If you’re looking for a group of spirited creatives to collaborate with, or you’re interested in a youthful art gallery experience, look no further than UUU Art Collective, located on State Street in Rochester, NY. Founders KC Sullivan, Zac Lijewski, Dylan Niver have dedicated the past five years to creating a collaborative, unique art experience free of the traditionally stiff, awkward stigma that comes with visiting an art gallery. While the co-founders got the project off of the ground, the team to get UUU Art Collective up and running includes a wide range of individuals including Brad Young, who specializes in graphic design and painting, Erica Jae, whose focus is photography, and Angela Nelson, the content curator for the collective.
On top of operating UUU, Sullivan, Niver, and Lijewski are musicians who often collaborate with one another. They began UUU as a way to start “helping the homies” in the art industry, noticing that Rochester lacked an “exhibition and retail space” for local, emerging artists. As they explored this untapped market, they realized that “there are a lot of fundamental structures that need to exist for artists to get their work out there.” Emerging artists needed more support than just a space to show off their work, and the UUU team put in nearly half a decade of conservated effort to ensure that they could provide everything an artist might need in one location to appropriately showcase their work.
Lijewski tells us that they began collaborating with anyone who was willing to “dive in” and people who would stand behind their vision. The core mission of UUU is “to initiate encounters for cultural conversations” by supporting an artist’s growth, promoting accessibility and long term sustainable investments in the arts, and by collaborating with individuals and organizations to expand outreach and link communities together. The team felt that the only way they could push their mission forward was through collaboration. They called the start-up “very DIY,” promoting their message through pop-up parties that exhibited local talents. Fortunately, people really “grabbed on” to UUU’s mission and partnerships began to emerge.