Meet the 2021-22 Emerging Artist Mentorship Program Mentor-Mentee Pairs

The Rumriver Art Center would like to introduce you to our two Mentorship pairs for our 2021-22 Mentorship Program. The Mentorship program is an Emerging Artist program for the 55+ population. We want to encourage artists at this stage of life to develop their own unique style and artistic voice.

Franny Hyde will be mentoring Ann Phillippi, both artists working in clay. Franny started working with clay when she was in college. After starting her career as an elementary art teacher, she enjoyed teaching the little ones for six years before switching to marketing and advertising. In 2001, Franny reentered the world of clay when she started taking classes at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, learning more about sculpting people and animals. She says she loves creating animals because she can relate to them well. She is intrigued by their faces and bodies, their attitudes, and opinions. “They often crack me up!” Franny says. Franny currently teaches hand building clay for The Rumriver Art Center and Northern Clay Center and is also commissioned to create many animal sculptures for people who love their pets or other animals. I asked her what excites her about this mentorship year? She tells me “Ann and I have a shared mutual excitement. I think I am going to get as much out of this year as Ann does.”

Ann Phillippi was a public-school art teacher for 28 years who recently retired. After focusing on teaching students to be creative, she has decided it was her time to work on her artistic goals and put her art first. When Ann was in high school, she took a photography class and loved it. She went to college and earned her B.S degree in Design. After graduating from college, she opened a photo and frame shop. Ann  continues to take a photograph each day and enters it into her own personal daily gratitude journal. Eventually she went back to school and received her degree in Art Education. Ann loved inspiring her students in clay but never had the time to really create for herself– only to create lessons for her classes. One of her goals for her mentorship year is to break through the clutter and find her real creative voice. She has dreamed of having a Japanese garden and plans to create sculptures representing the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals to place in her garden. The gallery will host Ann and Franny’s work in an upcoming August show.

Ann Philiipi (Left) and Franny Hyde (Right)

Cherene Bebeau will be mentoring Christine Tauer, their focus is on exploring and creating with Mixed Media processes. Cherene went to college at North Hennepin Community College thinking she might be a lab technician but realized in her first class that this was not for her. She decided on a graphics arts degree and away she went into the art world. She continued to learn new techniques from papermaking, book arts from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. She also worked with several prominent watercolor, acrylic and mixed media artist as well. All she has learned she also shared with others through teaching a variety of classes and workshops to many from pre-school aged to older adults. She has had the fun opportunity of being a travel instructor, even teaching on a couple of cruises. Cherene has worked in a variety of art administration positions throughout her career as well. Cherene says of her own art “I dabble in everything but 3-D.” When asked what excited her about this year’s Mentorship program she says “I love teaching and sharing ideas. I always learn as a teacher and am excited to help Christine take her art to the next level.”

Christine Tauer had always been interested in Art, art history and collecting art, which was influenced by her aunt who lived in Los Angeles. Christine received her college degree in vocal music and elementary education. She went on to add theater. Her life has been full of creative processes. Christine became an elementary educator and brought creativity to her students in many ways, including working in puppet theater with children, giving private voice lessons, after school musicals, adventures in art. Christine was always finding ways to continue learning herself and to bring those learnings into her classroom. She received a Fulbright to travel to Japan where she fell in love with Japanese art and brought that back to inspire her students. She has had a wonderful career being creative in many ways to inspire others. Three years ago, she decided to “throw caution to the winds” and said, “I want to be an artist”. Growing up Christine was the singer, and her sister was the artist. She didn’t think she could do art. Christine started taking classes at The Rumriver Art Center and discovered she could do art! Christine applied to be a mentee because she wanted to create art “that makes people think”. For this mentorship year, her goal is to learn as much as she can. She said “Cherene told me: we need to discover who YOU are.” Christine told me she can’t wait to see what I will be doing a year from now.” Cherene and Christine’s gallery show will be opening in July.

Cherene Bebeau (Left) and Christine Tauer (Right)

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