Rural Arts Mentorship Program

Rural Arts Mentorship Program: Eastman Region 2020/2021

Application Deadline | Tuesday September 15, 2020

Rural Art Mentorship Program

The Rural Art Mentorship Program (RAMP) is a ten-month mentorship for up to five visual artists from the Eastman Region. Meetings will be held at the Winnipeg River Arts Council in Lac du Bonnet mentored by professional painter Brenna George. At its conclusion, the program will culminate into a final exhibition at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba.

The Rural Art Mentorship Program (RAMP) is for emerging professional artists. It is a four-weekend intensive with studio visits designed to serve the needs of artists in rural and northern Manitoba. Participating mentees are selected on artistic merit and their willingness to commit to the program. RAMP is a partnership between Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) and the Manitoba Arts Network (MAN).

Due to large geographic distances between communities, rural artists often work in isolation. The RAMP program breaks down those barriers providing a community for artists to grow. Throughout the mentorship the artists will embark in professional exchanges, expanding their practices by discussing, formulating and producing a body of artwork. The Eastman region has not seen a visual arts mentorship program since 2011.

This is the only program delivered in rural Manitoba designed to specifically meet the needs of rural visual artists. The goal of the program is to deliver it in a different rural community to new participants each year. The Eastman mentorship will provide artistic, conceptual and professional skills through a combination of group discussions, one on one meetings, studio visits, artist talks, assignments, practical applications and hands-on workshops.

The mentorship will provide:

•           The sharing of ideas and feedback from the mentor and the group, providing the artist with a framework for critique.

•           Professional practices; writing an artist statement, biography, grant applications, documentation and exhibition.

•           Studio visits which provides mentees with a view into the professional life of an artist.

•           Producing a body of work.

•           Community; connecting and building relationships among visual artists in the Eastman region.

•           An ongoing relationship with a professional practitioner.

•           New techniques, new mediums to opportunity to stretch and enrich the artists through encouraging new techniques, concepts and mediums.

•           Resources to help evolve participant’s art practice.

•           Building websites and using social media to advance their practice

•           Work towards developing artwork to be included in a final exhibition opportunity, held at the Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba

Since 2009 MAN and Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) have carried out iterations of the RAMP program.

Mentees from past RAMP programs have stressed how important the mentorship was for them. They had more clarity for the direction they personally wanted to pursue. As one mentee had put it; they could “meet together with people who got “it”. They could talk about the process of creating work and encourage each other.” The mentorship program provided the opportunity to develop relationships after the mentorship ended. The mentees strengthened their support of each other’s work and expanded their network of artists in rural locations.