This summer, Guelph Arts Council and the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph are co-presenting the Summer 2019 round of the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project. Since 2017, the GEAMP has been pairing emerging artists, musicians, and cultural managers with established artists and arts professionals to collaborate creatively and gain experience in curation, social media, marketing and publicity, graphic design, and more. The final presentation of the project is Treading Loudly, a multi-media art exhibition at the Boarding House Gallery, fully curated by GEAMP participants. Treading Loudly runs until Wednesday, July 31, and included an opening reception on July 19 with a musical performance by singer-songwriter and Project participant Mikalyn Hay. It will also include a closing reception on Tuesday, July 30 from 7-9pm, which will feature a musical performance by Roscoe Fiction (Project participant Peter Spring).
Emerging artists participating in the Summer 2019 round include: Anne Munroe, Brendan Irving, Cindy Dochstader, Emily Reimer, EmmaliBranton, Evangeline Mann, Jayne Keefe, Katelyn Bakos, Mikalyn Hay, Paige Bromby, and Peter Spring.
Walking into the exhibition opening, I knew I was experiencing something special. There is a special energy generated by passionate people making something they care deeply about. The exhibition looked very professional and cohesive, despite the number of contributors’ work in the space. Guelph-based singer-songwriter Mikalyn Hay was performing; she “has always wanted to write songs and make music that is truly memorable and means something to the listener,” and, in this space, she did just that. There was an air of pride and gratitude. Brendan Irving, an emerging graphic designer, says, “The final exhibition, in which the other mentees and I were able to promote our work within a well-respected gallery, was an experience that, to me, felt momentous and exciting. There is a sense of pride attached to having your work viewed outside of a classroom and celebrated by the general public.”
“The opening and exhibition were great! They were both wonderful learning opportunities,” said Evangeline Mann, an emerging curator and writer. “The most helpful knowledge that I gained/the most helpful aspect of the project was learning how to develop and promote an exhibition.”
“I learned how to network and keep in touch with curators or arts professionals that I meet, skills for finding employment after graduation in the arts/cultural sector, various Canada Council grant opportunities,” says Evangeline. “The GEAMP has also shown me the importance of participating in community arts-projects like these to develop my professional network, meet other artists and learn about the arts community in Guelph. The thing that surprised me the most in this process was how many opportunities there are for emerging artists/curators!”
“When we began the GEAMP, we were asked to list some of the things we hoped to gain from the process. I wanted to learn about art business best practices, refine the vision for my career path, and increase my confidence as an artist. My time in this project has helped me achieve all of these goals and more,” says emerging artist Cindy Dochstader.
“Not only is my mentor, Laurie McGaw, a wonderful and talented person, she’s also a wealth of information and experience. Laurie and I had several enlightening talks about my work, the exhibition, pricing, artist bios, copyright, and commissions. Throughout this time, she helped me gain clarity about who I am as an artist and how my work and artistic journey are evolving.”
The GEAMP has paired 42 emerging musicians, visual artists, and cultural managers with established-artist mentors since its first round in 2017. The project supports emerging artists in the critical transition to professional life. In each round, the emerging artists’ experience culminates in a group exhibition of their work that they plan, promote, and install with support from their mentors. GAC and SOFAM are grateful to the local visual artists, musicians, and curators who share their time and expertise as mentors. The Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project is made possible with the support of RBC Emerging Artists Project.