There was a wolf in sheep’s clothing on a float in the recent Apple Blossom Festival grand street parade.
Pulling by a group of volunteers as a “green entry,” The Work of Wolves was commissioned this spring by Uncommon Common Art (UCA).
Halifax-based artist Jessica Winton made the movable artwork in Burnside. Uncommon Common Art was able to commission the float with the support of a grant from Arts Nova Scotia, said artistic director Terry Drahos.
She noted that the annual parade occurs shortly before the Uncommon Common Art project season opening, so the moveable sculpture gave the organization a unique opportunity to reach a broader audience to present contemporary public art.
On a single Saturday afternoon in Kentville thousands of people got to see the Work of Wolves. Winton’s work “reflects our mutual philosophies and values in a fun, interesting, and accessible way,” Drahos said.
Winton said the green aspect to the float was a feature for her. As a young mother, she could not help but take note of all the children on the parade route sitting close to truck tail pipes.
“Because it was portable by humans, it was less durable,” she said. But the wolf emerging from the sheep’s garb was certainly eye catching.
Earlier this year, Uncommon Common Art was offered fabrication space in the storeroom of Amazing Savingz Warehouse in Burnside.
“My immense thanks goes out to their generosity and the business, who happened to have a giant sheep (or three) for sale, among many other incredible items,” said Drahos.
Winton, who took part in the seasonal art series in 2014 and 2018, said the work was vandalized two days after the parade while parked in downtown Wolfville.
Luckily, there were witnesses, she said, and the vandals were found by police.
“It was built as a parade float, it was not durable,” Winton added. “We were testing the waters.”
The Work of Wolves is safe now and can be transported to other locales in a truck.
The UCA season
Curator Bonnie Baker, a visual artist from Annapolis Royal, had the theme of “Wearing the Land” for the five temporary outdoor installations, all of which are in Wolfville this year.
The challenge was to express the interdependence of the physical landscape and the human connection to the place over generations.
The June 15 opening will start in Willow Park in Wolfville and runs from 1–4 p.m. According to Drahos, the opening is in three parts and includes t-shirt screening.
There will be five stops:
1. Brenda Sheppard’s work is Sounding the Trees Reservoir Park.
2. Ben Mosher calls his Grove on Harvest Moon Trail near Elm St.
3. Charlottetown artist Jane Whitten has prepared Knitting Our Roots in Willow Park.
4. Ray Mackie from Annapolis Royal has completed
Dancing in the Dark at Waterfront Park.
5. The Crown by sculptor Gerald Beaulieu, who lives on Prince Edward Island, sits at Clock Park.
Two Art in the Garden Camps are set for July and August. Drahos says art education is a focus for this year, and an art education exhibit is planned from Aug. 4–28.