For over twenty-five years, MAWA has been sustaining art in our community through mentorship programs. Senior artists share their experience and expertise with developing artists in a peer-support learning environment that empowers women to build their practices. Through mentorship, we have created a vibrant, skilled community, serving women artists in all phases of their careers.
“There’s an incredible network of women artists in this city that goes back years now through the Foundation Mentorship Program. There are women I wouldn’t know unless I had a relationship with them through MAWA – women who work in very different worlds than I do. These women are colleagues but there’s also an undercurrent of friendship and understanding.”
– Erika McPherson, Past MAWA Mentee and Mentor
“It’s a real sharing. It’s a give and take. You’re the mentor but sometimes you wonder who’s mentoring who? I’m learning so much from the person I’m mentoring. It’s so important to keep an open mind and listen and exchange ideas.”
– Aganetha Dyck, Past MAWA Mentor
The Foundation Mentorship Program has been MAWA’s core activity since 1985. It is offered each year because it is so effective in helping participants in their journey toward being professional artists. Many women who have gone through the program describe it as having been “pivotal” and “transformative.”
It is a year-long program in which established artists share their experience with developing artists. It is designed to help women in the visual arts develop skills and define their decision-making philosophies, and to provide access to the information, resources and support they need to realize their goals. In addition to a one-on-one relationship with a mentor, the program provides a peer group for the mentees through group meetings.
MAWA mentors have achieved a high level of respect for their artistic production locally, nationally and internationally. They are connected to the art world. They know how to share information and skills. They communicate effectively. They are committed to building community.
How does it work? Mentors meet individually with their mentees for 4 hours per month, and the entire group meets for 3 hours monthly for critiques, discussion, gallery visits and other activities.
MAWA announces a call for applications to be a mentee every April. Applicants are selected based on the quality and potential of the work submitted, the emerging artist’s willingness to dedicate time to the program, and the mentor’s ability to work with the emerging artist because of mutuality of practice or conceptual framework. Potential mentees of all adult ages and backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
If you have any questions, please contact Sylvia Dreaver, Program Coordinator, at 204-949-9490 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) is committed to providing mentorship opportunities to rural Manitoba artists. Whether in partnership with Manitoba Arts Network (MAN), Portage District Arts Council, the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba or other arts organizations, MAWA delivers mentorship programs in different regions of the province each year.
These mentorships build community, bringing visual artists together to network and learn. They provide professional feedback from an experienced artist-mentor through constructive critique. And they impart valuable information regarding the business of being an artist.
Mini-mentorships take place over a weekend. More in-depth mentorships vary in length.