Written by: Maia Stark, Exhibitions and Education Coordinator


Maia Stark

Last year I was fortunate enough to be accepted to the CARFAC Saskatchewan Mentorship Program for 2016/2017. This 9 month program is run each year by CARFAC Sask, and it provides Saskatchewan visual artists with the opportunity to work with experienced artists. The focus is to provide personalized support, training, advice, and feedback on a regular basis with a mentor. The program also allows for mentor and mentees to meet with other participants in the program, for group meetings and critiques. I applied with an intention to work in clay – SCC member Paula Cooley and I had been chatting for a while about collaborating, and this mentorship program provided the structure and support to take our ideas further.

Paula Cooley

When I applied I had an idea that Paula and I could work together, and it was part of my application (and hers!) to request that we be paired together and discuss why it would benefit us. My experience with the mentorship program has been excellent. You aim to meet your mentor once a week to keep on task. Depending on your focus, you’ll be writing or creating a lot of work! It has been an wonderful opportunity to meet other artists in the community, and in a wide variety of media. I discussed my work with furniture makers, ceramicists, painters, photographers, glass workers, and curatorial writers. Each mentorship team had a different focus: some duos were completely focused on technique and concept, like I was. Others were working on building a professional practice, applying for grants and exhibitions. Another group was putting together a curated exhibition and focused on writing and putting together the exhibition proposal. The mentorship program was conducted in a very thoughtful and considerate way: there was an orientation which discussed with “how to be a good mentor/mentee,” and what to do if conflict arises; we had the chance to discuss large and complicated concepts as a group, everyone was able to speak and feel heard. I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity! The deadline for the 2017/18 year is coming up, if you’ve been on the fence about applying, do so now!

Deadline: June 15, 2017

More Information

For inquiries, call Terri at 306-522-9788 or email programs@carfac.sk.ca