Maria Gomez Umaña

As visual artist and graphic designer I combine life drawing, vectorial drawing, and laser cutting. My work integrates found objects, wooden cutouts, ceramics, transfers, encaustics and embroidery. I lived in China and Japan between 2017 and 2019 which was an eye opener, and it affects the way I live and the choices I make.

Selected Achievements

  • Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant, Where Is Your Heart? Blink Gallery 2016
  • Selected for Residency Art Place, Ottawa Arts East Art Council, 2015-16
  • British Council Scholarship for MFA at University of Northumberland, UK 1994-95
  • Scholarship for clay workshop with Cynthia Bringle, Haystack school of Crafts, ME, USA 1991
  • Developed formula for ‘Plastilla®’ self hardening clay, sales and distribution, an alternative to black-outs in the city of Bogota, Colombia 1989-99
  • Led ceramics publication ‘Natá’, the only magazine on clay work in Bogotá, Colombia 1989-93
  • Founded and participated in the ten women Artists Collective ‘Artifact’. Outlined organization’s purpose and internal organization, trained on how to facilitate meetings, drafted projects’ budgets and communication strategy. Received provincial grants to paint and document collective murals in Nicaragua and Montreal, 1985-87


  • MFA University of Northumberland, England, 1994-95
  • BFA Concordia University, Montreal, 1984-87
  • Community Engaged Arts Symposium, City Hall, 2017
  • Forest School Practice, Ottawa 2016
  • Artepreneur Art Ottawa East Art Council, 2015 and 2016
  • Collectors Group, Julie Hodgson and La Petite Mort, 2013-15
  • Partners for Youth Empowerment PYE, Creative Facilitation, Ottawa, May 2015
  • CARFAC six webinars on Taking Care of Business, February-March 2014
  • Ontario Arts Council, Let’s talk Mentorship, Toronto, March 2014
  • Power of the Arts National Forum, Advancing Social Change, Carleton University, 2013
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Montreal 2013
  • AMI Elementary Montessori Training, Minneapolis, MN, 2004-06
  • Diploma in Multimedia Creation, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, 2001-02

Professional Career

  • Art teacher at Ottawa School of Art, 2022
  • Educator at Ottawa Art Gallery, 2019-2022
  • Teacher at Ottawa Montessori School, 2019-20
  • Teacher at Tokyo Montessori School, 2018-19
  • Teacher at Shanghai Montessori School, 2017-18
  • Volunteer with West Art Ottawa working group with AOE, 2016-17
  • Gallery Assistant, Sivarulrasa Gallery, Almonte ON, 2016
  • Art Place, a residency program by Arts Ottawa East Art Council (AOE), 2015-16
  • Sales representative at The General Fine Craft and Design Gallery, 2015
  • CNCAC Operations Representative, 2011-14
  • Teacher at Algonquin College, Ottawa, 2009-12
  • Elementary teacher at Bishop Hamilton Montessori School, 2003-12
  • Teacher at Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota 1999-03
  • Teacher at Universidad de la Sabana, 1998-00
  • Director of GAIA Art, Bogota, 1989-00
  • Board Member of Asociación Cultural R. Gómez Campuzano, 1990-92
  • Art teacher at Fundación Rafael Pombo, Bogota, 1983

Solo Shows

  • Remember Breathing, Carriageway Studio, 2017
  • Where Is Your Heart? Blink Gallery, 2016
  • There’s Room, Gallery 101, Ottawa, 2016
  • Veggies, Chinatown Remixed 2015
  • Heal, The General Fine Craft and Design Gallery, Almonte ON, 2015
  • Whispers, Blink Gallery, July 2014

Group Shows

  • Home, ByWard Market, 2022
  • Passion for Action, Shenkman Centre, 2022
  • Mosaic, Shenkman Centre, 2021
  • Poop Meets Soap, Culture Days, Nectar Community Centre, 2019
  • Artifact Archives, Blink Gallery, 2016
  • Selections, Shenkman Arts Centre, 2013
  • Nepean Visual Arts Centre, OMMA exhibition, 2013
  • Text Me, General Fine Craft, Almonte 2013
  • Chinatown Remixed, 2010 and 2011
  • Belonging Patrick John Mills Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, Ottawa 2010
  • Belonging Shenkman Art Centre, Ottawa 2010
  • Art in The Park, Central Park, Ottawa, 2003
  • International Youth Conference (IBBY) Cartagena, Colombia 2002
  • This Is My Body, Centro Colombo Británico, solo exhibit, Bogota, Colombia, 1996
  • Graduation Exhibition, MFA students, University of Northumbria, UK, 1995
  • From The Mind to The Hand, Colombian Centre, NY USA, 1993,
  • From The Hand to The Table, Museo de Artes y Tradiciones, Bogota, Colombia, 1990
  • Art of Prepared Table, Museum of Modern Art, Medellin, Colombia, 1989
  • Ornas, Museo Ricardo Gomez Campuzano, solo exhibit Bogota, Colombia, 1991
  • Nutrición, Cooperartes (Arts cooperative) solo exhibit, Bogota, Colombia, 1989
  • Muestra Joven, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Bogota, Colombia 1988
  • The Individual and The Collective, solo exhibit, VAV Gallery, Montreal, Canada 1987
  • Mural Feast at St Lawrence, Artifact Collective, Montreal, 1986
  • Miniatures, Galeria San Diego, Bogota, 1982

Graphic Design and Illustration

  • Newsletter for Concorde Cohousing, 2021
  • Freelance design for private corporations, Ottawa 2013-21
  • Monthly CNCAC newsletter, Ottawa 2011-14
  • Free Lance illustrator for SNC Lavalin, Montreal, 2010-11
  • Illustrator of book ‘Collie Rescue’ Penumbra Press, Manotick, ON, 2004
  • Free lance illustrator, Mayor’s office, Bogota 2000-03
  • Illustrator for Manual on Pregnancy, Foundation for Human Development, Bogota, 2000
  • First Prize in logo design for Gaia Foundation, Bogota 1998
  • Publisher of ceramic magazine Natá, 1989-91