Staff and Board of Directors

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Yuri Arajs

Staff

Director and Curator

Yuri is a working artist who has dedicated much of his practice to advocating for fellow artists, including artists who live with a disability. He has founded and run a number of arts organizations and art galleries in the US and in Canada over the last 20 years, including as former Gallery Director of Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts and Outsiders and Others in Minneapolis; as former Artistic Director of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture in Vancouver, BC, and now Managing and Artistic Director of Outsiders and Others Art Society in Vancouver, BC.

His advocacy in the arts community focuses on working with, showing, and facilitating public exposure and financial compensation for self-taught and non-traditional artists. 

Yuri has been recognized by the press and received numerous awards for his arts advocacy and promotion, as well as for his curatorial work as a gallerist, and was named most influential curator by the Minnesota Monthly in 2008. Yuri is also an accomplished artist, holding three degrees, including a Masters of Fine Art from Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work is in both private and public collections.

www.yuriarajs.com 

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Andrea Petrini

Board of Directors

Vice President

 

Andrea is an artist whose work combines found textiles, used fabrics—old dish towels, mattress ticking, flour sacs, felt, or materials of her own making with stitching, drawing, sewing and other media. The textiles she uses often hold an inherent memory or context of the domestic or the familiar, and offer their own language of history, abstract patterns, rips, tears, stains and other signs of wear and decay, which she then approaches as a canvas. These are cues to begin a communication of sorts with the textile. She responds intuitively to those marks—adding, building, visibly mending, taking away, weaving into, darning, often ‘fixing’ while further destructing—as a non-verbal conversation emerges. 

She finds inspiration in many things, among them, minimalist art, modern art, historic sewing samplers, weaving, fiber arts and tactile media, pattern and fabrics, darning and mending, classical Indian miniature painting and Rajasthani tantric paintings, which are highly abstract paintings with an ancient symbolic and sacred-geometric lexicon, created for purposes of meditation.

Andrea has a 20+ year career in the field of Development for cultural institutions and currently serves as the Director of Institutional Giving and Government Affairs at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. She resides in Brooklyn, New York. 

“Having worked with Yuri in many capacities for over 30 years and witnessing firsthand his incredible work with the Outside art community in Minneapolis, Minnesota and now, Canada, I am honored to be the enthusiastic VP of the board of Outsiders and Others Society, Vancouver.”

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Laura Bucci

Board of Directors

Member at Large - Grant writer

Laura Bucci is an interdisciplinary artist and a cultural worker serving and working with arts organizations since 2009. She has worked with textiles, writing, printed matter, interventions, and participatory installations to explore loneliness and belonging and to disrupt the everyday in attempts to make connections with the public.

She has shown and performed projects in Vancouver, BC and Nova Scotia at community and public galleries and artist project spaces. Several of her projects have also occurred in the public space unaffiliated to a gallery or institution. She holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) and is a 2024 cohort of the MAAE at NSCAD. Laura has served on the Arts & Culture Committee at Britannia Community Services Society, on the Selection Committee at the Shumka Centre at ECUAD and the Richmond Public Art Program, in BC, as well as sitting on other juries. She has been assisting individual artists as well as arts organizations with grant writing since 2014.

 

She is a second-generation Italian Canadian immigrant living and practicing in Halifax on unceded Mi’kma’ki Territory in Nova Scotia, and previously in Vancouver on Coast Salish Territory.

 

www.laurabucci.com

“I believe all artists should have access to mentorship throughout their professional
practice. I see Outsiders and Others fill a glaring gap in the mainstream art world and
most importantly, through their work, the organization creates a space of belonging and
inclusivity that is much needed. As an artist whose work explores challenges in
belonging, I find Outsiders and Others mission resonates with the impetus of my own
work.”

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Kait Blake

Board of Directors

Secretary

 

Kait Blake is a nor’wester (originally hailing from Thunder Bay Ontario), an arts administrator, a disability stigma fighter and body positivity advocate with fattitude! In her professional life, she is the Administrative Director of Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture.  While she is not an artist per se, she has been a lover and supporter of the arts since early childhood. Much of her youth was devoted to participation in every theatre endeavour available to her, whether it be performing, working backstage or attending productions. When she wasn’t doing that, she was performing original plays for her family, friends & stuffed animals, creating artistic “masterpieces” (and messes), singing in choirs (or anywhere she was allowed to sing) and writing short stories & angsty teen poetry. These days she dabbles in art & crafts when time/energy allows, an enthusiastic dog & cat mom and is a lover of all things food related & enjoys getting creative in the kitchen. Kait lives with synchronous disabilities and is vehement about breaking down the stigma associated with all disability, and most specifically mental illness.  

 

www.kickstartdisability.ca


“I am absolutely thrilled to sit on the Board of Outsiders & Others to assist in propelling this amazing arts non-profit forward!”

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Carl Baird

Board of Directors

Member at Large

 

Carl makes paintings, drawings, music performances and media art. By using popular themes such as sexuality, violence and urbanity. Baird focuses on the idea of 'public space' and more specifically on spaces where anyone can do anything at a given moment: the non-privately owned space, space that is economically uninteresting. 
 
His paintings often refer to pop and mass culture. Using written and drawn symbols, a world where light-heartedness rules and where rules are undermined is created. By emphasizing aesthetics, he seduces the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events. Moments are depicted that only exists to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and to find poetic meaning in everyday life. His works are often about contact with architecture and basic living elements, space and landscape are examined and sometimes developed on reclaimed boards from the urban environment. 


www.instagram.com/artist_carl_baird

“The reason I wished to be a part of the Board of Directors is that I see an opportunity to help my community, the art community, and establish networking and educational opportunities to further myself. Through my education and experience at this point being on the Board is an opportunity and an honor to give back to this community.”

Are you interested in joining our Board of Directors?
If so, we'd like to hear from you. 
To learn more about what we are looking for in our new Board members, click HERE.