© 2019 Mandate of Organization Based in rural Nova Scotia, Uncommon Common Art is mandated to:
- Engage in educational activities for all ages and all people, to develop interest in visually based art;
- Present site specific contemporary public art in multiple locations;
- Engage in promoting physical activity and exploration;
- Promote the importance of public art, the artists who create it, and art education;
- Collaborate with other arts organization and community stake holders;
- Compensate artists and art educators appropriately;
- Source funds as required to support our work. Vision
To create a rural community of visual art enthusiast, where art and culture are an important part of every individual life. To create a culture of public art in natural settings as an important part of rural life and support the growth of artistic endeavour, environmental understanding, and physical activity for both residents and visitors. Mission
Our mission is to present meaningful contemporary public art and art education to all members of our rural community. Values We value
- Access to art for all
- Artists
- Exploration and experimentation
- Education
- Collaboration
- Care of the environment
- Community
- Playfulness Brief history including organizational milestones or accomplishments In 2005 and 2006 Terry Drahos, Pat Farrell and Nicole Evans created a series of public art sculptures in Wolfville that are still affectionately known as “the twig people”. It was an intriguing project that gave the community a stronger sense of visual art as something to experience and enjoy in a playful and public way. In the spring of 2006 Terry Drahos developed an idea for a series of art installations in nature. Two years later, she was invited to launch the project under the umbrella of the Alliance of Kings Artists (AKA). Through AKA’s help, Drahos was able to apply for funding, recruit sponsorship from TAN Coffee, and Uncommon Common Art was born. In the first year, Uncommon Common Art invited eleven artists to participate in a community-based series of environmental art installations. Artists were asked to create an original art piece in nature that in some way would ask the viewer to stop and pay attention. Whether on private or public property, all art locations were to be accessible to the public. A large, full colour poster/map, photographed by Ernest Cadegan, featured all of the art locations on one side and information about each individual art piece, the artist and the sponsors on the other. Uncommon Common Art evolved as a kind of cultural scavenger hunt. In the fall of 2012, after five years under the umbrella of AKA the founder of UCA formed an independent non profit. With an eye towards future growth, this has allowed us to focus more strongly on artistic merit, financial stability and sustainability; expanding our audience and establishing organizational consistency. Our founding Board of Directors was made up of a group of five individuals from a variety of demographics in our small community. In the spring of 2013 UCA and its newly formed Board of Directors worked with Barbara Richmond of Strategic Arts Management to create a 3 year strategic plan and solidify or vision and mission. For the next three years we used that strategic plan as a list of things to accomplish and a road map on where we were going. In 2015 UCA made several programming and marketing changes. To fulfil our mandate of art education we implemented a variety of programs with a focus on reaching different demographics within the community. Our 2015 programming included not only the exhibit but 2 weeks of summer camp, four artist lectures, four artist workshops, and programming in the public schools. In addition, we were fortunate to recruit Jen Bolt to sit on our Board of Directors for a limit of 2 years. Jen is a professional fundraiser with 20+ years of experience working with non-profits on fundraising practices. Jen helped UCA develop a sponsorship plan, materials, and program. In 2015, with Jen’s guidance we changed the format of our publication from a fold out map to a multi page guidebook. This offered us printed space to sell advertisement, recognize sponsors, and publicize our educational programming. Looking to our strategic plan for guidance, in 2015 we implemented a fully juried process for selecting participating artists The juried process is based on the same structure used by Arts Nova Scotia in their selection of grant recipients. As UCA’s Board of Directors evolved from founders to a working Board new members representing various community groups were invited to join. We were lucky enough to have Scott Olszowiec join us in 2016. Scott is not only a talented videographer who documented our exhibit but also of mixed First Nations and settler heritage. Scott was instrumental in helping UCA navigate appropriate language and protocol as we move to be more inclusive. Scott shared with us documentation and research conducted by Acadia University that we have added to our Board of Directors package and are working to weave into our new board governance document. In 2016, in an effort to always present a fresh contemporary exhibit UCA modified the artistic process by inviting an outside curator to envision the annual exhibit and help select and curate participating artists. Each new year now features a new curator. In 2017, UCA director, Terry Drahos participated in the ArtsVest program to help expand the organizations sponsorship program. She also attended the Halifax Creative City conference in an effort to network and learn from other public art related professionals in Canada. The Board of Directors also initiated a unique on-going fundraising project titled “Eye Candy” where in small pieces of artwork are purchased and dispensed with repurposed gum ball machines. The same year UCA also marked another milestone with our first successful Canada Council Grant. With the completion of our 2017 exhibit and programming, UCA realized that our annual work schedule needed to be modified to apply to fall grant deadlines instead of spring deadlines. This would give the organization more financial security and stability. So in the fall of 2017 UCA rearranged their annual calendar and applied for all of the Grants to finance our 2018 programs. In 2018 we marked off the final item on our original strategic plan, UCA was successful with its application to become a registered charity. At the same time we began working with professional coach, Sharon Horne on our second strategic plan. Other notable accomplishments of 2018 include an article in Canadian Art Magazine and thanks to VANS the beginning of our artist in residence program. As is evident from this packed list of accomplishments UCA has grown exponentially since forming an independent non-profit in 2012. In the fall of 2018 while planning for a twelfth year and envisioning the future of UCA the Creative director/founder and Board of Directors have realized some important changes need to be made to ensure the organizations health. In 2019 UCA will be taking a break from creating a large public art exhibit throughout Kings County and concentrate efforts on art education programs, strategic planning, board governance, expanding programming into the winter, and revising our granting and planning cycle to a 12 to 18 month lead time. UCA will still be presenting a small public art exhibit of five art installations within the town of Wolfville. We will also be working with Kings County to create a map of permanent public art that has resulted from the past eleven years of UCA. Structure of your organization Uncommon Common Art is a not for profit charity governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. It generates its revenue through individuals, foundations and corporate support; and through public assistance from municipal, provincial and federal sources. It expends its funds on art education, artistic activity, production, marketing, and administration in the fulfillment of its mandate. The organization is committed to sustainable management of its human, financial and artistic resources.