Usually a prospective mentee has to be lucky enough to stumble into a mentoring relationship. Other artists are fortunate to live in locations where formal mentoring programs are available - these require long-term face-to-face interaction between mentor and mentee.
Listed below are resources that can be invaluable for anyone considering entering into a professional relationship as mentor or mentee, or for anyone who may be thinking about establishing a formal program. Included also is information about a couple of online mentoring programs.
Textile Center Mentoring Program – “Textile Center Mentor Program is designed to facilitate the development and achievement of artistic and business goals set by emerging artists. This growth is fostered through a supportive one-on-one relationship with a mentor, who is a professional artist working in the field of fiber. The program supports the advancement of each protegeÕs techniques in their own media through instruction and critique, enriching both understanding and advancement of their work. Participants in this program will build confidence in their work and their role as a working artist in the community at large. The close working relationship between mentor and protege as well as the opportunity to be a member of the mentor-protege group empowers and encourages each artist to take risks and work toward future goals.”
.....2009 - 2010 Brochure
Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) – SAQA instituted a series of internet based mentoring sessions on career related issues for its membership in the form of monthly conference calls. Sessions are taped to allow members access at any time. Topics have ranged from how to promote oneself as an artist to how to work with galleries to how to write for magazines, among others. Future topics will range from how to create an effective portfolio to creating a legacy. To join SAQA: http://saqa.com/
Women’s Art Registry of Minnesotra (WARM) Mentor Program – “The WARM Mentor Program is a supportive resource that pairs emerging and professional women artists for two years. Each Protégée directs the process of selecting her mentor, identifying her goals and tracking her progress. Mentors share wisdom and skills while providing supportive critique.”
.....Guidelines for Mentors
.....Guidelines for Protégés
.....Mentor Program Application
.....Mentor Program Questionnaire
.....Mentor Program Time and Cost
Ilinois Arts Alliance Foundation Mentoring Program - This is a very developed and detailed program that is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
.....Some of the extensive information and forms that can be accessed on this site include:
Mentor-Mentee Partnership Contract
Mentor Training Session Agenda
Mentee Training Session Agenda
Mentor Assistance with Goals Setting Tip Sheet
Mentee Assistance with Goals Setting Tip Sheet
Making the Most of Your Mentoring Relationship Tip Sheet
Personal SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats or Obstacles) Analysis
First Meeting Agenda
What Qualities Make One a Good Mentor
What Qualities Make One a Good Mentee
MAWA (Mentoring Artists for Women's Art) - This is a Canadian group whose focus is "To encourage and support the intellectual and creative development of women in the visual arts by providing an ongoing forum for education and critical dialogue." They have an excellent newsletter, a resident mentor and a well developed mentoring program (they also have a monthly "Stitch and Bitch" meeting).
Mary & Ian Nunn Mentoring/Coaching Program - The following link provides online access to materials for a mentoring/coaching program they developed - it provides excellent materials for anyone who is interested in developing a mentoring program or for anyone who may be interested in mentoring themselves. The focus in not on technique, but on core issues artists face, such as: What is my personal style?; What do I have to say?; Where do I go from here?; How do I express my feelings in ...(whatever medium in which you work)?; How do I know if my work is good?; How do I know if a piece is finished?. Note: there are two program levels - although it says access to Level 2 requires a password, it doesn't. http://www.iannunn.com/iannunn/artTalk/mentorProgram.html
Newberry Mentoring Workshop - Michael Newberry conducts an online mentoring program. From his site: "The mentor program is based, first, on your deepest dreams for your art. Then you will be assessed of your strengths and weaknesses. Thirdly, you will be taught the tools that will enable the realization of your goals. Newberry will thoroughly review your art progress on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and then he will suggest a course of action. Long distance communication is done by telephone and emailed digital images." Although his focus is on painters, you can contact him regarding his willingness to work with artists who work in other mediums.
Leadership and the Art of Mentoring: Tool Kit for the Time Machine – This article by John C. Kunich and Richard I. Lester breaks down the act of mentoring (Model; Emphasize; Nurture; Teach; Organize; Respond; Inspire; Network; Goal-set) and discusses each aspect in detail. Although not written from the perspective of the visual artist, the points are very applicable. The last page has an excellent set of discussion questions.