It’s a big show of small art at Cube Gallery

By Joseph Hutt –

While Kitchissippi is slowly reviving its holiday traditions, the Cube Gallery is busy hosting its eleventh annual Christmas showing: Great BIG Smalls XI. This diverse collection, on display from November 24 to January 3, will feature over two hundred 12”x12” canvases from 53 different artists.


Great BIG Smalls XI will mark the Cube Gallery’s tenth year of operation, having opened their doors in 2005.

The Great BIG Smalls focus on small works is unique in Ottawa and creates an environment that is welcoming to first-time art buyers as well as veteran collectors. By avoiding the logistics of framing and transporting large canvas works (and the subsequent costs), this small canvas showing remains feasible for those who have the interest but may not have either the finances or space to dedicate to larger purchases.

Clare Brennan, local artist and participant in Great BIG Smalls, says “people see this as an opportunity to pick up things that they haven’t been able to in the past.”

Furthermore, with holidays on the way, an event like this is “just a good idea,” says Cube Gallery owner Don Monet. “People come in with their sweethearts, then they’ll leave, and about two minutes later they’ll pop their heads in and say, “Could you put a red dot on that painting for me?’” Don reminisces.

According to Don, patrons should expect variety when they visit.

“I have eclectic tastes; I like everything,” he explains. “That’s what I think you’re going to see in this show. You’ll see the gambit from flowers and still-life to portraiture to abstract and photography… From heavy hitters who are hanging in the National Gallery to people who are really just painting on the weekends.”

Lindsay Watson, another participating artist, says this kind of variety can make for an odd hodge-podge if a gallery isn’t careful, but she isn’t worried when it comes to the Cube Gallery.

“As an artist, when you are showing, you want your work to look good,” she explained. “You want the people setting it up to be mindful of that, and Don is very good at [arranging an attractive and unified display].”

With the vernissage lined up for November 26, both artists and patrons are beginning feel the excitement leading up to the event.

“It’s funny,” adds Claire. “It is the Great BIG Smalls, but it’s big. It’s energetic… Even though people are just picking up small pieces, it’s always a huge event!”

If being part of the action (and the complimentary hot cider) isn’t enough, think of the Great BIG Smalls as the perfect chance to support one of Kitchissippi’s long-standing independent businesses during the holiday season, not to mention a number of local artists as well.

For more information about the show go to

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