Mentor Selection Criteria

MAWA mentors are connected to the larger art world, and have achieved a high level of respect for their artistic production, locally, nationally and internationally. They have relevant information and skills. They have experience sharing their knowledge. They communicate effectively. They are committed to building community.

In order to provide the highest quality of mentorship, MAWA chooses a mentor considering the following criteria.

  • A MAWA mentor has a demonstrated, sustained commitment to a professional practice in the visual arts that may include artistic production, curation, theory, community animation or activism.
  • They have contributed to visual arts discourse, community, and self-empowerment for others in the visual arts.
  • They are a positive role model for emerging artists because of the recognition they have received, such as:
    • local, provincial and national arts council funding, inclusion in curated group or solo shows nationally or internationally
    • inclusion in curated solo shows locally and nationally
    • writing about their artwork in art magazines and periodicals
  • They are a positive role model for emerging artists because of the activities they engage in, such as:
    • working as a volunteer in the arts community
    • generously sharing practical skills, information and contacts

Each year MAWA staff, with input from the Programming Committee, select 5 mentors for its core Foundation Mentorship Program. These senior practitioners are selected with an eye to diversity. They represent a range of artistic practices, media, techniques, concerns and conceptual frameworks. Every effort is made to be inclusive of diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds, particularly Indigenous arts practitioners. If possible, mentors of different ages are selected, to provide the group with different generational perspectives. A mix of first-time mentors and returning mentors is usually selected. This creates an opportunity for experienced mentors to provide guidance to first-time mentors.

Because of its foundational place in MAWA programming, selection of Foundation Mentorship Program mentors is ratified by the Board of Directors.