Apply to the peer-led mentoring program 2024 for visual artists

Artist’s Meetup! in Gallery Huuto in June 2023. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen

The goal of the peer-led mentoring program is to provide support for various aspects of artistic practice and the strengthening artists’ professional identity. The participants will undergo a mentoring process for one year, which is free of charge. The program is based on the sharing skills, knowledge, and experiences among colleagues:  artist to artist. How to progress and develop as an artist in a changing world? What are the different stages of an artist’s career?

The foundation of the peer-led mentoring program for visual artists lies in the equality of participating artists – all participants are active members of the group, serving as both mentors and mentees. In addition to small group activities, the program includes communal meetings for the entire participant group.

The application period for the 2024 program is now open and ends on Sunday, January 21st, 2024.

Why peer mentoring?

Majority of professional artists grapple with challenges that affect the entire artist community while working alone in their everyday tasks.  The artist’s education provides a foundation for professional career, but professionalism brings questions that formal education may not address. The artist’s work is subject to abstract pressures, such as the ethics of art and representation, which alone can feel overwhelming to the artist.

The aim of the peer mentoring program is to provide support for practical questions and perspectives on building a sustainable career. By promoting dialogue, the program also enhances awareness of effective practices and pitfalls in one’s career.

Who can apply?

All members of AV-Arkki, Helsinki Artists’ Association, Artists’ Association MUU, Finnish Painters Union, Finnish Comics Society and Association of Photographic Artists. Artists at all stages of their careers are  welcome. Kettuki adapts and coordinates programs in the fields of special art activities (separate registration form here).

The group of artist organizations organizing the peer mentoring program changes annually. In 2024, three new organizing entities join: AV-Arkki, Finnish Painters Union and Finnish Comics Society.

The primary goal of the peer mentoring program is that participants benefit from their involvement. Therefore, the application form requests additional information on motivation and commitment to the mentoring process. Artist selections do not consider the applicant’s background merits, and participation does not require an ongoing or completed project. The aim is not to produce new artworks or exhibitions.

Approximately 20 artists from each artist organization will be chosen to participate in the program. Selections will be made by a peer review group composed of members of each organization by the end of January 2024.

What does the program include?

The final content of the program will be built during the process, based on the wishes and needs of the participating artists throughout the process. Participation in the program requires a commitment to regular small group work (approximately once a month, depending on each group’s preference) and attendance at program-wide meetings (a few times throughout the year).

The small groups activities are based on the engagement of the participating artists. Participants are encouraged to shape the group’s activities to suit their daily lives. The groups organize their own activities, deciding on themes for their meetings and determining how often and in what format (remote or in person) they meet.

A common introductory meeting for all participating artists will be held in February 2024. The concluding meeting will take place in December 2024. Most of the common meetings will be held remotely to allow participation regardless of the participants’ locations.

Inquiries

Please direct inquiries to the contact person of your own artist organization.

AV-Arkki ry
Executive director Hanna Maria Anttila
director@av-arkki.fi

Helsinki Artists’ Association
Chairperson Satu Kalliokuusi
satu.kalliokuusi@helsingintaiteilijaseura.fi

Kettuki ry
Executive director Sirpa Taulu
sirpa.taulu@kettuki.fi

Artists’ Association MUU
Executive director Timo Soppela
director@muu.fi

Finnish Painters Union
Executive director Elisa Lientola
elisa.lientola@painters.fi

Finnish Comics Society
Executive director Athanasía Aarniosuo
athanasia.aarniosuo@sarjakuvaseura.fi

Association of Photographic Artists
Executive director Henna Harri
henna.harri@hippolyte.fi

Kuvataiteen talo

KUVATAITEEN TALO on 18 taiteilijavetoisen kuvataideorganisaation yhteistyöhanke. Kehitämme näkemyksellisesti uutta yhteistyötapaa, edistyksellistä digitaalista toimintaympäristöä sekä ainutlaatuisia yhteisiä toimitiloja.

KUVATAITEEN TALO on valmistuttuaan korkealuokkaisen näyttelytoiminnan, kiinnostavien tapahtumien, uudenlaisen taidekaupan ja moninaisen taideyhteisön elävä koti.