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Rural and Northern Arts Mentorship for Indigenous Artists

with Lita Fontaine
Application deadline Thursday, Sept 2, 2021
free for successful applicants presented in partnership with MAWA, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art

lita fontaine
lita fontaine
manitoba arts council

The Rural Art Mentorship Program (RAMP) is a ten-month online program that will pair five emerging northern and rural artists with Lita Fontaine, a professional artist, and mentor. Fontaine will share knowledge, experience, and practical help in weekly group meetings. Participants will be expected to invest another 3 hours/week in artmaking. Lita Fontaine is a mixed-media artist of Dakota, Anishinaabe, and Métis descent with roots in Long Plain and Sagkeeng First Nations. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Regina and has exhibited her textile works, paintings, and photographs in solo and group shows nationally. Fontaine has taught Foundation Drawing and Aboriginal Art History at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art and currently is Artist in Residence with the Seven Oaks School Division, collaborating with teachers to integrate art into the classroom. She believes the visual arts nourish emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual growth.

Applications will open Monday, July 26, 2021!

Current Mentorship – Artists from the Eastman Region with Brenna George

In partnership with Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) the program pairs emerging and experienced professional artists, to provide knowledge, experience, and practical help in a learning environment. Through the program, artists develop lasting relationships with other artists in their area and learn many of the skills needed to further their growth as artists. A different region of the province is selected by the program each year. This program is contingent on grant funding.

Meet the Artists for the 2020-2021 Mentorship Program

Alexandra Ross (she/her) is a multimedia artist based Mitchell, MB, Treaty 1 Territory. She holds a B.F.A from the University of Manitoba’s School of Art (2020) with concentrations in clay, photography and print. Alexandra held her first solo exhibition at the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre (2015) and has since participated in several group exhibitions primarily in Manitoba, Canada.  Alexandra uses installations to explore themes of chaos and emergent order through both the micro lens of personal narrative and the macro lens of human impact on the environment, and the interconnection arising from the environment’s adaption.

Cyndi Wiebe of Small Creek Studio has been drawing since she could hold a crayon. She trained in graphic design, and now works from her home based studio with print media, digital and traditional illustration, and creates art in various mediums.. Cyndi also loves to teach and explore art with her students of all ages in Winnipeg & Southern Manitoba. She lives with her husband Kyle and their beautifully blended family on a little patch of prairie in southern Manitoba.

Kelly Klick

I have recently retired from my work passion in order to make time for my art passion. I live in beautiful Pinawa where nature provides daily inspiration. I enjoy playing in several different mediums. Lately I have been dancing with a clay sculpture to find likeness and with acrylic painting to find strong colour. I really am new to this art thing but I am looking forward to RAMP and to creating with new friends.

Kelly Murray started oil painting in her early 20s, then as her family grew had to change her way of creating. Kelly sews, makes cross-stitch, tole painting, paper tole, photography, scrapbooking, card making, acrylic painting, sketching, alcohol ink and watercolour paints.

Brenna George is a practicing Winnipeg-based artist.  She studied art at Emily Carr College of Art and Design and exhibits her drawings, paintings and video nationally. She has taught workshops through Video Pool Media Art Centre, Forum Art Centre and was a Mentor for the MAWA Foundation Artist Mentorship program. She has received A grants from the Winnipeg, Manitoba and Canada Arts Councils.  Her work is in the Collection of the National Gallery of Canada. She creates art that is humorous, visually lush, sentimentally mushy and which explores fretful thought. 

RAMP is a partnership between Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) and the Manitoba Arts Network (MAN).

The Program

Four in person mentorship group meetings and a studio visit are tentatively set for weekends in November, January, March and May. The mentorship will provide artistic, technical and communications skills through a combination of group discussions, one on one meetings, studio visits, artist talks, assignments, practical applications and hands-on workshops. Artists will be expected to devote time to the production and development of their work.

Program Elements

•           The sharing of ideas and feedback from the mentor and the group, providing the artist with framework for critique.
•           Advice regarding professional practices, including: writing an artist statement, biography and grant applications; documentation; and exhibition proposals.
•           Studio visits which will provide a view into the professional life of an artist.
•           Encouragement to produce a body of work.
•           Community—connecting and building relationships among visual artists in the Eastman region.
•           An ongoing relationship with a professional practitioner.
•           Exposure to new techniques, mediums and concepts.
•           Resources to help evolve participants’ art practices.
•           Advice on building an artist website and how social media can advance a practice.
•           A final exhibition in the Community Gallery at the AGSM