Art underground: Ottawa’s Basement Artists
Ottawa’s Basement Artists are a local group of visual and audio artists who hold one of the best underground arts events in Ottawa. Basement Artists deserve a huge shout-out because this group is not only noteworthy, but also an event that is must see.
Basement Artists is held at different restaurant or bar around downtown Ottawa each month, and caters to both lowbrow and highbrow art crowds. The events are usually $10.00, and tickets can be purchased either at the door, or in advance from one of the artists. The whole point of this collective is to get the word out on fantastic local visual artists, usually with a local musical artist providing the entertainment.
The most recent venture to a Basement Artists show, my third, on December 1st yielded an excellent musical performance by local singer-songwriter Courtney Thorman, and with about a dozen visual artists with a wide-spectrum of tastes and influences, the event saw a good size crowd pack the Velvet Room in the ByWard Market.
This is the type of event I always seem to enjoy; a group of artists coming together in a grassroots movement to promote not only their work, but the idea that Ottawa has a thriving arts community (even if the three levels of government don’t seem to want to put any serious money into the arts in the National Capital Region). It is up to the community to create, promote and celebrate events like this: Basement Artists get it right on all levels. Last night, I walked away from a great event, an article in hand, a fantastic print of a Spider-Man sketch by local artist Noah Moses, and a sense that not only have I supported the underground arts community in Ottawa, but that I get to endorse it as well.
The next Basement Artists event is going to be held on Sunday, December 12th from 7:00 to 11:30 p.m. at Mercury Lounge. Tickets are $10 at the door, and proceeds will go to the Max Keeping Foundation.
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