Union Gallery

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off-site projects

Art Shift Mentorship Program
Art Shift I (2009-2010) & Art Shift II (2010-2011)

Art Shift: an Intergenerational project for creative exchange and professional development for artists pairs local emerging artists with established artists in a mentorship program. It is designed to assist emerging artists in building their art practice through the development of practical and critical skills, further strengthening the artistic culture of the city. The goal of the project is to foster excellence in all aspects of professional art practice by providing a framework in which emerging artists work with established artists, in a mentoring relationship, to develop both practical and artistic aspects of their practice.

The project consists of a mentoring program, workshop sessions, and a public presentation in the form of artist slide presentations. In the mentorship portion of the program, practical aspects include assistance with writing artist statements, approaching and researching funding agencies/sources, approaching galleries, preparing grant applications, networking strategies, income tax preparation. In terms of art production, this includes critical discussion of their work, presentation techniques, use of materials, etc. Mentors are drawn from the existing pool of experienced (mid and late career) artists in the Kingston region and matched with emerging artists. Emerging artists are selected from a general call for submissions and are artists who reside in Kingston, are in the very early stages of their professional art practice and have completed their post secondary education for at least 6 months and for up to four years or are returning to active practice after a prolonged break from formal art education or training.

We continue to build a mentor registry which emerging artists will be able
to access. The mentorship program is currently under development. Please contact the gallery for more information or questions.


Art Shift I
(2009-2010) included professional artists Rebecca Anweiler, Shayne Dark, Ben Darrah, Dave Gordon, Alana Kapell, Frances Leeming, Don Maynard, Harry Symons, Scott Wallis, and Robert Wiens. They exhibited their work in Union Gallery's Main Space in Conflux from June 27 - August 7, 2009. These mentors were paired with emerging artists Jenny Brown, Ann Elmberg-Wright, Erin Milliken, Catherine Toews, and Kaethe Yanovsky. Mentored artists exhibited their work at the end of the mentorship program in Synergies from May 15 - June 26, 2010. There is an exhibition catalogue highlighting these two shows available for purchase in the gallery. There was a Round-Table Discussion on February 4, 2010 where there was an opportunity to see works created by the emerging artists and a discussion of the surprises and challenges of participating in the mentorship program.


Art Shift II
(2010-2011) included professional artists included Chantal Rousseau, Matt Rogalsky, Ben Darrah, Shayne Dark, Mark Thompson, Dave Gordon, and Harry Symons. Emerging artists Michael Davidge, Melinda Richka, Celia Piper, Rick LaPointe, Michele LaRose, Arlene Cassidy, and JoAnn Ralph were paired with one professional artist. They emerging artist were invited to give short talks to the public about work created over the course of the program. The ensuing discussion with all participants focused on the learning opportunities afforded by Art Shift Part 2, as well as its possible impact on artists in Kingston. The emerging artists also had a group exhibition in the Project Room titled 7 Courses - A group show in seven parts between May 3 - August 12, 2011

The Union Gallery gratefully acknowledges support for this project from the Ontario Arts Council Visual and Media Arts Grant program, and the City of Kingston Arts Fund Project Grant program and thanks project
coordinators Chantal Rousseau (Art Shift, part I) and Kate Yüksel (Art Shift, Part II) for their assistance.

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