FAP:O 1.09 – with David Barbour

  • Date: October 8th, 2013, 7pm
  • Place: Pressed Urban Gourmet Sandwich Shop
  • Speaker: Dave Barbour
  • Topic: A Career In Photography.
  • Recording:  FAP:O #9 (by Mike Vuckovic)

Dave talked about his career in documentary and editorial photography where his personal work was always his entry into paying work. This led to a discussion of the current state of documentary photography.


He also talked about “Home”, his current project and upcoming exhibition at City Hall Gallery

FAP:O 1.08 – with Jonathan Browns

FAP:O #8 was held at City Hall Art Gallery to see the 2012 Direct Purchase show with Jonathan Browns. About fifteen came.

Jonathan gave a presentation of the Direct Purchase program.
  1. Q: What is the best strategy for using the initial ten images – cover your work or concentrate on one series? 
    1. A: Focus on what is being offered for purchase in the ten images. Use the artist’s bio to fill out your experience and the artist’s statement to explain the series. 
    2. Keep it all as concise as possible because the jury has a lot to go through and a long-winded statement will be forgotten much more easily than one that gives a concise statement.
  2. Q: How can drawing jury members from the local arts community be fair as they all know each other and emerging artists might have a hard time getting in.
    1. A: In fact it has worked very well in Jonathan’s more than ten year’s experience.
      1. The jury members are chosen after the submissions are made to allow artists to submit. The jury is chosen from those who haven’t submitted.
      2. The juries have been different each year with their own dynamics and personalities.
      3. The juries have always gone out of their way to include emerging artists, sometimes by excluding senior artists.
Current city programming for the City Hall Gallery ends this year with Raymond Aubin up in October and David Barbour in November-December.
The Karsh-Masson Gallery has closed in its old space and will be reopening next to the City Hall Gallery early in 2014.
During a tour of the works, with emphasis on the photographic, there was a discussion of how the works get placed around the city.
  1. With 500 facilities, 150 of which have city collection art, 90% of the collection is out at any one time, with room for much, much more.
  2. The jury has never been asked to choose according to what might be palatable to the public. Difficult pieces are taken and Jonathan’s job is to find a home for them. This has never yet been a problem.
  3. One senior administrator has stated that she wants works that will impress visitors to her office with the idea that there is much more out in the world than they might have expected.
During our final discussion Jonathan was told that we originally got together with the idea of raising the profile of photography in the community and he was asked if he had any advice on that subject.
Jonathan said that his impression is that Ottawa has a very strong photo community, stronger than most artistic communities in Canada, with:
  1. Festival X (We have since learned that FestX is being dissolved)
  2. SPAO
  3. Ottawa U
Festival X’s (& Nuit Blanche’s) struggles were mentioned and this brought out the question: Why doesn’t the city help such efforts when they have not yet become established, as Toronto & Paris do, when they so obviously benefit the city?
We heard that:


  1. The city has a funding formula, with a set of criteria, that prevents any organization with a short track record from getting funded.
  2. Nuit Blanche was refused this year. It is in only its second year AND the leadership has changed so it is essentially a first effort. The first year was funded in four Ontario centres through a Trilium grant.
  3. The city has an Events department which might help local efforts but exists mainly to coordinate with larger Provincial & National efforts.
  4. Canada Council used to have exploratory grants but stopped that long ago.
We ended with thanks all around, with Jonathan pleased by the discussion in a setting where he has often presented to a mute audience, and many of us thanking Jonathan for such an informative presentation and discussion.


FAP:O 1.07 – Filling the vacuum

  • Date: Thursday, June 13th, 2013, 7:00- 9pm
  • Place: Blue Bird Coffee
  • Speaker: None. Jake Morrison started with an introduction
  • Continuation of discussion about the “vacuum” for fine art photography in Ottawa.
  • Recording: FAP:O #7 (by Mike Vuckovic)
  • Handout: A proposal for an online magazine.

Jake started with an introduction drawn from Michele Wozny’s transcription of last month’s session and his own experience.

  1. Festival X
    1. THE main player in the space of making fine art photography important in Ottawa
    2. Stressed to get it done each two years
  2. Building on the Karsh Legacy
  3. Create a “conversation” – artists need to articulate their vision and engage with other artists and with interested public about it. Few artists ARE articulate about their vision so skills training and encouragement would be central.
    1. Encouragement
      1. FAP:O itself
      2. Online magazine project – handout of a class project in designing a magazine
      3. Michael Vuckovic’s photokibitz.com, where photographers talk about their work

Further discussion focused on


  1. Events to hook up with
    1. Festival X
    2. Nuit Blanche
  2. Venues for display
    1. Galleries
    2. Restaurants
    3. Street
  3. Events to create
    1. Street pop-up
    2. multi-venue festival in a small area of the city
    3. A grouping of photo artists by their expressed theme for group display a la London’s “Spectrum” photo exibit a few decades back.

FAP:O 1.06 – with Michael Tardioli

  • Date: Wednesday, May 8th, 2013, 6:30 – 9pm
  • Place: Pressed Urban Gourmet Sandwich Shop
  • Speaker: Michael Tardioli
  • History of SPAO and why analogue photography remains central to its vision.
  • Recording: FAP:O #6 (by Mike Vuckovic)
  • Transcript: Discussion (by Michele Wozny and Jake Morrison)

Michael gave us a short history of Michael Tardioli, photographer, as that led to the opening of SPAO.

He then talked about how SPAO continues with its wet darkroom and large format film camera curriculum because it

  • offers large format at a reasonable price
  • large format offers a different view of the world than 35mm

Discussion centered on


  • SPAO students not getting a chance to learn digital printmaking
  • the “vacuum” (Louis Helbig’s word) that exists in Ottawa around fine art photography .

FAP:O 1.04 – with Louis Helbig

  • Date: March 11, 2013, 7pm
  • Place: Pressed Urban Gourmet Sandwich Shop
  • Speaker: Louis Helbig
  • Topic: Using the example of two of his projects, Beautiful Destruction (about the Alberta Oil/Tar Sands) and Sunken Villages (about the aftermath of the St Lawrence Seaway) artist and aerial photographer Louis Helbig discussed art for its own sake and as a means to unpack and understand contemporary issues using that most important and potent faculty – our imagination.
  • Recording:  FAP:O #4 (by Mike Vuckovic)

FAP:O 1.01 – with Jim Lamont

  • Date: December 7th, 2012, 7pm
  • Place: Pressed Urban Gourmet Sandwich Shop
  • Speaker: Jim Lamont
  • Topic: Size Matters, a presentation of the issues around image content, print size and the logistics of print size.
  • Recording: FAP:O #1 (by Mike Vuckovic)

About 15 – 20 people came to this inaugural meeting of FAP:O. Jim spoke and presented example prints. A lively discussion followed. EXACTLY what I had hoped for!

FAP:O 1.05 – show and tell

  • Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 6:30pm
  • Place: Pressed Urban Gourmet Sandwich Shop
  • Speaker: None. Show and tell
  • Topic: Three members brought something to show.
  • Recording: none made

Jake Morrison started by showing his recent projects in presenting the images from his cubist photography efforts, a home-made lightbox and minimalist stainless steel frames for transparencies..

Maureena Kokotailo brought prints united by a feeling of place and asked the question: What makes you take a photograph?


Michael Vukovic showed his prints of old Montreal.

FAP:O 1.02 – with Jake Morrison

a presenteation of work inspired by David Hockney’s wonderful complication of photography in the early 1980s

  • Date: January 14th, 2013, 7pm
  • Place: Pressed Urban Gourmet Sandwich Shop
  • Speaker: Jake Morrison
  • Topic: Cubist Photography, a presenteation of work inspired by David Hockney’s wonderful complication of photography in the early 1980s.
  • Recording: FAP:O #2 (by Mike Vuckovic)

I so much enjoyed putting this work out there. Most valuable for me were the suggestions of interesting things to do with the work.