by Fan-Ling Suen
As an emerging artist, starting a career in the arts can be both exhilarating and daunting. Becoming a professional artist is tough. According to Statistics Canada, in 2016 only 35% of women aged 25-34 with a Bachelor's Degree in Art found a job that matched their studies.
One of the challenges of being a young artist today is often that your career path does not take a particularly conventional route. One of the potentials perks of being a professional artist is having more control over shaping your career path, but how to start begs its own question.
This is where mentorship programs can play an important role in supporting emerging artists in the beginning stages of their career. The mentor and mentee relationship formed between an established and emerging artist is not only an invaluable experience for both parties, but also an important piece in building and strengthening an intergenerational community of local artists.
To share first-hand experience of the important role mentorship plays in the arts, we asked KIAM –Guelph artist duo and business owners of Art in the Ward, to share a few words about their past experience as mentors in the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project – a joint program between Guelph Arts Council and the University of Guelph.
Amanda & Kiel (KIAM) Wilson-Ciocci