The New Art Festival (TNAF) is Ottawa’s longest-running outdoor art exhibit. This juried festival features handmade, one-of-a-kind artwork by nearly 200 visual artists working in a wide range of styles and media that reflect artistic excellence, innovation and strong craftsmanship. Every June – rain or shine – thousands of artists and art enthusiasts gather in beautiful Central Park, the Glebe to be inspired in a vibrant, relaxed environment and meet with friends old and new.
The New Art Festival is a community-oriented event for emerging and established professional artists to promote their studio practices and to network directly with the public and their colleagues. Organized to strengthen the connections among artists, the larger arts community and the general public, it attracts thousands of visitors annually. Artists working in all media – from painting to ceramics, photography to wood, textiles to jewellery – travel from throughout Ontario, Quebec and the rest of Canada to participate.
The New Art Festival celebrates handmade, original, one-of-a-kind art. Selling art is a welcome element of the festival and not its sole purpose. The festival does not charge an application fee and organizers do not retain any percentage of artists’ sales.
This free festival is family and dog-friendly. We are a low carbon footprint event that features local food providers and partners with arts supporters in our community.
The New Art Festival is dedicated to creating an event that:
- fosters one-on-one interactions between artists and visitors
- is an affordable and professional opportunity for artists to network with the public and each other
- demonstrates artistic excellence, originality and strong craftsmanship
- increases the public’s knowledge and appreciation of one-of-a-kind creations and artistry
- is community and family-oriented
- has a low carbon footprint
- is a welcoming and enjoyable experience for everyone involved
The festival was founded in 1992 by Ottawa artist Bhat Boy to provide opportunities for up-and-coming artists. Originally known as Art in the Park, it began as a grassroots event with local artists gathering in Central Park for a day of visual art, music, picnicking and merriment under the now extinct huge maple tree in the middle of the lower park.
In 2009, under the direction of Chandler Swain, the festival’s name changed and its criteria focused exhibiting handmade, original, one-of-a-kind artworks. The New Art Festival also became juried in order to maintain a high calibre event and to honour the artists who remain committed to their craft and to the creation of one-of-a-kind artworks. Partnerships with local art businesses and enthusiasts resulted in awards that recognize several of these artists each year.
Today, The New Art Festival remains Ottawa’s original, highly anticipated juried outdoor art exhibit. Featuring nearly 200 artists, this two-day event continues to inspire and engage people of all ages. The New Art Festival is a non-profit event that remains committed to its grassroots beginnings and takes pride in creating a community that artists and visitors return to year after year.