The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto on Queen Street West was the inaugural exhibition for the OO7. This venue was selected as the first, due to the invitation by then curator Noa Bronstein, and as a response to the lack of exhibition opportunities for collective members in Ottawa at the time. The inaugural exhibition did not have a theme, but provided each artist to present existing work, new work, and experimental work outside of their existing practice.
The first OO7 Special Agent was Bonnie Devine, who travelled to Ottawa to meet with the Collective prior to the exhibition. It was imperative that all invited Special Agent artists meet the members to speak to their practice and develop a familiarity with the artists in the Collective.
Since the 007 did not apply for any financial assistance from arts funders, the OO7 were responsible for creating the artwork, packing the work for shipment. A panel van was rented with cost sharing amongst the Collective. Barry Ace and Ron Noganosh picked up the artwork from each artist and then drove to Toronto to install the work.
The second floor of the Gladstone Hotel was the designated exhibition space with the main foyer and wide hallway as exhibiting area, including vacant hotel rooms. Each artist selected their space from a schematic floor plan in advance of the exhibition, and came to Toronto and installed their work. The vernissage took place on November 22, 2012 and drew a steady crowd from Toronto’s Indigenous arts and academic communities.
Through Bonnie Devine, who is the founder of the Indigenous Visual Culture Program at the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U), the OO7 participated in a panel discussion at OCAD and Bob Phillips from Aboriginal Voices Radio came to conduct individual interviews with the OO7, including OO7 Special Agent Bonnie Devine and future OO7 Special Agent Robert Houle. These interviews were edited down for national broadcast across Canada, and recently Bob Phillips generously donated the original interviews that are now available in their entirety and archived on this site.
Exhibition Dates: Thursday, November 22 to Sunday, December 9, 2012
- Barry Ace (Founding Member)
- Rosalie Favell (Founding Member)
- Ron Noganosh (Founding Member)
- Leo Yerxa (Founding Member)
- Frank Shebageget
- Ariel Smith
- Bear Witness
Special Agent: Bonnie Devine
Aboriginal Voices Radio Interviews with Bob Phillips
December 2, 2012 Interview Part 1 with Barry Ace
December 2, 2012 Interview Part 2 with OO7 Collective “Special Agent” Robert Houle
January 6, 2013 Interview Part 1 with Frank Shebageget
January 6, 2013 Interview Part 2 with Frank Shebageget (cont’d) and Rebecca Belmore