Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Monthly Mentor Meetings

Often artist mentors come in to the studio on different days of the week, and their paths don't cross until the monthly mentor meeting. These 2 hour meetings are an important time to check-in with one another, share studio updates, plan for upcoming gallery events and exhibitions, and participate in reflective activities. They open with an artmaking activity through a Recipe Share, where mentors teach one another a new activity that could be used in their mentoring time at studio. Often favorite recipes are passed down year after year. Each meeting centers on one of the following different topics:

OCTOBER :: Mentor Orientation
What does teaching and learning look like in our studio at New Urban Arts? What is the role of artist mentor in building this learning community? How do meaningful mentoring relationships develop, when they begin from a place of authenticity rather than authority?

NOVEMBER :: On Sustainable Creative Practice
How does the idea of a lifelong creative practice resonate with you? How will you introduce your creative practice to the studio community through the mentor exhibition? Artist Mentors are introduced to the Creative Practice Rubric, an instrument that measures the progression from introductory and emerging levels to established and sustainable levels of creative practice.

DECEMBER :: On Art Critique and Feedback
How do we critique artwork in ways that better support the artist's creative practice, rather than only better the artwork itself? Artist Mentors are introduced to the critical response method of critique developed by MacArthur Genius Liz Lerman.

JANUARY :: On Teaching and Artmaking in Context of Personal Histories
From what sources do you pull your creative energy, worldview, perspectives and passions? How is your creative practice an outgrowth of your personal history, geography and family? How is your personal story and personal experience related to your practice as an artist? As a mentor?

FEBRUARY :: Mid Year Mentor Retreat
What is the nature of the relationship between you and your students? How are they supported? How do they support you? How do we balance building authentic relationships and being inclusive? What have you learned in your experience here so far about yourself - As a teacher? As a learner? As an artist?

MARCH :: On Communication with Young People
How do you listen to and acknowledge the questions and perspective of anyone regardless of age? What if you could rewrite a dialogue as you wish it would have been? Artist mentors are introduced to theories of adultism and strategies for communication with youth.

APRIL :: On Practicing Core Values of a Community Art Studio
What are the values that drive New Urban Arts? What values are embedded in your own creative practice? What value would you like to incorporate in your mentoring practice more this year?

MAY :: On Art and Social Change
What is it about the arts that reaches deeply the capacity of humans? What are models that link the arts with social change? What is the change you are committed to? What paths are you considering outside and beyond the NUA studio? We reflect on the year at New Urban Arts and think about the future of our individual work.


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