What makes a good mentor? What makes a good mentee?

Colorful painting with the words Art Mentorship written on it

The Rumriver Art center has a call out for our new 55+ Mentorship program.  The purpose of the Artist Mentorship Program is to provide older adults who never had the opportunity to find their artistic voice during their youth a chance to explore and find it now. Many older adults had to put their art and creativity on hold when they were younger because life got in the way, but this mentorship program gives these individuals a chance to pick up where they left off. Rumriver Art Center is looking for self-motivated artists who want take the next step in their art

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby 

A good mentor is someone who lives a creative life and continues to learn and grow in their field.  You also have a passion to share the knowledge which you have gathered to inspire others in their creative journey.  As a mentor you need to be able to commit yourself to your mentee.  This means you need to be there as a support, to encourage your mentee, to keep your mentee on task and at times to push your mentee to get into the studio and create.  You are asked to create with your mentee so they can see your process and learn from that.  You may need to do research and learn new things yourself to guide your mentee in some of their interests.  You will give critiques to help your mentee see things from a different perspective, to help them grow and see differently. You will share you experiences with your mentee and share your mistakes and what you learned from those mistakes.   One other important aspect of being a mentor is your ability to listen to your mentee’s goals, process, concerns, fears and sometimes just their daily life.  If this sounds like you I encourage you to apply to be a mentor. 

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin 

What makes a good mentee?  We are looking for someone who is passionate about creating an art practice in their life.  Someone who has always felt they were an artist or has a deep interest in art, but never had the time to explore that side of themselves.  We are looking for someone who has the time to delve deeper into the art form of their choice.  It is important to have one medium which is your focus for this program.  You should have a desire to commit to this program and to make it your full time priority.  You should be willing to go deeper into your artwork, to take risks, to challenge yourself and to learn and grow from your mistakes.  You should be willing to work closely with your mentor, to learn from their knowledge and their mistakes.  You are willing to be pushed, encouraged, and open enough to accept what someone has to offer you in terms of criticism.   A willingness to be open to allow new inspirations will lead you to a place in your artwork you may not have imagined.  For all who are intrigued, I encourage you to apply.   

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”  Pablo Picasso

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