Neil Gagne




(Ottawa, Canada)










Festival is the first piece I’ve entered into the annual show. I had been meaning to enter in previous years but was either too busy or missed deadlines. It was a great experience participating in the show and meeting Mike Taylor and David Goold. It was also cool to see what others had entered. There were some pieces done in embossed copper that I loved.

The piece “Festival’ that was shown in Young At Art was made during a session of quick abstract paintings that incorporated a linocut print I made of a donkey. I found a painting I had started years ago inspired by Thus Spoke Zarathustra and liked the image of the donkey. The majority of the work was done in one session and I added some slight renderings shortly after. It was done in acrylic, ink, and conté on paper. I really wanted to bury the print and make it sort of ambiguous like a ghost or a shadow or something. I like using symbols and images but tend to take away a lot of the definition so the form gets lost. I recently read a book of David Lynch interviews and at one point he was talking about fragments and how seeing things only partially creates more of a draw. Like how an abstraction can the hold the viewers’ attention more than a clear rendering, or can allow the viewers to come up with their own interpretations of a piece. I find that to be very true and it was cool to hear him talk about that because I’m a big fan.

That piece kind of goes along with my typical work pattern. I tend to sit on ideas for a long time. I think of basic symbols and textures I can use that work with an idea but I don’t usually plan out composition and color scheme or anything until I’m sitting in front of a half-finished painting.







Young at Art Artist Neil Gagne award recipient for artwork ‘Festival’ presented by Mike Taylor, Arts Centre Programmer Shenkman Arts Centre. Young at Art 2013, the first artistic partnership granted on behalf of LEVURE LITTERAIRE . 380 artists have participated in this magnificent competition open to young people aged 12-19 years living and studying in Ottawa, Canada.









































Neil Gagne is a potter and mixed media artist from Ottawa, Ontario. His work deals with coincidence, erosion, and urban environments often through the use of texture. Created during stream of conscious sessions, his work pushes chance and circumstance to the forefront in an attempt to find positivity, humour, and beauty in the banal. His pottery also deals with texture, using rugged and organic forms and colours in his functional pieces.

After graduating Canterbury High School in the visual arts program his work has been displayed in a number of shows including a joint show with two other Canterbury High School graduates in Hamilton, Ontario. He plans to pursue woodworking in the near future and incorporate these themes and aesthetics into the trade.

Neil’s view: “I learned a lot from my parents when I was young. They both attended OCAD in Toronto for visual art. My father makes abstract paintings and sculptures and my mom did a lot of portraiture and illustration, so there was a good balance starting out to get to work in a bunch of different mediums. They always encouraged my sister and I to work on creative projects and we both ended up graduating from Canterbury High School in the visual arts program. I learned a lot there too. Many of my favorite artists were students there, like Jason Guo and Tobin Gibson.

I record some music and write as well. Lately I’ve been collaborating on songs with a friend I made online a few years back who lives in Texas. Nothing has been released yet but it’s possible we’ll put some material online in the future. It’s a lot of fun. As for writing goes I’m always jotting down bits and pieces. I’d love to incorporate text into my artwork but I’m still trying to figure out a way to do so that I’m happy with. That’s something I’ve been experimenting with lately. “

I do a lot of improvising. I find it fun only to have a basic idea for a piece and do several different variations made offhand. It keeps things interesting.



The Works of Emma Dye, Neil Gagne, and Adrienne Scott, 337 Sketch Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario (2012)

The Great Glebe Art Show, Ottawa, Ontario (2012)

Young At Art East, Ottawa Ontario (2013)



Gloucester Pottery School (2009)

Canterbury High School Fashion Show (2010, 2012)

Ottawa Winterlude Mural (2011)

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