Essential Questions for ProWax Artists: Successful Mentoring
Q: What makes up a successful artist mentoring experience, either as a mentor or as a mentee?
A: I believe that mentoring and collaborating go hand in hand. I’ve been a mentor for many years, as a professor and as the President of a paper-making company, Kansas City Paperworks, Inc. I have been a mentee, through apprenticeships as I’ve stated before and as a life long learner. And…I collaborated with Paula Roland in her studio and at the 7th International Encaustic Conference. Whether mentoring or collaborating, I have absolutely loved all of these experiences and they have all helped me grow as an artist…and to stretch in new ways. I learned the business of art through being a mentee, collaborator and I became a better technician and artist because my horizons were broadened. I can’t imagine my life/career without these experiences.
Kansas City, Missouri
A: I was a self-taught painter who wanted to learn more, so in 1988 I decided to become a studio assistant. I was introduced to Ron Gorchov who hired me immediately. We attended dinners, openings and had many philosophical discussions with artists such as Lynda Benglis and Dennis Oppenheim. I saw firsthand the perseverance and drive it took to be an artist. I am forever grateful to him for his support, inclusion and invaluable guidance.
A: For me, a successful mentoring relationship is all about trust and exchange. Trust in the advice and support you are given and trust in the advice and support you give. A good relationship would need to have some kind of exchange, as well. An exchange of ideas, support, kindness…whatever it is it’s important to realize that the relationship goes both ways.
Jersey City, New Jersey