Like everyone else, I was born. My mother’s hand, below, says this about that:
My father was in the air force, stationed at Whitehorse.
I think about a couple of 22 year-old kids, living in military-style housing, in winter, in the Yukon, in the 1950s … it was probably a great adventure.
Three brothers and a sister followed – all born in different parts of the country. We moved around a fair amount. I went to several schools, was not a particularly great student.
Upon leaving the nest, I followed the same pattern of moving around the country that our family had followed. Then there was a bit of time at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, more time studying computers in Montréal, living Out West, Up North and Back East, starting a family, and every now and then … making artwork.
Settling in the national capital of Ottawa, I eventually got involved with the local arts community. I joined a couple of organizations and participated in many group exhibitions. At this time, I was mainly painting.
Once I started working for the City of Ottawa, in 2005, it looked like my painting was beginning to figure out where it wanted to go. With the opening of Shenkman Arts Centre in 2009, and my position there as Arts Programmer, my efforts at painting stalled and I gave up a beautiful studio space. My job took a lot of time and energy, but I loved it.
Creative people can’t be kept from creating very long, so I slowly followed up on another passion that had been kindled in high school: photography. I was interested in all kinds of subject matter. I loved to learn and to shoot. The only issue was time. The job, and family, gobbled up most of it. I still managed to get into a few exhibitions – group, and solo.
At the end of October, 2020, the Year of COVID, I retired from the City of Ottawa. After coordinating over 400 gallery exhibitions, displays and events, being through many jury processes and organizing school visits by thousands of children, I am now a free agent, an emerging local artist and will be focusing on my own photography. I will also continue to support other local artists as much as I can. Please see the Community and Projects sections of this site to find out what’s going on.
Thanks for taking time to visit. Peace.
A little more info:
Mike Taylor worked for the City of Ottawa, with the majority of his career as an Arts Programmer at Shenkman Arts Centre, in Orléans. While with the City, Mike coordinated hundreds of visual art exhibitions, displays and events by local, regional, and international artists and arts organizations, including Baz’Art, Shenkman Arts Centre’s annual winter arts market.
Mike developed and coordinated the Centre’s Arts à la carte program, which brought local and regional elementary students to the Centre for workshops with Gloucester Pottery School, Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa School of Theatre and Tara Luz Danse.
Mike serves regularly on exhibition juries for visual arts organizations in Ottawa and provides guidance to emerging artists – most recently, through the Mentorship Program at Arts Network Ottawa.
A visual artist, Mike’s primary focus is on photography, but for several years painting was his main form of creative expression. With photography, he has several interests. He captures moody, natural or urban environments in one stream, another is a re-created world of fantastical beings realized through a mirrored-image effect in a point and shoot camera (called Mike’s Mods). Since retiring from the City in 2020, Mike is now available for collaborations with other artists or organizations for artwork and event photography, video production and exhibition installation.
- February 2021 issue of TearSheet PDX fashion and art magazine. Collaboration with jewellery designer Kenna McCall and model Kali Jessop.
Photography Exhibition History:
- Wave – a Return, Zakz Hair’n Lounge, Ottawa
- Shenkman Arts Centre Resident Arts Partners Staff Group Exhibition, LaLande + Doyle Exhibition Space, Shenkman Arts Centre (Mods)
- Coronatherapy, group exhibition, Zakz Hair’n Lounge, Ottawa
- Friendship Show III, group exhibition, Studio Sadej, Navan, Ontario (Mod)
- Ottawa School of Art 8X8 Fundraiser Exhibition, group exhibition, LaLande + Doyle Exhibition Space, Shenkman Arts Centre
- Arts Network Ottawa Holiday Mixer, group exhibition, Exhibition Space at Arts Network Ottawa, Shenkman Arts Centre
- Ottawa School of Art 8X8 Fundraiser Exhibition, group exhibition, OSA Orléans Campus Gallery, Shenkman Arts Centre
- Revenge of the Mods, solo exhibition, Stone School Gallery, Portage-du-Fort, QC (Mods)
- Group Exhibition, Oh So Good Desserts, Ottawa (Mods)
- Wave, solo exhibition, Il Primo Ristorante, Ottawa
- Friendship Show, group exhibition, Studio Sadej, Navan, Ontario
Painting Exhibition History:
- Mainworks Artist Studios Open House
- Mainworks Artist Studios Open House
- Black and White, group exhibition, Cube Gallery, Ottawa
- Dreaming in Colour, juried Arteast group exhibition, Gloucester Gallery, Orléans
- Selections ’07, juried Arts Ottawa East group exhibition, Cumberland & Gloucester Galleries, Orléans
- Guilty Pleasures, juried Arteast group exhibition, Gloucester Gallery, Orléans
- Crisis? What crisis? Solo exhibition, Electric Gallery Co-op, Ottawa
- Group exhibition, Gallery 7A, Ottawa
- Black, White and In-Between, juried Arteast group exhibition, Gloucester Gallery, Orléans
- BLAST!, juried Arteast group exhibition, Gloucester Gallery, Orléans
- Selections ’06, juried Arts Ottawa East group exhibition, Cumberland & Gloucester Galleries, Orléans
- Rothwell Hauk Gallery, Ottawa
- Rites of Spring, juried Arteast group exhibition, Gloucester Gallery, Orléans
- Sélections ’05, juried Arts Ottawa East group exhibition, Cumberland Gallery, Orléans
- Arts Ottawa East’s Luncheon for the Arts, Pine View Municipal Golf Club, Ottawa
- Rothwell Hauk Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
- Refuge, juried Arteast group exhibition, Gloucester Gallery, Orléans
- Gloucester Arts Council’s Luncheon for the Arts, Pine View Municipal Golf Club, Ottawa
- Travel Treasures, juried Arteast group exhibition, Gloucester Gallery, Orléans
- Two-person exhibit, Blackburn Hamlet Library, Ottawa
- C.S. Co-op Bank branches group exhibitions, Ottawa
- Arteast Show and Sale, Blackburn Community Hall, Ottawa