By Paige Bromby, GAC Staff
Becoming an emerging artist can be an intimidating experience. You’re entering a community you may know nothing about and there is no complete guide on how to be an artist in Guelph: Where to find opportunities, which venues treat their artists well and what on earth is a CV? Despite how overwhelming an arts community can feel, that community is the original ‘how-to guide’ for emerging artists. Finding mentors who are artists, curators, producers, and cultural managers that can give you honest feedback about life as a creative person in this city is invaluable. Mentors can help emerging artists navigate the many grey areas in the arts and culture industry – and be your loudest cheerleaders.
Guelph Arts Council recognizes the important role that mentorship plays in the careers of artists and cultural managers within the city and is excited to announce our 8th round of the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Program (GEAMP) in fall 2021. This program supports emerging artists in the critical transition to professional life. Since our first round in 2017, we have watched this highly successful program strengthen the relationships between emerging artists and the larger Guelph arts community. This program would not be such a success without the ongoing support of the RBC Emerging Artists Project and the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph.
The program pairs emerging creatives with established professionals in their field. Emerging artists and mentors will engage in at least four to six hours of mentorship sessions during October and November, to share experiences, get valuable feedback and unique perspectives. This is an opportunity for emerging artists to network within their community while developing business and management skills needed for creative careers in Guelph. Mentors in the program enjoy connecting with like-minded creatives while honing their mentorship skills, accessing professional resources, and helping emerging artists learn within Guelph’s creative community.
The emerging artists’ mentorship experience will culminate in a group exhibition of their work that they plan, promote, and install with support from their mentors. Mentees and mentors will also have the opportunity to be featured on Guelph Arts Council’s social networks. Training and mentorship sessions and the culminating exhibition will follow current public health recommendations. GAC will assist in organizing online spaces for sessions as needed.
Applications for GEAMP 2021 open Monday August 30 and close Sunday September 19. All Guelph artists, musicians or cultural managers who are interested are welcome to apply online as an emerging artist or as a professional mentor through our website.
The Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project is curated to provide meaningful interactions within each pair. Mentees and mentors will be carefully selected and paired together based on common interests, goals and experiences, as well as commonalities in artistic practices and endeavours.
Strengthening ties to the arts community can help guide emerging artists through some of the most difficult years of their careers. The Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project is the perfect place to ask questions, network with other creatives, gain critical skills in the arts industry, learn about Guelph’s arts community and prepare for the future of the arts sector.
Want to learn more about GEAMP? Check out what some past participants have to share in the videos below!