Uncommon Common Art 2018
By Terry Havlis Drahos, UCA founder/creative director
This year, Uncommon Common Art 2018’s theme is Lines of Site. Curator Kate Ward asked participating artists to respond to the following statement:
The lines of this site (Fundy shore and mountains) contain movement and transition. Lines of Site can be ephemeral and temporary by nature where time blurs between the past, present, and future: environmental lines, geographical lines, historical lines, blood lines, time lines. Lines of Site can also be an unobstructed line of “sight” between an intended observer (or spectator) and a subject of interest. It can be an inward gaze as the observer contemplates and makes connections to reach an insight.
Each of the 17 UCA artists have used this statement as a jumping off point to create their installation. Artists Marla Benton (Stop 3) and the team of Brian Riley and Andrew Bilz (Stop 4) responded to the idea of an unobstructed “sight” line creating artworks that ask you to stand in a particular spot and observe what you see from there. In the case of Brian and Andrew the art piece tells a story asking the observer to find the hidden characters. Marla instructs the observer to look through handmade ceramic telescopes and isolate their view on one small section of a vast or sublime landscape.
Other artists, such as the team of Kim Morgan and Bruce Anderson (Stop 2), Kevin West (Stop 11), Carrie Allison (Stop 13), and Miyoshi Kondo (Stop 15), respond to historic and/or blood lines to create artworks that ask questions about the created narrative of our shared history. Some art installations challenge the stories we have been told about the land and the people who have lived here over the centuries. While these topics may sometimes be uncomfortable they are presented to provoke conversation.
Over the past eleven years, UCA has grown into a nationally recognized art exhibition that strives to include artists from varied backgrounds, disciplines, and experiences to create a collection that offers something for everyone while maintaining artistic integrity. UCA is not only inclusive in the artists that exhibit but also strives to be inclusive in its audience, presenting artwork free to the community, and incorporated into locations that locals and visitors pass everyday. The goal is to interweave contemporary visual art into the fabric of Kings County.
UCA is designed to be temporary. Installations are completed at the end of May and disassembled at the end of October. Over the years we have noticed some artwork has become permanent. This has created a permanent Uncommon Art collection in Kings County. Starting near Horton Ridge you can see Roost by Paul Rodgers, behind the Wolfville Library is Rocking Horse and Train by Veronica Post, near Canning you will find Indeterminate Tillage by Ericka Walker, and, in Miner’s Marsh, Pasture Gates by Brad Hall. Adding to this permanent collection will be That You May Live by Ericka Walker in Kingsport. Permanent public art in our rural communities puts Kings County in league with larger Canadian cities offering permanent public art by nationally and internationally recognized artists.
From now until October explore Kings County and the varied Lines of Site that are offered. The search for the art installations will not only generate an adventure, but provoke conversations about our shared history, opinions about which you like the best, and discussions about the nature of contemporary visual art.