Local photography school adds new-old talent to faculty


(Via School of Photographic Arts Ottawa)

The School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa is small, but pound for pound it’s among the most successful, unique art schools in North America.

Now, the founding director’s original student and two of SPAO’s leading graduates are returning to help “usher in the next stage of evolution and growth at SPAO,” says founding director Michael Tardioli.


Jonathan Hobin


Whitney Lewis-Smith

Jonathan Hobin
, the controversial photographer whose work has shown around the world, and who is
“one of Canada’s most polarizing contemporary visual artists” (CBC Q), returns as Creative/Executive Director. Hobin was Tardioli’s first student before SPAO existed.

Whitney Lewis-Smith, whose images of nature and mortality are in collections
including the City of Ottawa and the private collection of Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire, returns as Darkroom Instructor.

Processed with VSCOcam with a4 preset

Olivia Johnston

Olivia Johnston, whose work considers gender, vulnerability and art history, returns as Photographic History Instructor.

“We’ve assembled a great team to usher in the next stage of evolution and growth at SPAO,” Tardioli said. “My vision was of a place where the culture of photographic arts would develop a community, and that students would become leaders of that community. It’s a romantic narrative and one that is about to come to fruition.”

SPAO is also expanding its board of directors, building partnerships and making key changes for growth in its second decade.

SPAO is an independent, not-for-profit photographic visual arts school and registered private career college, and offers some of the best programming of its kind in North America. It offers full-time and part-time courses in Ottawa’s ByWard Market.

"Theatrics" by Jonathan Hobin

“Theatrics” by Jonathan Hobin

"What Came in With The Flowers"

“What Came in With The Flowers”

OttawaStart Staff



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