Village Quire 312 Richmond Road, near Churchill Avenue www.villagequire.ca

In the Market:
Paper Papier  18 Clarence Street, near Sussex Drive www.paperpapier.com

Ottawa Art Gallery:
2, Nicholas Street www.ottawaartgallery.ca

In Carlingwood Mall:
Bestsellers, 2121 Carling Ave. www.bestsellersdvd.com 


Tired Pays and Weary Wings: Remembering Parliament Hill's Cat Sanctuary, 1970's - 2013.

The show, which ran at Orange Art Gallery from May 23 to June 9, was received with great enthusiasm
.

Many thanks to all who showed up, including and especially the cat caregivers.

 

Gwendolyn and Ingrid, owner of Orange Art
Gallery. Gwendolyn's first piece, Cat Sanctuary
of Parliament Hill, can be seen in the
background.

 

Caroline and Dave, who catered Gwendolyn's
opening at Orange. Visit them at The Pantry in
the Glebe Community Centre for a taste of their
delicious and nutritious meals.

Some of the cat caregivers in front of the 
show's signature piece. 

 

Gwendolyn and some of the cat caregivers.

AN ASSORTMENT OF CHARACTERS 

Gwendolyn and some of the cat sanctuary
caregivers at the artist's home.
Thank you
for your loving care of the kitties!

 

"Mini-Bests"

 Sarah Baird's cat cupcakes                                The three amigos

Tired Paws and Weary Wings 

 

Two more mysterious residents of the sanctuary

 

Gwendolyn's exhibit at ORANGE ART GALLERY opened on May 23.

This very special show was a tribute to the four-legged and winged residents of Parliament Hill's cat sanctuary, which was taken down at the beginning of the year. The sanctuary held a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike, and the cats were more often than not the main attraction on the Hill. Gwendolyn has captured the courageous spirit of the animals, and the show was like entering the reflected memory of the sanctuary.

The paintings in the Parliamentary Cats Collection were all inspired by photographs taken of the cats in their "parliamentary habitat". We would in particular like to recognize the four main photographers whose images form the basis of the Collection: Brian Caines, Klaus Gerken, Daniel Taurozzi and Sébastien Badour. Thank you for letting Gwendolyn reinterpret some of the scenes from your pictures. And thank you, Brian, for sharing with us your wonderful stories about the many interesting feline characters who lived on the Hill.

We had a special event at Gwendolyn's home to recognize the caregivers who looked after the animals and who kept the sanctuary open for so many years. They were the guests of honour at the show's pre-opening at Orange.

Please visit (and like!) the Cats of Parliament Hill facebook page, where you can see hundreds of images of the cats taken over the years.

 

   

Gwendolyn is very happy to still be part of the Ottawa Art Gallery's family of artists.
Here she is with Stephanie, the OAG's Office Manager, and several new four-legged gallery residents.
The Ottawa Art Gallery is located in the Arts Courts building at 2, Daly Ave.
GWENDOLYN WILL HAVE A SOLO SHOW AT THE OAG IN EARLY 2014.

 

 

Orange Art Gallery is the official home of Gwendolyn Best's fantastic menagerie of dark creatures. In February 2013, a special Valentine's show was put on for the gallery's artists. Gwendolyn is seen here chatting with Ingrid Hollander of Orange. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Dinesh Anandavel, our wonderful website designer, who has been with us from the beginning, and without whom we would be virtually lost.

   

GOOD-BYE 2012! The Orange Christmas Show looked stunning, and we would like to thank Ingrid and Jim Hollander (seen above with Gwendolyn) for everything they have done for local artists, and especially for helping to make Hintonburg the artistic hub it has become. Gwendolyn could not have found a better home for her iconic dark creatures, and many more of them will emerge from her studio in the year to come. Happy New Year to artists and art lovers alike!

 

WITH THE DARK VISITORS NOW GONE, and the festive season nearly upon us, prepare for new cats and crows to appear. Gwendolyn's next event will be the ORANGE CHRISTMAS SHOW, which will feature a new take on those by now familiar -- and oddly comforting -- creatures. The show opens on Thursday, November 29, and we hope to see you there.

                                        
 

A new take on familiar faces.

 

A GLIMPSE OF THE DARK VISITORS AT ORANGE ART GALLERY. THE VISITORS VANISHED ON NOVEMBER 4.
It was a great show, and many thanks to all who came.

  

PREVIOUS EVENTS IN 2012  


OCTOBER 2012

A Very Gwendolyn Best Halloween www.orangeartgallery.ca

Halloween, as imagined by Gwendolyn, will never have looked so beautiful. Her creatures of the night, which you already know and love, will be presented with a slightly new twist. Bring your kids and initiate them to the wonderful art of Gwendolyn Best. Gwendolyn's very first Halloween show, entitled Dark Visitors, will be at Orange Art Gallery, which is where her animals have their official home.

 

JANUARY 2012 UNTIL TODAY

Gwendolyn Best at the Ottawa Art Gallery www.ottawaartgallery.ca

In fact, Gwendolyn's animals have found another shelter at the Ottawa Art Gallery since 2011. You can either foster (rent) or adopt (purchase) them, whichever works best for you.

Stephanie Germano of the OAG and friends
 

PREVIOUS SHOWS IN 2012 

APRIL 10 - MAY 3, 2012

STARBUCKS (Old Ottawa South, 1124 Bank Street near Sunnyside)

A Pike Place Roast and a Cat to go

Gwendolyn's unique and unforgettable creatures will be sure to enhance your coffee drinking experience. Careful that one of them doesn't follow you home!

Two of Gwendolyn's pieces were donated towards the silent auction for Camp Quality, a charity which recently originated in Australia (www.campquality.org.au), but which operates around the world, and which helps kids with cancer have a summer camp experience. Many thanks to Allen, pictured here with Gwendolyn in front of several of her pieces, for inviting us to be part this worthy initiative.

 

 Allan and Gwendolyn and a hanging menagerie

APRIL 17 - APRIL 30

STARBUCKS (Westboro, 421 Richmond Road near Roosevelt)

When we realized that this Starbucks was also raising money towards Camp Quality, we offered to donate a few pieces, and Angie, the manager, accepted three cats, which we hope will help send more kids to camp.

 

APRIL 21 - APRIL 30

STARBUCKS (Little Italy, 349 Preston Street)

As with the two other Starbucks outlets, this one is also holding a silent auction for Camp Quality, and we were happy to donate a few more pieces, which will hopefully fetch some good bids by the time the event closes at the end of the month. Thanks to Sol and Angela for including us in the fundraiser.

 

APRIL 26 - MAY 13, 2012

ORANGE ART GALLERY (233 Armstrong Street, beside the Parkdate Market) www.orangeartgallery.ca

Cats, rats... and introducting bats!

Discover a new addition to Gwendolyn's mysterious yet charming family of animals, as only she can paint them. Check out the HUGE billboard featuring one of Gwen's cats (ironically named Fido) on the roof of the gallery. (You can find it on Orange's website). The kitty cat looms over the roofscape and adds a touch of the surreal to the Parkdale Market.

See Kristy Strauss' article in Ottawa West EMC (www.emcottawawest.ca), Thursday, May 3, 2012 edition.

 

  

MAY 2 - JULY 2, 2012

LES SAISONS (232 Old Chelsea Road, Chelsea, Qc) www.lessaisonscoffee.com

A Gwendolyn Best Enchanted Spring

Share spring fever with Gwendolyn's delightful creatures at Les Saisons Coffee House, located at the main entrance to Gatineau Park, and take a moment to view the whimsical little youtube clip (gwendolyn best exhibit at les saisons) created by Richard Austin (www.richardaustin.ca) of Chelsea, Quebec.

 

 

 AUGUST 1-30, 2012

FRANCESCO'S (857A Bank Street in the Glebe) www.francescoscoffee.com

A Whole Latte Cats ... with a Side of Rats

Sip a delicious coffee at Francesco's while gazing at Gwendolyn's dark creatrues. Her enigmatic cats and winning, original rats will be sure to pique your curiosity.

Gwendolyn and a few of her coffee cats

 

AUGUST 23 - September 20, 2012

GALERIE 240 (240 Guigues Street in Ottawa's downtown Market area) www.galerie240.com

Summer Menagerie on the Market

Bring your family and out-of-town friends to meet yet more of Gwendolyn's captivating two-legged and four-legged critters, set loose in the Market this time. Meet Gwendolyn at the vernissage, which will be held on Thursday, August 23 from 6 to 9 pm.

Gwendolyn and Galerie 240 owner Brenda Gale Warner on the steps of the gallery. Serenade for Cats performed by Mary Lise Chauvette and Adam Cwin.

 SEPTEMBER 22-23 and 29-30, 2012

West End Studio Tour www.westendstudiotour.ca

Thank you to everyone who came to visit Gwendolyn at her home during the West End Studio Tour. We hope you enjoyed meeting Gwendolyn and seeing her studio, which is where all of those enigmatic creatures emerge from their creator's imagination. 

   

 

PAST EXHIBITS AND EVENTS

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2011

"THE BEST OF ORANGE CHRISTMAS SHOW" - Group Show at ORANGE ART GALLERY, 233 Armstrong Street in Ottawa's Hintonburg art district.

"GREAT BIG SMALLS VII" - The seventh annual Christmas exhibit at CUBE GALLERY, 1285 Wellington West, Ottawa.

"SMALL BLESSINGS" - A Christmas group exhibition at GALERIE 240 in Ottawa's Byward Market.

 

AUGUST 2011

"MOVIE NIGHTS" - A fun-filled summer group show featuring the works of 15 artists, each finding inspiration from their favorite movie. ORANGE ART GALLERY, Ottawa.

"FUR, FEATHER AND FACES" - Paintings by Gwendolyn Best, Ellen Schowalter and Karol Partridge. The STONE SCHOOL GALLERY, Portage-du-Fort, Quebec

 

MAY - JUNE 2011

"CATS, RATS AND RAVENS" at ORANGE ART GALLERY. Opening night, Thursday, May 26. Gwendolyn's first solo show was a great success and expanded her following for her iconic animal creatures.

Dinesh Anandavel, Gwen's web designer, Gwen and Dagmar at Orange Art Gallery (May 2011).

Opening night of "Cats,Rats and Ravens (May 2011).

"Cats, Rats and Ravens" (May 2011).

DECEMBER 2010

"GREAT BIG SMALLS VI" - The sixth annual Christmas exhibit at CUBE GALLERY, 1285 Wellington West in Ottawa.

"FIRST CHRISTMAS SHOW" - ORANGE ART GALLERY, 233 Armstrong Street, Ottawa. Orange has since become the official home for Gwendolyn and all of her enchanging creatures.

 

OCTOBER 2010

"CATS AND CROWS" - A solo exhibit featuring the distinctive style of Gwendolyn Best at the Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

 

JUNE 2008

"WITNESS" - An exhibit of Gwendolyn Best's unique cats at Irene's Pub and Restaurant, 885 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Gwendolyn with "Miowww" at the Orange Art Gallery (February 2011).

Gwendolyn and Richard Banister, owner of Snapdragon Art Gallery (now closed) in front of "Summertime" (January 2011).

Gwendolyn with artists Anita Utas and MaryAnn Camps in front of "Watching" at Orange Art Gallery (February 2011).