Setting Your Stage: The Art House Café

What do Ottawa venues look for in an artist or musician?

The Art House Café is Ottawa’s newest Café/Gallery/Gift shop/Venue aiming to be a creative hub in the Centretown area. Since opening in February 2017 they’ve been showcasing local artists, as well as hosting live drawing sessions, jam sessions, and even 24 hour study sessions for students to enjoy a coffee while cramming for finals.

“We are incredibly excited about the response we’ve had since opening. We’re also very excited to showcase local art. We want to be able to spread the art to everyone we can,” explains Geneviève Bétournay, the Art Director for The Art House Café. “We have a wide range of visitors and it’s been great to give them an opportunity to discover something new, to buy something made by a local artist.”

The Art House Café has both a gallery and a gift shop that features work submitted by local artists. What kind of work? It can sometimes depend on the theme, but overall it’s a range. “We’re looking for different styles and mediums, as well as price points. We take 1-3 pieces per artist for the three month exhibitions.”

Both the gallery and the gift shop are currently accepting submissions (Deadline 15 May, 2017)!

So, as an artist, what are some things to keep in mind when preparing to show/play at The Art House Café?

For visual artists specifically, having your pieces hang-ready when you drop them off is a must, says Geneviève.  Attitude is also key, regardless of art form. It’s really important to have realistic expectations of the café and its visitors, as well as really recognizing and respecting the work and love that goes in to displaying the artwork and coordinating an event.

The Art House Café is offering a place for those currently working on projects to get inspired, collaborate, and have access to a work space, as well as a space for artists looking to hone their craft or learn something new. They also offer a membership which comes with a discount on services, an hour of free room rental, and a better commission rate.

Above all else, they’re really excited to be working with local artists and artisans and providing people with a platform. “The best part of working with local artists is that feeling you get when you give someone a chance, seeing their excitement. Also seeing the public’s reaction to local art, having them buy local art and meet the artists. There’s a lot of untapped potential locally and it’s been fun getting a chance to lay some groundwork.”

Thinking of submitting or just curious about what The Art House Café has to offer? Check out their website for more details and their events calendar, and follow them on social media!

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Have a favourite venue you’d like us to chat with? Leave us a comment on our social media channels or send us an email!


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