The Hunt is on in Chinatown

Blog post by Steven Artelle

Kristina Corre is all about making Ottawa’s arts scene more visible—by hiding it. But before you scour the city for hidden creations by Corre and her fellow artists, the wild things of the Amazing Art Hunt will be corralled for a time in Chinatown.  In this evolving Remixed exhibition at In-TAC Accounting & Taxation Services (725-205 Somerset St. W.), works will be on display for one week, and then Corre will set the pieces loose in neighbourhoods throughout Ottawa, all part of her energetic promotion of local talent, which she also champions on her #goodthingsottawa blog: http://goodthingsottawa.ca/

Until the end of Chinatown Remixed, anyone interested in contributing a panel to Corre’s project can visit awesomearthunt.tumblr.com/artists

Here are Corre’s thoughts on concentrating all that creative energy in Chinatown:

Tell me about your Chinatown Remixed project.

The Awesome Art Hunt is a project funded by an Awesome Ottawa awards grant.  The project’s tagline is that “good art shouldn’t be hard to find,” and so along with a bunch of talented friends, and practising local artists and makers, I’m going to be making 115 pieces of original art and hiding them around Ottawa.  Chinatown Remixed will be the base for seeing the pieces and finding out about the contributing artists before the work is hidden throughout the city.

How did you get involved in the festival?

Adrienne Vicente, one of the festival committee members introduced herself to me at an Artistic Showcase. It turned out we both had a lot of creative ideas to bounce off each other, as we’re both very interested in community initiatives and the arts.  A couple days after the Showcase we met at the Shanghai Restaurant to share ideas, she introduced me to Don Kwan, and they both good-heartedly peer pressured me to submit a proposal. 

The original proposal that got me accepted to the festival is actually quite different from the Art Hunt.  I proposed a project where I would photograph the neighbourhood’s restaurant owners at work in their kitchens, but by the time I tried to get the project started the Chinatown collective members that I reached out to were already crazy busy trying to co-ordinate the festival.  It was a matter of amazing timing that my Awesome Ottawa award was announced as I was trying to co-ordinate this, so I mentioned the Art Hunt as Plan B and they gave me the go ahead to run with it.

Do you have any other creative connections to Chinatown?

I don’t yet, but one of the reasons I’m looking forward to opening day at Chinatown Remixed is the opportunity to meet all the artists, event organizers, and business owners who are interested in creating beautiful, symbiotic relationships between arts and the life of the city.

Have you checked out the venue for your work? How do you think your work will transform or interact with that space?

It’s the 1970’s-ish looking brown brick building beside the Greek church, and my affiliated business (In-TAC Accounting & Taxation Services, 725-205 Somerset St. W.) is a small, busy accounting office accessed by a side door at the end of a hallway on the building’s second floor.  I have found possibilities on the building’s exterior for me to display work during the opening day celebrations.  Part of the charm of Chinatown Remixed is that art is displayed in unusual spaces.  The long hallway and second floor location of my affiliated business actually encourage a more Easter-egg like approach to how I display the Art Hunt Gallery for the long-term duration of the festival.

You have a city-wide art project in the works. How does your Chinatown Remixed show fit into the big picture?

Remixed will provide a base venue for people to check out all of the pieces and learn about the awesome contributing artists before the pieces go out into the world.  The plan is to have a rotating collection on display, so that each piece will be shown in the building for a week or so before being hidden throughout Ottawa by either myself or the artist.  It’s awesome that the festival, which uses art to promote this one neighbourhood, gets to be the base for a project that intends to do the same at the bigger scale of the city.