The art of showing a Sokolowski


© Anon A Netflix film




OTTAWA, February 14, 2018 – Alpha Art Gallery owner Edith Betkowski-Sokolowski and her life partner and artist Dominik SOKOLOWSKI cannot resist the call of love. From February 14 to 18, 2018, the Gallery will be showing a brand new series of SOKOLOWSKI’s famous heart-themed canvasses. Vernissage to be held on February 15 from 6pm to 9pm.

Says Edith Betkowski-Sokolowski: “The whole event stems from our desire to give something back to our friends, followers and community for the hope, support and opportunities they have given us over the years, and to celebrate, through artistic expression, humanity’s most desired state: love and peace, without which we are nothing.”

The 2016 “Love and Peace” event, gala and exhibition – including the now famous “bed-in” – was a huge public success, with over 50 Hearts paintings sold. Since then, collectors and followers never stopped asking artist SOKOLOWSKI to create more of those Hearts to spread love; this continuation of the original “Love and Peace” series is the artist’s response, a celebration of life, peace and altruism. Many of the new paintings are dedicated to such icons, creators and game-changers as Oprah Winfrey, Coco Chanel, David Bowie, Elon Musk, John Lennon, etc.

Says SOKOLOWSKI: “What keeps me inspired is the idealistic belief, promoted in the 60’s by John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s creative music and actions, that love and altruism can change the world, notably as a promoter of peace.”

Almost as famous as SOKOLOWSKI’s 2016 Hearts series was the 11-day “bed-in” he and Edith Betkowski held that year. That is why, bowing to popular demand, the SOKOLOWSKIs will stage another bed-in, beginning February 14 at 10pm and ending on Sunday, February 18. The bed-in is sponsored by Byward Market’s Mezzanotte Bistro Italiano. For the duration of the five-day live installation, the public and the media are encouraged to visit the gallery, take part in discussions and share their hopes and ideas.

Located at 25 Murray Street, Ottawa Alpha Art Gallery is a multifunctional exhibition, meeting and working venue where art lovers and collectors are able to get close to the works of aspiring and established artists from Canada and abroad – and to the artists themselves.

For more information, please contact Edith Betkowski-Sokolowski at 613-882-8789 or, or Alpha Art Gallery at 613-241-7671.


OTTAWA, 14 février 2018 – La propriétaire de la Galerie d’art Alpha, Edith Betkowski-Sokolowski, et le peintre Dominik SOKOLOWSKI ne peuvent pas résister à l’appel de l’amour. Du 14 au 18 février 2018, la Galerie présente une toute nouvelle série de tableaux de SOKOLOWSKI, inspirés par le thème du coeur. Le vernissage aura lieu le 15 février 2018 de 18h à 21h.

« Ce qui nous inspire et nous stimule, c’est l’envie de remercier nos amis et notre communauté pour l’espoir, l’appui et les occasions qu’ils nous ont si généreusement données au fil des ans », déclare Edith Betkowski-Sokolowski, « et de célébrer, par l’expression artistique, ce que l’humanité désire le plus : l’amour et la paix, sans lesquels nous ne sommes rien. »

L’évènement, le Gala et l’exposition de 2016 – y compris le fameux « bed-in » – ont eu un succès retentissant auprès du public : près de 50 tableaux ont été vendus. Depuis, collectionneurs et amis de la Galerie n’ont jamais cessé de demander à SOKOLOWSKI de peindre d’autres coeurs; cette suite de la série originelle « Amour et paix » est la réponse de l’artiste qui célèbre ainsi la vie, la paix et l’altruisme. Plusieurs des nouvelles peintures sont un hommage aux créateurs, innovateurs et icônes de notre temps : Oprah Winfrey, Coco Chanel, David Bowie, Elon Musk, John Lennon, etc.

« Mon inspiration », déclare SOKOLOWSKI, « a pour origine la croyance idéaliste, exprimée avec tant de créativité dans la musique et les actions de John Lennon et Yoko Ono dans les années 60, que l’amour et l’altruisme peuvent changer le monde et promouvoir la paix. »

En 2016, le « bed-in » de 11 jours de SOKOLOWSKI et Edith Betkowski avait été presque aussi célébré que les coeurs peints par l’artiste. Comme le public et les médias en redemandaient, les SOKOLOWSKIS ont décidé d’en organiser un autre, qui se déroulera du 14 février à 22h au 18 février. Le bed-in est commandité par le Mezzanotte Bistro Italiano de la rue Murray à Ottawa.
Pendant la durée de l’installation, le public et les médias sont fortement encouragés à visiter la galerie, à participer aux discussions et à partager leurs espoirs et leurs idées.

Située au 25 rue Murray, à Ottawa, la Galerie d’art Alpha est un espace multifonctionnel où les amateurs et les collectionneurs d’art peuvent admirer de près les œuvres d’artistes en herbe ou plus connus, œuvrant au Canada ou à l’étranger, et interagir avec ces artistes.

Pour plus ample information, veuillez communiquer avec Edith Betkowski-Sokolowski au 613-882-8789 ou à, ou avec la Galerie d’art Alpha au 613-241-7671.

Martin Rondeau Vernissage Thursday February 16th, 2017, 6-9pm


Solo exhibition from February 15th, 2017

Act of FATEOR (confession) enables man to confront his passions and desires head on, freeing him from his inhibitions and opening him up to self-reflection. It is only through the letting-go of suffering and our fixationon the past that we can experiance the infinite present, the moment of eternity when everything is illuminated and becomes just.
Artist and Photographer, Martin Rondeau, explores these paradoxical themes through the haunting and seductive pieces in his new series of work.
But why is it that man is often sofiercely compelled to confess? Perhapes it is that our repressed emotions can become so overpowering that they must be translated into words or images in order to escape. It is through the catharsis of confession that we cese to suffocate ourselves emotionally. It is through confession that we can begin to heal.
by Stéphane Le Duc

Mathieu Laca Vernissage Saturday October 29th 2016, 4-9pm


Solo exhibition from October 28th to November 20th, 2016

Mathieu Laca will exhibit over twenty new paintings showing his mastery of portraiture at Alpha Art Gallery in Ottawa. But it has nothing to do with conventional portraits. The artist cares very little about resemblance. If he evokes historical icons and artists of the past, members of his informal pantheon, it’s as much to pay tribute as to vandalize visually. His process includes abstract digressions, monstrous impasto, unpredictable spatters. The result stands as invigorating totems of culture, mad faces in front of the existential nothingness.

Vernissage de Mathieu Laca samedi le 29 octobre 2016, 16h-21h


Exposition du 28 octobre au 20 novembre 2016

Mathieu Laca exposera à la galerie Alpha à Ottawa une série d’une vingtaine de nouvelles toiles démontrant toute sa maîtrise du portrait. Mais attention, il ne s’agit pas de portraits conventionnels. L’artiste s’intéresse peu à la ressemblance. S’il évoque les personnages historiques et les artistes de son panthéon personnel, c’est afin de creuser les apparences et d’en puiser de multiples digressions abstraites, des empâtements monstrueux, des éclaboussures fantasques. Son art se situe à la frontière de l’hommage et de l’irrévérence. Ses portraits s’articulent comme autant de totems vivifiants à la culture, visages hallucinés face au néant existentiel.

The Art of World Peace

Ottawa Life Magazine | January 22, 2016


Edith Betkowski and Dominik Sokolowski in front of the artist’s Heart painting. Photo by Eric Murphy. 


From February 10 to 21, Alpha Art Gallery is completely dedicating its walls, and plenty of the floor, to love. In their Love and Peace exhibit, gallery owner Edith Betkowski and artist Dominik Sokolowski will spend 11 days and nights on a bed they’ve set up in the gallery, surrounded by Sokolowski’s meticulously detailed heart paintings.


The first day of Lennon and Ono’s Amsterdam Bed-in. Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

This living exhibit is inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s two 1969 ‘Bed-ins,’ where the couple famously spent a week in bed, first in Amsterdam, then in Montreal.


Alpha’s Bed-in is also meant to be a message of peace, and Betkowski argues that symbols like that are as relevant now as they were in 1969.

“How, with all our education and experience, we’re still not able to keep the globe at peace?” she asks. The exhibit’s living element is also something Ottawans often miss out on in the art world.

“Nobody has ever seen anything like that in Ottawa,” Betkowski notes. “Why not bring art to the level of New York, where they have performance art all the time?”

The gallery owner is adamant that there will be no cheating in the exhibit. All their meals will be brought to the couple in bed, and they are only leaving for two nights. The first will be on the 12th, to attend a Valentine Gala Betkowski has been organizing at the Museum of History – more on that later – and the second night will be to go dancing at the Mercury Lounge.

“They also have a bed for us there,” Betkowski points out.


edit1-e1453501547154Edith Betkowski and Dominik Sokolowski will spend 11 days and nights on a bed in the Alpha Art Gallery.


The bed-in is only one aspect of the Love and Peace exhibit. Alpha will also host a number of poets and guest speakers who will discuss love, and of course, there will be the hearts.

Sokolowski’s heart paintings are a more detailed take on his geometrical style that emphasizes colour and found objects. During the gallery’s press conference there was only one heart painting from Sokolowski’s collection on display, but promotional photos suggest the hearts will come in a wide range of sizes and colour schemes.

Although it’s easy to see hearts as kitschy, especially around Valentine’s Day, Sokolowski elevates the symbol with the gorgeous fields of colour and the found items. Each work holds an incredible collection of tiny objects from the artists’ life. There are lines of pins from a clothesline, pieces of Edith’s sewing machine, gifts from friends, comic book pages and lego men. These items are artifacts from Sokolowski’s life and many represent his connection with the people he loves.

“Every time I lose an earring the second one goes automatically on the painting,” Betkowski laughs. “I have to really watch my buttons. If I lose one before I have a chance to sew it on it’s already on a painting.”


A fish-bone a friend gave to Sokolowski. Photo by Eric Murphy.



Found items in Sokolowski’s ‘Heart’ painting. Photo by Eric Murphy.



Sokolowski’s ‘Heart’ Painting. Photo courtesy of Alpha Art Gallery.



 A close-up of the ‘Heart’ painting. Photo by Eric Murphy.



Sokolowski’s painting above the gallery bed. Photo by Eric Murphy.


By adding these real pieces from his life, Sokolowski turns each painting into an autobiography, and elevates the once-stale heart symbol. Trust me, if the works start off looking kitschy at all, take a few steps closer.

Dominik Sokolowski turns 40 next month, so in celebration of the milestone, he’s painting 40 hearts. 37 of them will be up for sale in the gallery, and he’s donating three to CHEO. Those three extra paintings, which in honour of the CHEO teddy logo are named papa-bear, mama-bear and baby-bear, will be auctioned off at the Valentine Gala, with 100 per cent of the money raised going to the children’s hospital.

Organizing the non-profit gala is a big way for Betkowski to give back to CHEO. Over the last 20 years, she’s spent far too much time there. When Betkowski’s daughter was born, the girl suffered from heart failure. A serious heart surgery left her in a coma for five weeks, and she’s since had more work done on her spine and foot.

“Facing a dying child on life support, five weeks in a coma, when everyday you don’t know what’s going to happen next…you realize how fragile life is,” Betkowski says. “How quickly it can be taken away by war, by sickness.”

Although war and sickness may seem like impossible opponents, Betkowski and her husband are doing what they can to fight them next month. The fundraising gala is practical as the bed-in is idealistic, and both are worth the visit.

Tickets for the gala are $200 per person. The event will take place on February 12, three days into the Love and Peace exhibit. If you want to have a chat with Betkowski or Sokolowski you’ll be able to find them on their bed in the Alpha Art Gallery from the 10th to the 21st. You can find out more about both events at


February 12, 2016 · 7pm – 2am


You are invited to a sensational evening of art, culture and experience. This sumptuous gala at the Museum of History is the climax of SOKOLOWSKI’s eleven-day exhibit Love and Peace, February 10-21, 2016 at the Alpha Art Gallery, 25 Murray Street, Ottawa.

With his 40th birthday this February, SOKOLOWSKI is painting 40 Hearts to celebrate humanity’s most desired state: love + peace, without which we are nothing.

In a desire to give back, Sokolowski will donate three of his signature Hearts paintings — papa-bear, mama-bear, baby-bear — to be auctioned during the dinner on February 12. Of the money raised,100% will be donated to the CHEO Foundation.

Inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s creativity, music and idealistic belief that love can change the world, SOKOLOWSKI pays homage to their work. SOKOLOWSKI + ONA (the Polish word for she) is an eleven-day, live installation during his exhibit Love and Peace.

Evocative of John and Yoko’s Bed-in for Peace, SOKOLOWSKI and his wife Edith will pay tribute with a dramatic performance art event. The couple will reside for eleven days and nights in their bed at the gallery, surrounded by the enigmatic paintings of the Hearts.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world.
– Imagine by John Lennon

For the duration of the eleven-day live installation, media, public speakers and guests are encouraged to visit the gallery and take part in discussions and sharing their ideas. SOKOLOWSKI’s hope is to inspire the community — both local and international — to pause and to reflect on what is truly important: love + peace. This is a desire to shift the energy of the world, moving our attitude and hearts towards love, peace, giving, sharing and saving the planet and our humanity.

The artist wants to remind us that no matter how successful we are or how much money we have, when faced with sickness we turn into helpless and humble creatures. We must remember to support each other.

We encourage you to join us in giving back. Donate to a cause that is close to your heart.

Special guests to be revealed

Stay tuned to learn the identity of our very special guests. Visit for up-to-the-minute, breaking news.

The Details

Join us to celebrate love at the Valentine Gala in the main hall of the Canadian Museum of History. Tickets are limited and can be purchased at Alpha Art Gallery, 613.882.8789.

Tickets: $200 per person
Location: Canadian Museum of History, 100 Laurier Street, Gatineau, QC
Underground parking available at a cost of $6 for the evening
Elegant dress — don’t be shy to be creative and artistic


The Program

7 pm
Welcome by event hostess, Edith Sokolowski

Jazz performance by Quebec singer France Maisonneuve, with complimentary champagne, recommended by world-renowned sommelier, Veronique Rivest

Appearance by our guests of honour – TBA

8 to 10 pm
Four-course, gourmet dinner catered by La Distinction, with by wine pairings sponsored by Liane Côte (E&J Gallo Winery Canada) and Veronique Rivest (Soif | Bar à Vin)

Auction of SOKOLOWSKI’s Hearts paintings in support of the CHEO Foundation 

11pm to 2am
Dance to the lively, energetic Ottawa band “SWAY”
Take-home goody bag, with gifts donated by local businesses.