Ottawa Citizen features Jean & Claudette

Private Moments featured in Ottawa Citizen’s city section, October 13th 2005.


The Private Moments Series, including Jean #1, and Claudette were featured in the Ottawa Citizen’s city section on October 13th, 2005. The article covered the Mayor’s Art Festival at City Hall, Ottawa Canada.


Ottawa Mayor Robert “Bob” Chiarelli

Robert “Bob” Chiarelli (born September 24, 1941) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a Liberal member in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who served from 1987 to 1997, and then was subsequently re-elected to the legislature in 2010. He was the Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton from 1997 to 2001 and was mayor of Ottawa from 2001 to 2006. He has served in the provincial cabinets of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.





Ottawa Citizen, The Circus Performer

Ottawa Citizen features The Circus Performer Reconsiders His Options, March 26th, 2005.


Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Canada, Weekend Entertainment Section, features The Circus Performer Reconsiders His Options, March 26th, 2005.


The Circus Performer Reconsiders His Options is part of a series of paintings from Tompalski’s 2005 period which have a predominately blue hue. Others include The Fertility Clinic (shown above), Adolescence and Bandaged Knee (shown below) are from this period.



The Ottawa Citizen art reporters like Peter Simpson of The Big Beat column, have provided a bird’s eye view into the local art scene in Ottawa.  Peter Simpson writes about visual arts, music, books, film and other arts and entertainment in Canada’s capital city. For example his last article before he left his post,  A few parting words on the value of art, published February 25, 2016.


As I reach for my hat and coat and head for the exit, a few thoughts from Michael Findlay’s wonderful little book, The Value of Art. The compact and concise book by the storied New York City art dealer was published in 2012 and revised in 2014, and it speaks to the value of art monetarily, socially and, most of all, as a thing of deep beauty.


Findlay says a lot about art, and any number of his statements can stand as wise parting words for an art critic who is riding off into a Monet sunset. So, here, in no particular order, are a few of Findlay’s thoughts to keep in mind when you’re standing before any work of art. 1. “Art predates money.” 2. “I am not a great believer in attempts to teach art theory to otherwise reasonably well-educated adults. It is far more important and enjoyable to just get out and look at art.” 3. “In science, empirical proof can result in a theory becoming valid or invalid. There is no possibility of empirical proof regarding the meaning of a work of art. . . . Facts about a work of art should not be confused with what it might mean to you.” 4. “What gives a work of art meaning is a sufficiency of observation on our part, and not necessarily with a book in hand or an audio guide in the other.” 5. “The capacity of art to affect the individual on a personal and private level receives increasingly less attention in public discourse than its commercial and social value. . . . The boundaries that used to exist between culture and commerce have largely disappeared from the public eye.” 6. “One of the signs of a decaying culture is a reverence for form over content.” 7. “As the visible tip of the art market, auctions are a useful thermometer of the market’s health only for people who can remember the average temperature, not just yesterday’s heat wave.” 8. “Just as no work of art is made great for having cost a fortune, neither is great art made less great for being sold at a reasonable price.” 9. “Classical, pop, jazz, rock, or rap — many of us feel very comfortable enjoying music without being steeped in either its history or the technicalities of its performance, and we do not really need to be told what it means by an expert. Why, then, when it comes to art, do most of us feel the need for someone else’s words in order to have a fulfilling experience? Living with and really looking at works of art beat all book learning and indeed all conversation about art.” 10. “Art criticism, no matter how eloquent and erudite, attempts to use one language to describe another, very different language but with no dictionary to assist in the translation.”


Here, my 18 years at the Citizen, and this seven-year ride on the Big Beat, come to an end. If I have but one closing thought to share, it’s this: Never be afraid to make up your own mind about how you feel about any piece of art, regardless of what others, even experts, have to say. Art is both universal and personal, and only you can truly know what any piece of it means to you. With that, I’ll turn out the lights, close the door, and part with the words sent along by one artist this week: “Stay big. Keep beating.”



The Preston Catalogue Afghans

Tompalski’s Afghan paintings featured on page 110 of Preston Catalogue No. 09


Publisher/founder Cu Preston Van Ha features Tompalski’s Afghan paintings on page 110 of Cuative & Co published Preston Catalogue Number 9.



Cu Van Ha has over 15 years of experience in print and digital publishing, new media/marketing, design & communications, visual branding, social media marketing and online broadcasting. Cu launched Preston Catalogue, his most successful publication. It is an upscale, fine arts, fashion, dining & design catalogue published in a glamorous & large print glossy format. Preston Catalogue is distributed through Chapters & independent magazine retailers across the country. Cu Van Ha’s media network business, Cuative, also produces online and print magazines plus custom catalogues for condo developers and builders, fashion designers, artists, designers, furniture brands and retailers, plus healthy living and fitness lifestyle with co-founder Jessica Kerzner on Total Fit Magazine.


Thursday Q&A with Cu Van Ha published February 28, 2013 in the Ottawa Citizen

Cu Van Ha founded Mirror Magazine at the age of 22, and later, Preston Catalogue. These days he publishes additional magazines and catalogues for other clients. He was born in Vietnam and moved to Canada at  the age of two, when his family settled in Niagara Falls. He studied design and media at Carleton University’s School of Architecture. Van Ha answered our many questions.
OCS: Who are your style icons? CVH: Robert Redford
OCS: Whom would you invite for dinner if you could choose anyone in the world? CVH: Cindy Crawford
OCS: What’s your earliest memory? CVH: On a boat in Vietnam with my dad and sister
OCS: Proudest moments? CVH: Holding the first magazine I ever published in my hands and seeing it come off the printing press.
OCS: Describe a perfect day off (it can be anywhere in the world). CVH: Relaxing on a boat in Vietnam near the village where I was born.
OCS: Favourite visual artist, living or dead? CVH: M.C. Escher