Mentorship Program

Emerging 55+ Artist Mentorship Program

Rumriver Art Center is excited to announce that it will be offering an Emerging Artist Mentorship Program for older adults ages 55+ in 2020-2021. The mentorship program will begin in August 2020 and end in July 2021. We are looking for artists interested in becoming either a mentor or a mentee. Six mentors and six mentees will be selected from the pool of applicants to participate in the program. All mentee applicants must be ages 55+. There is no age restriction for mentor applicants.


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.


There are numerous benefits both mentors and mentees may receive from participating in the mentorship program since both the mentor and the mentee give and grow in the mentoring process.

Benefits for Mentors: There are numerous benefits mentors may receive from participating in the mentorship program. Mentors can use their expertise to guide and positively influence another’s artistic path.  Mentors can build new relationships and gain personal satisfaction in helping someone grow artistically.  Other benefits include free access to studio space at Rumriver Art Center at scheduled times throughout the duration of the program and a weekly $75 stipend.

Benefits for Mentees: Mentees can learn valuable knowledge from their mentor’s expertise and past mistakes.  Mentees can also increase their competencies in specific areas. Other benefits include free access to studio space at Rumriver Art Center at scheduled times throughout the duration of the program and free art supplies (around a $200 budget per mentee, with the possibility to request additional funds, to purchase art supplies from the Art Center. Mentees are welcome to bring their own art supplies/materials as well).

Gallery Show

At the conclusion of the mentorship program (during mid May 2021 to July 2021), mentees and their mentors will have a gallery show together in the Rumriver Art Center Gallery to showcase their talent and artwork and all their accomplishments and growth over the course of the program. This gallery show will be open to the public, and friends and family can be invited to see all that was accomplished during the mentorship program. 

Art Workshops

Toward the end of the mentorship program (May 2021 – July 2021), each Mentor-Mentee pair will be required to host one art workshop at Rumriver Art Center for older adults ages 55+. Each mentor-mentee pair will collaborate on how they will approach and deliver the workshop together. The workshop will be in the medium you focused on during the program. The workshop must be a minimum of 2 hours in length. Both the mentor and the mentee will be compensated for hosting the workshop. This workshop may be virtual via Zoom or in-person at the art center. The workshop delivery method will be determined closer to the date of the workshop.

How the Program Works

There are a variety of different mediums mentees can choose from to be the focus of their mentorship experience. These mediums include acrylic painting, watercolor painting, drawing, mixed-media, hand-built pottery, wheel throwing pottery, and pastels. Mentees will select one medium on their application that they would like to focus on and expand their knowledge and skill with during the mentorship program. If you are selected as a mentee, you will be paired with a mentor who is very skilled and knowledgeable about your selected medium.

Mentors will select the mediums (more than one is fine) on their application that they have expertise in and would be/are comfortable teaching/advising someone else in. Individuals who are selected as mentors will be paired with a mentee who interested in one of their mediums of expertise.

Role of a Mentor

Mentors will help guide mentees through the process of making art, so they can find their artistic voice and expand their emerging artistic skills. Mentors will help mentees develop as an artist through assessing their strengths and weaknesses as well as through collaboration, the implementation of strategies, and evaluation along the way. Mentors will share their wisdom and past experiences with their mentee to foster growth.

Role of a Mentee

Mentees will be open and honest about their goals, expectations, challenges and concerns; they will actively listen and question; be open to constructive criticism/feedback and ask for it; be committed to their development; and assume responsibility for acquiring or improving skills and knowledge. Mentees will seek advice, feedback and direction from their mentor and provide feedback to their mentor on what is working and not working in the mentoring relationship.


Mentors and mentees will meet at minimum once a week for at least the first 12 weeks of the program and then at minimum of once every other week for the remainder of the mentoring aspect of the program (until April 30, 2021). Mentees and mentors will meet at Rumriver Art Center in an assigned studio space. There will also be a variety of group meetings scheduled throughout the program to give mentor-mentee pairs the chance to meet with the other participants in the program.

Program Evaluation

Rumriver Art Center Director/Program Manager, Angie Renee, will check in with each mentor-mentee pair once every two weeks to ensure a good fit and also to evaluate progress/to assess whether set goals are being achieved. Each mentor-mentee pair will be given a log and action plan to track their weekly meetings, set goals, and track/evaluate the progress of those goals. A mid-point and final evaluation will be completed by both the mentee and the mentor as a means of assessing the effectiveness of the mentorship program.

Informational Meeting

Here is the Mentorship Program Informational Meeting Video Recording

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying to be a mentor or a mentee, please click on the link to the Artist Mentorship Program application below. The application can be completed and submitted online. The application deadline was Friday, June 12.

The six mentor and six mentee applicants selected to participate in the program will be notified via phone by Monday, June 22. All applicants will be notified whether or not they were selected. If you are not selected for this round of the program, we highly encourage you to apply again in the future as we plan to offer the program again after the 2020-2021 session ends.

Please contact Angie Renee with any questions.

Angie Renee, Program Manager
Phone: 612-251-6863

Program Timeline

Informational Meeting: Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 10:00am
Application Deadline: Friday, June 12, 2020 by 4pm
Selected Applicants Announced: Monday, June 22, 2020
Mentorship Program Start Date: August 3, 2020
Gallery Show & Art Workshops: Mid May 2021 – July 2021
Mentorship Program End Date: July 2021
(Note: dates are subject to change)

This program was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.