MARNmentors is a competitive, season-long artist mentorship program offering emerging artists the opportunity to partner with local established artists to further their artistic practice while engaging in building a career as a working artist. Within these exchanges, mentors help mentees develop project goals and overcome personal barriers that the mentee may identify. The goal is to empower and give accountability to the partnership so that 1) Mentors feel free to give aesthetic, moral and concrete support based on their experiences; and 2) Mentees are able to hold themselves accountable to their own goals.
Each pair of mentors and mentees work together for a season; some meet for a few hours each month for critique, others meet weekly for a more in-depth exchange of skills and ideas. At the end of each program cycle, MARNmentors culminates in an exhibition that highlights the professional and personal developments and collaborations between our talented mentors & mentees.
- Open to artists based in the Greater Milwaukee area.
- Ideal candidates show promise and dedication to their creative work as a career.
- Artists are at a moment in which access to a mentor and a supportive environment will be meaningful to their practice and arts career.
- Artists may NOT be currently enrolled in a degree-granting program or equivalent. (exception made for curatorial)
Jody Alexander has volunteered, promoted, advocated and implemented arts education for nearly 25 years. She’s been on the Board of the African American Art Alliance (Quad A: a Support Group of the Milwaukee Art Museum) for 20 years, helping raise money to acquire works by African American Artists for the Museum’s permanent collection.
Alexander is the founder of Blk-Art*History&Culture, an Organization dedicated to Arts Education. She’s been the Coordinator for the MARN Mentors Program since 2016, adding depth and diversity. Alexander is a recipient of a 2019 Black Excellence Award and an enthusiastic Art Collector. “Stay Artful” is her model.
Phyllis Bankier – Photography
Santiago Cucullu – Painting/Mixed media
Brad Anthony Bernard – Visual Artist
Mutope Johnson – Visual Artist: Painter
Sharon Kerry Harlan – Textiles, Mixed media, Photography
Jessica Laub – Ceramics
Todd Mrozinski – Visual Artist: Drawing/Painting
Carmen Murguia – Spoken Word
Ammar Nsoroma – Muralist, portraitist and mixed media painter
Danielle Paswaters – Curator
Kendall Polster – Sculpture/Welder
Nirmal Raja – Painting & Mixed media
Adam Setala – Graphic Design
Della Wells – Visual Artist: Mixed Media
Jason Yi – Visual Artist: Multidisciplinary
More detailed infomation about the mentors can be found here.
MARNmentors serves artists actively in need of career support and arts networking. Selected artists are expected to meet with Mentors for a minimum of 2 hours per month. Mentors and mentees create a flexible schedule based on availability of both parties. Additional components include workshops, business one-to-ones, networking events, and peer group critiques as desired by the cohort.
NOTE: all meetups are encouraged to be virtual due to the pandemic. All workshops are planned virtually and we will reevaluate the season plans for in person events only after vaccines become widely available, overall the program will follow all CDC recommendations.
MARN’s organizational mission and vision centers equity, diversity, and inclusion in order to more readily serve Milwaukee creatives. In seeking to more comprehensively serve the Greater Milwaukee Area, we strongly encourage emerging artists from historically groups to apply to the MARNmentors program.
MARN is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our organizational costs for the MARNmentors program are roughly $1,000 per participant. In an effort to reduce barriers to participation, MARN has reduced fees for MARNmentors to offer a lowered tuition of $100 to all participants. We are thankful to our supporters for continuing to make this reduced fee possible through their generous financial contributions.
- Monthly mentor meetings to build meaningful relationships, networks and resources
- Work with your peers to creatively shape the mentorship according to your needs
- Gain exposure and expand your audience through MARN’s public programming
- Annual MARN Mentor/Mentee Exhibition will be held in our new MARN Art Gallery and Exhibition Hall.
- MARN marketing support, including press releases, website announcement, social media, and mailings
- MARNmentors works with you to develop a customized professional development plan based on your vision and personal goals
- Free access to educational workshops and business consultations
- One-on-one studio visit opportunities with prominent members of the greater arts community
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
NOTICE: MARN continues to monitor statements from Federal, State, and local government officials for information related to this pandemic. The safety of our community is our highest priority and we will employ all appropriate measures to limit the spread of this virus. Until such time comes that public officials have informed us that attendees of large public gatherings are safe, all MARN related public events are held by appointment or virtually. Although we are employing all required safety measures, these are subject to change by public health officials. Attendance registration is required at all MARN related events and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
On behalf of all our Mentors and Mentees, thank you to Nirmal Raja and Ken Krei for their donations and to the following supporters: