The Art House Café - Gen & Joe

The Art House Café - Gen & Joe

The Art House Café

Owner: Gen & Joe
Neighbourhood: Centretown
555 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 5K

Photography  @rothbauerphoto

Photography @rothbauerphoto

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Joe : I've been in Ottawa since 2007, and I love it here. I enjoy creativity and contrast, and I'm passionate about logistics.

Gen: I've spent most of my life in Ottawa and started my journey in the local art scene in 2015 through Studio La Mouche, representing artists and selling artwork in various formats. I'm on a bit of a mission to make art more accessible and present in people's everyday, and I strive to promote creativity in every way possible.

We met in June of 2016 and started working together from day one.

How long has the Art House Cafe been around?

Since Feb 10 2017 =)


What was the inspiration to create a hub for Artists?

We noticed an under representation of local artists in this city and beyond, despite the presence of a tight knit, vibrant arts community, and the limited availability of artist resources and communication. We also wanted to create a space that was a hybrid of several business models to bring people together and expose them to art and culture.

When not at the Art House Cafe, what do you do for fun?

Gen likes to experience live music and organize. Joe likes to spend time with his daughter and fix broken things.

What inspires you as a business owner?

Gen: seeing wonder, inspiration and collaboration in people that come through our space.

Joe: I love connecting with people and helping them experience life fully, sometimes for the first time in a long time.

How many artists have been featured at AHC?

A few hundred. We know more accurately that since opening our doors, we've paid just under 200 artists for work(s) sold.

As a business in the arts what is the biggest challenge? 

Balancing our desire to give to the community while trying to pay our bills.

Is there a story behind the building/house?

Joe saw this house in its former dilapidated state several years ago and was inspired to make an art-driven space. The current owner of the house bought it in the summer of 2016 and completely rehabilitated it, keeping most of the rich history intact. The house was built around 1870, so it's rich with Ottawa heritage.

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