ADORNATO (1977 – not dead yet) is a first generation Italian-Canadian contemporary artist based in Ottawa, Canada. His subversive and provocative art practice often consists of dystopian subjects with a satirical or irreverent twist. Contentious social issues, climate change and Capitalism-gone-wrong are regular motifs in his paintings, performances, and playful creative outbursts.

Career highlights to date include solo exhibitions at the Diefenbunker Museum (2018), The Ottawa Art Gallery Annexe (2016), group exhibitions at the Bank of Canada’s Currency Museum (2007), the Canadian War Museum (2006), and the Shenkman Arts Centre (2023). His work resides in the permanent art collections of the City of Ottawa, the Diefenbunker Museum, the Ottawa Archives, as well as countless private collections across Canada, Italy, China, and Spain. Adornato has also received grants and awards including the Artist Production grant from the City of Ottawa in 2018 for his neo-medieval series, Dystopia Rising.

In 2014, he drew international attention when he submitted a painting of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) set ablaze by their disgruntled mascot, to the prestigious RBC Canadian Painting competition. Click here to see the RBC paintings, and news coverage. RBC has since cancelled the banal painting competition and retired their mascot.

In 2015, Adornato made an ATIP (Access to Information and Privacy) request to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and discovered a 7-page, mostly redacted police investigation (view here) into his performance art project, #MYPROTEST. It concluded that Adornato “is an eccentric artist” and that his artwork and performances were not a crime.

For more information or pricelists, contact : marcadornato@gmail.com
Representation:  The Ottawa Art Gallery Annexe, or message him directly.


NSCAD University, Bachelor of Fine Art degree, Major in Media Arts, Halifax, NS, Canada. 2001

The Ottawa Art Gallery Annexe, or contact directly – marcadornato@gmail.com

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2020    Dystopia Rising, a COVID Christmas lockdown studio exhibition. See the exhibit and artist talk here.
2018    Ruined Landscapes, The Diefenbunker Museum, Carp, Ontario
2016    I’ve Got Some Bad News, Ottawa Art Gallery, Art Rental and Sales Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
2016    Ruined Landscapes, OZ Kafe, Ottawa, Ontario
2015    Arbie Goes Rogue, Railbender Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
2014    We’re So Screwed, The Manx, Ottawa, Ontario
2013    WOOD, Grey Area Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
2013    Hunting Dissent, Umi Cafe, Ottawa, Ontario
2012    I Have Much To Report,The Hintonburg Public House | Shanghai | The Daily Grind, Ottawa, Ontario

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023    Ottawa Icons, Shenkman Art Center, Ottawa Ontario
2022    Religious Art, St. Anthony of Padua Church, Ottawa, Ontario
2022    Art & Parcel, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
2021    OAG Virtual Art Auction, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
2020    OAG Virtual Art Auction, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
2020    COVID-19 Art Auction fundraiser, Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa, Ontario
2019    Le After Party, Annexe Gallery, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
2019    Ottawa Riverkeeper Gala, Ottawa Riverkeeper, Ottawa, Ontario
2018    LUCK, Ottawa Arts Council, Ottawa, Ontario
2016    City of Ottawa Direct Purchase exhibition, City Hall, Ottawa, Ontario
2016    LUCK, Ottawa Arts Council, Ottawa, Ontario
2015    Exploring the Intersection of Art and Progress, Marc Adornato/Jonathan Hobin, TheBroadbent Institute Progress Summit, Ottawa, Ontario
2013    UFOs over Ottawa, Nuit Blanche Ottawa, Grey Area Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
2013    Create this Revolution, Gallery 101, Ottawa, Ontario
2012    Colin Campbell, Iím Yours, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
2012    Human Zoo, La Petite Mort Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
2012    Candela, The Cube Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario (People’s Choice Award)
2011    Timeraiser, National Art Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
2007    Sacred Money, Damned Money, The Currency Museum, Bank of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
2006    Weapons of Mass Dissemination: The Propaganda of War, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario
2003    Art vs. War, Gallery 101, Ottawa, Ontario

2022   Artist residency at Maker Space North, 250 City Centre Ave Bay 216, Ottawa
2013 – Present:    Resident artist, UNION 613 and Jabberwocky, 315 Somerset St W, Ottawa

Grants and Awards:
2022    COVID-19 artwork and HERO poster of Zexi Li are inducted into the City of Ottawa Archives.
2019    2 month research & travel grant to the Venice Biennale, Rome, Florence, Naples, Berlin, and Athens.
2019    Political Art research grant to The Bread and Puppet Theater, Vermont, USA.
2019    Loon Choir Album Cover, National Arts Centre album release party, April 26.
2019    Juror for City of Ottawa public art commission, Rosemount Library Hintonburg.
2018    City of Ottawa Creation and Production Fund for Professional Artists – funding the painting series ‘Dystopia Rising’
2018    Self-Awarded art research grant to Armenia, Georgia, and Turkey to study Icons, and Byzantine Art.
2017    Juror for City of Ottawa Creation and Production Fund
2017    Self-Awarded research grant to Paris and the Netherlands to study Art History of the last 500 years.
2012    People’s Choice award for Cube Gallery’s Candela exhibition.

Selected Artist Talks
2020    Dystopia Rising exhibition artist talk on YOUTUBE. Watch it here.
2015    ArtPreneur Conference, Innovative Artists, Harold Shenkman Hall, Shenkman Arts Centre
2015    Pecha Kucha, Ottawa Chapter, Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa
2015    ShoufenTalks, Jackpine, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
2015    The Technology Of Protest Past and Present: #MYPROTEST, Department of History, Carleton University, Ottawa
2014    Guest Artist Lecture, Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario
2013    Create This Revolution, Gallery 101, Ottawa, Ontario
2012    A decade of making art, PECHA KUCHA Vol.6, Shopify Lounge, Ottawa, Ontario
2006    Guest Artist Lecture, Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa ON, Canada
2004    Un-censoring: MediaMorphosis conference, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario

Selected Radio, Media, & Television
2020    CBC radio / Radio Canada TV, COVID-19 Mural on Chateau Lafayette in Ottawa’s Byward Market, Ottawa, Ontario.
2018    Ottawa Now with Evan Solomon, CFRA 580 radio, Ottawa, Ontario
2017    The Secret Lives of Public Servants, featured artist, A Canada 150 Webseries, Youtube
2017    All In A Day – my thoughts on LA MACHINE,hosted by Alan Neal, CBC Radio 1, Ottawa, Ontario
2015    All In A Day – about #MYPROTEST art projec hosted by Alan Neal, CBC Radio 1, Ottawa, Ontario
2015    As It Happens – About Arbie Goes Rogue with Carol Off& Jeff Douglas, CBC Radio 1, National Radio,Canada
2014    Regional Contact hosted by Joel Haslam, CTV Television, Ottawa, Ontario
2013    Click Here hosted by Mitchel Caplan, CHUO 89.1FM radio, Ottawa, Ontario
2012    The Artisan hosted by Sterling Lynch, Rogers Television, Ottawa, Ontario
2012    All In A Day hosted by Alan Neal, CBC Radio 1, Ottawa, Ontario
2009    All In A Day hosted by Alan Neal, CBC Radio 1, Ottawa, Ontario
2007    Talk Ottawa hosted by James Hendricks, Rogers Television, Ottawa, Ontario
2006    Arts Review hosted by Alvina Ruprecht, CBC Radio 1, Ottawa, Ontario
2005    Daytime hosted by Derick Fage, Rogers Television, Ottawa, Ontario

Selected News Media & Bibliography and collaborations
2022    COVID-19 artwork and HERO poster of Zexi Li are inducted into the City of Ottawa Archives.
2020    COVID-19 mural on Chateau Laff in the Byward Market, CBC and
2020    Cover Art  collaboration for Ben Caplan’s O Holy Night, with Jamie Kronick.
2019    CBC Arts, Why Marc Adornato is painting ruined landscapes and mass shootings
2019    Cover Art for Loon Choir Album, In The Age Of Alienation.
2018    Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa artist’s disaster ‘hacks’ of older paintings at Diefenbunker, Peter Hum, April. 4
2017    Ottawa Citizen, The Secret Lives of Public Servants exposes hidden talents, Tom Spears, Oct. 23
2017    CBC News, Ottawa artist Marc Adornato sees flattery in imitation, Mario Carlucci, Jan 18.
2016    CBC News, ‘Bad news’ exhibit remakes the familiar into the political, Mario Carlucci, June 23.
2016    APT 613, Marc Adornato has some bad news for youî by Brenda Dunn, June 21.
2015    CBC News, Ottawa artist’s Christmas Eve installation turns into ‘online scavenger hunt’, Dec 26.
2014    Huffington Post, RBC Branch On Fire Painting Likely Won’t Win RBC Contest, Oct 7.
2014    ArtNet News, A Bank’s Painting Prize Gets an Incendiary Response, Ben Davis, Oct 4.
2014    The Ottawa Citizen, The Calgary Herald,One artist’s fiery protest against a bank and its annual painting prize, Peter Simpson, October 2.
2014    The Ottawa Citizen, A Penchant for the Past, Jessica Rose, D8.
2014    Guerilla Magazine, Martyrs and Messiahs, Tony Martins, Vol.10, Issue 39, pg. 3
2014    LoveOttawa.com, the historical and inspirational aesthetic of old Ottawa, D.Brown.
2013    The Ottawa Citizen, 10 to see at Nuit Blanche, Peter Simpson, D7-D10
2013    The Ottawa Citizen, There is really no limit, Drake Fenton, pg C3
2013    Herd Magazine,The Beaten Track, Claudia Gutierrez, pg12-15
2013    Ottawa Magazine, Dialing Back, Fateema Sayani, pg 33
2011    Zouch Magazine Marc Adornato: An Artist Repurposed in Canada, Meghan Clarkston.
2011    APT613.ca,The Art of Volunteering, Francois Levesque.
2009    Ottawa Magazine, Take The Cash, FateemaSayani, pg 21
2008    Ottawa: The Unknown City, Expensive Art, Rob McLennan, pg 28
2006    The Ottawa Citizen, War seen through young artists eyes, Peter Simpson, D4
2005    VOIR Magazine, La guerre et l’art, Line Dezainde, pg 12