Newest work and work in progress is here 

Other kinds of art projects are here



1972-1973, 1991-1995, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design

2009 recipient Established Artist Recognition Award, Nova Scotia Arts & Culture Partnership

2015 recipient Visual Art Award, Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design 

2015 - present, teaches oil painting at Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Solo exhibitions


       January - February: 

       'Sauna: Divine Comedy', Finlandia University Art Gallery, Hancock, Michigan



       'The Business, or, A Sydney River', installation for Lumière, downtown Sydney


       'Levitating Woman', installation, Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, Sydney



       'Onni Nordman: Maalaus',   Galleria-Artika, Helsinki

       April - May: 

       'Zehn Stiere / 10 Bulls' and artist-in-residency,

       Pasinger Fabrik Kultur- und Bürgerzentrum München / Munich



      'Onni Nordman: Paintings', Saint Francis Xavier Art Gallery, Antigonish NS


      January - April:   

      'Please Describe Yourself',  University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery I, Sydney  NS



      'Recent Works'  University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery II, Sydney NS



      'New Paintings and Prints'

      University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery II, Sydney NS



      'Recent Paintings from the Last Century'

      University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery II, Sydney NS


      September:   'Lost on the Longest Day of the Year',  Multicultural Art Gallery, Pier 21, Halifax  NS 

      June-July:     'The Seven Wonders of Sydney',  

      University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery I, Sydney NS  


      July:   'Telepod Disaster', OO Gallery, Halifax NS


     July:   'Onni Nordman/July 93',  Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax NS

Group Shows


     November - Decenber: 

     'Underpinnings: Celebrating 130 years of NSCAD'

     NSCAD Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax

     September - November: 

     'Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity', 

     Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax

     September - October:

     2017 Nova Scotia Art Bank Purchase Exhibition, Inverness County Centre for the Arts

     September: 'Postcards From a Dream',  Lumière 2017, Sydney NS


     September - October:

     2017 Nova Scotia Art Bank Purchase Exhibition, Inverness County Centre for the Arts

     March:  'David Tuck: Friends and Ashes', Eastern Edge, St. John's, Newfoundland


     November:  'Capture 2014',  Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Yarmouth NS

     September:   'XXPRXXCODX ( Express Code )', Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, Sydney 

     October:  Lumière 2015, Sydney NS

     August:  'Art of Awareness 2015', Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, Sydney NS

     June:    'Capture 2014',  Acadia University Art Gallery, Wolfville NS


     January-March:  'Capture 2014'  Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Halifax NS

     June:  'Art of Living 2014', Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, Sydney NS


     June:  'Art of Living 2013', Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, Sydney NS


    September:  Lumière 2012, Sydney N.S.

    January:   'ProletariArt'  University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery, Sydney NS


    October:  Lumière 2011, Sydney NS


     August-September:  'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning'

     University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery, Sydney NS

     February: CB Stage Company Show, Sydney NS


     July: Coastal Arts Initiative, Mt. Carmel Center, New Waterford NS

     August: Coastal Arts Initiative, Cape Breton University Art Gallery II, Sydney NS


     June-August:  ‘Elegies and Effigies: Material Remains’, Mount Saint Vincent     

     University Art Gallery, Halifax N.S.

     March: ‘MacNeil, Moir, Nordman’, Cape Breton University Art Gallery II, Sydney NS


     December:  'Life Drawing in Sydney & Antigonish: A Classic Tradition', Saint Francis     

     Xavier Art Gallery, Antigonish NS


     November: Sueandailies Gallery Inaugural Show, North Sydney N.

     June- September: 'Happenings: New Work by Artists from the Permanent Collection',

     University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery I, Sydney NS

     August: 'in.sight Gallery Reunion Show', UCCB Gallery II, Sydney NS

2003,  2002,  2001,  2000,  1999,  1998 

      in.sight Gallery, Sydney Mines NS

 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998

       Pierscape, Whitney Pier N.S

  2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995

       Cape Breton Artists Association

  University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery II, Sydney NS


      ' Industrial Strength'

      Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax NS


     'Collective Viewing'

     Saint Mary's University Art Gallery, Halifax NS

1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991

     Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax NS

1994, 1993, 1990

     Technical University of Nova Scotia, Halifax NS

1987, 1986, 1985

     Ecphore, Halifax NS


Nova Scotia Art Bank

Cape Breton University permanent collection

CBC Nova Scotia

Kyösti Kakkonen, Finland

Minova Corporation, Finland

POP Pankkiliito osk. Bank Group, Finland

private collections Nova Scotia, St. John's Newfoundland, Montreal Quebec, Ottawa Ontario, Toronto Ontario, Calgary Alberta, New York, Munich, Prague, Dublin, Tallinn, Dubai, Melbourne, Helsinki, Turku, Lahti, Joensuu.

Book covers

Mona Knight  'Banjo Flats'  Boularderie Island Press, 2017

Dr. Heather Sparling  'Reeling Roosters & Dancing Ducks: Celtic Mouth Music'  Cape Breton University Press, 2014

Jason Holt  'Feeling Fine in Kafka's Burrow'  AB Collector Publishing, 1994

Paintings in film

What Are Families For?         1993, director Ted Kotcheff

Recent Projects

2015: Cabot Trail Writers' Festival, poster image.

2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013: Art of Awareness and Art of Living projects with CB Regional Hospital Cancer Clinic; shows at Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design and Membertou Trade and convention Centre.

2013: Jacques Heurtubise Project: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia ArtSmart Projects; Mt. Carmel School, New Waterford, and Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design.

Onni Nordman is a painter from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. His home and studio are on the cliffs of South Bar, overlooking the mouth of Sydney Harbour, the watery highway to the Cabot Strait and Newfoundland.

Onni is the only child of Finnish immigrants Aulis and Toini Nordman. Aulis was born in Nuoramoinen, Sysmä, Toini in Sortavala, Rauta-Lahti. They came to Canada in 1951, were located to Cape Breton, the only Finnish speakers on the island. Onni arrived three years later. Onni’s first language was Finnish and says all three learned English together. The Nordmans adapted to their new country while maintaining strong ties to family in Finland, proud of their heritage.

Onni’s partner Paula Muise is of Acadian and Mi’kmaw descent, the family history dating to the marriage of a Native Mi’kmaw woman and one of the first French settlers of Canada, continuing for over four hundred years. The couple are active members in the visual arts and theatre community in the area. They collaborate on management of projects.

Cape Breton Island, while comprising a large area of the province of Nova Scotia, maintains a strong identity in itself. Besides the five Native communities all other residents represent generations of immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, Britain, Europe, the Caribbean, the earliest to farm and fish, later to work the coal mines and steel plants of the industrial expansion of the early twentieth century. Music, dance, storytelling abound. Traditions of Mi’kmaw, Acadian French, Gaelic, Caribbean, Polish, Ukrainian, Italian, Lebanese, Syrian, Hungarian people, and many more are valued and in evidence around the island, in community halls and concerts, on dinner tables and gatherings. Very few Finns.

Cape Breton is known widely for its amazing natural beauty and is cited often in international list of must see locations. Breathtaking ocean views, forests, beaches, wildlife, cultural riches make it an ideal vacation spot for people who want relaxed, uncrowded access to outdoor living. The rivers are great for fishing, canoeing. Hiking trails wind through the landscape. Ocean and Bras D’Or Lakes-- a large inland salt lake system- provide sailing or kayaking adventures. There are whale watching tours and sailing regattas. All over the island there are fabulous beaches, where water temperatures can reach 25C in August and September: sandy, rocky, ocean, salt lakes, rivers, fresh water lakes. There are several world class golf courses. Perhaps because winters can be so long and hard, the people of Cape Breton make the most of the warmer months. It is an island in the North Atlantic after all, with all the temperamental weather that such a location can produce. 

The cultural atmosphere in Cape Breton is rich in tradition. It is known for traditional Mi’kmaw basket weaving, Scottish weaving, Acadian rug hooking and many other crafts and folk art, as well as vibrant music and performance arts. Most cultural exports are based in these traditions.

Onni Nordman’s work introduces a fresh approach to visual art that is not usually associated with Cape Breton. His work is unique, innovative and decidedly contemporary. It is linked to the great traditions of paintings while skillfully moving forward. Formally trained at Nova Scotia School of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax, he returned to Sydney in 1995 for what he thought would be a short time. Circumstances --his mother's health-- required that he stay on. He continued to work, painting and creating other projects and has been a driving force in the visual art scene in the community for years. 

Onni has continued to work with great seriousness and perseverance. One is supposed to get better and he has. He nurtures an aura of seriousness and significance with an emphasis on painting as progressive, developmental, evolutionary. His expertise is a focused, logical mastery of form and structure. The work is not dour or dark. A show of Onni’s work leaves viewers with a memory of glorious colour. It invites viewers to create meaning from their own perceptions of the parallel worlds of imagination he creates. 

Onni Nordman Postcard copy

From the Daily Mining Gazette, Hancock Michigan, February 3 2018--

10 Bulls card

10 Bulls        


directed by Onni Nordman 

video by Madeline Yakimchuk     Gryphon Media Productions

original score by art damage AKA Matthew Claener

produced by Paula Muise

From the Cape Breton Spectator October 2016--

Sauna  copy

Internationale Kunst Heute 2016

Martina Kolle, Herausgeberin

Dr. Ingrid Gardill, Kunsthistorikerin


ISBN: 978-3-9816595-2-8

12973062 1720135388200141 619868963237876161 o

Kunst Heute 2

14064276 10153922914433261 5862201705742708819 n

14051820 10153922914553261 1810241450337883909 n

xxprxcodx front
xxprxcodx back

The Ten Bulls series at 

Pasinger Fabrik, Kultur- und Bürgerzentrum der Landeshauptstadt München 
April - June 2015

Thanks for support from

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil  a investi 157 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.


                                                     Landeshauptstadt München

PF Kindl F13WA copy


PF Augustiner logo8x4

Munich poster PRINT copy

Levitate 1

Levitate 2