Rural Art Mentorship Program (RAMP)

A ten month mentorship with studio visits for 6-8 emerging professional artists from the Westman region, led by Elvira Finnigan, culminating in a final exhibition.

RAMP 2018/2019: Westman Region

The Rural Art Mentorship Program (RAMP) is a partnership between MAWA and the Manitoba Arts Network (MAN) for emerging rural adult artists. This year, it will serve Westman artists with meetings at Arts Forward in Neepawa. It will be led by mentor Elvira Finnigan over four weekends. RAMP will accept six to eight participants working in any visual art medium. Participants will be selected based on artistic merit plus their willingness to commit to the program. Please note commercial or school projects are ineligible. 

Group meetings and studio visits will be held in November, February, March and May over two days (Saturday and Sunday). Artists will be expected to devote time to the production and development of their work.Program elements will include: discussion about your art practice, feedback on your work, exploration of the idea of “a body of work”, information regarding professional art practices and advice on exhibition proposals and grant applications. The program will culminate in a exhibition in the Community Gallery at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and the possibility of participating in a RAMP touring exhibition.

Mentor Elvira Finnigan has an extensive background as an art educator in teacher training, public schools and art museums in Winnipeg and internationally. Her visual arts practice uses time as a method and salt brine as a material. With salt brine, she creates poetic, large-scale installations, video animations, photos and small objects. Whether working in performance, installation, photography or video, Finnigan’s work alters time—condensing, extending and referencing universal, geologic and human time, often blurring the boundaries between them. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, the US and Japan. Recent exhibitions include Reception at the Dunlop Gallery, Regina, in 2017; Isolated Landscapes: Video by Prairie Women (1984 – 2009) at Platform Gallery, Winnipeg, in 2017; Cafeteria II at Gallery 1C03, University of Winnipeg, in 2017; Lateral Symmetry at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, in 2014; and Festin et Conséquences at the Centre culturel franco-manitobain, Winnipeg, 2013.

To Apply:

Please apply either by post or email with Rural Art Mentorship Program in the subject line. Include the following in your submission:

    • Contact Information: full name, mailing address, phone or cell number and email address.


    • A cover letter describing your artistic background/practice including your medium (materials and techniques you use), the ideas that drive your work and why you want to be in the program (maximum of 600 words.)


  • Pictures/images of your artwork: up to 10 jpg images by email or up to 10 photographs by mail, or 2 DVD videos or YouTube links, or a combination of 5 images and 1 video

The fee for successful applicants is $175, which includes a free membership to Manitoba Arts Network. For more information about RAMP visit

“Reception” (installation view), 2017. Courtesy Dunlop Art Gallery. Photo: Don Hall