Artist Mentor Program 2019

Artist Mentor Program 2019

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Announcing the 2019 Artist Mentor Program!

Now in its 6th year, this popular, growing, and enriching program returns! 5 artists are selected to mentor 5 students over the summer in a program that, time and time again, proves enormously rewarding, and even life-changing for both artist and student. Upon completion of the program, The students work will be on display in City Hall for at least a month. Artists’ work will also be displayed for the same amount of time in the Wilson Gallery at the Ojai Valley Museum.

Details may be found on our website, here. Or click the Ojai Grants and Awards Programs tab above, and select “Mentor Program” from the drop-down list.

Please send any questions you have about the program to samizahringer@gmail.com

To check out what last year’s program was like, here is an article about the ceremony which was the culmination of the highly successful and much-applied-for 2018 program.

By Sami Zahringer and Linda Harmon. 2018

It is always gratifying to see young adults who are genuinely enthused about their growth and accomplishments waxing eloquent about their work, and infectiously excited to progress in their chosen field. 

This was the vibrant and inspiring scene on Friday evening at City Hall where four young artists were honored at a reception to mark the opening of an exhibition of their art in the City Gallery.

These students, from public and private valley schools, each spent 50 hours during the summer working with one of four professional local artists participating in Ojai’s annual Student-Artist Mentor Program. Each gave a fascinating account of their learning experience, and their challenges and triumphs. Just as striking as the students’ enthusiasm, was the zest with which the mentors described their overwhelmingly positive involvement with their mentees.

The program, run by The City of Ojai Arts Commission in partnership with the Ojai Educational Fund, is now in its 5th year and growing in popularity. Chair of the Arts Commission, Michael Addison, reported that this year 18 students applied to work with 4 artists and that, given the clear appetite for the program and the resoundingly positive student responses to it, the Arts Commission is working to increase the number of participating professional artists in 2019 and beyond.

The Friday reception marked the end of 50 hours instruction and collaboration. Each student presented their work, received a $500 scholarship for future studies, and their work will be on display to the public at City Gallery until October 20th. The mentors receive $750 for their time and expertise, and an exhibition of their work runs in the Wilson Gallery at the Ojai Museum, also through October 20th.

These are merely the tangible benefits, though, of a remarkable program that is expanding both the possibilities and realities of motivated young Ojai artists. Apart from the hands-on experience, each student emphasized the value they had gleaned from simply just talking to their mentors. To see real people actually making a living through their art was one of the things each student described as being enormously encouraging and inspiring. 

For the mentors, just talking to their students was also one of the best aspects of the program.

Printmaker, Gail Hercher, one of the artists chosen to be a 2018 mentor, explained how she tried to introduce her student, Occidental University-bound Villanova student, Liz Spiller, to ideas for different careers in printmaking, such as fabric or wallpaper design. She also spoke about the value to her own art of working with “a fresh and un-jaded” student. Hercher, an M.F.A. who has taught art extensively in public colleges and museums, privately and in local Ojai schools, introduced Spiller to techniques such as ink-stenciling, gelatin-printing and silk-screening, culminating, with impressive results, in actual book and card-design.

Internationally-renowned sculptor and glass artist, Stephen Dee Edwards, worked with Madison Parnell to create some stunning pieces involving many different techniques. Parnell was justifiably proud to show the beautiful fusions and laminations she had made using glass, goldstone, and other stones, and described the extensive moulding processes with clay and wax involved in the making of a series of anatomically-correct glass hearts. Edwards, a career educator, and second-time mentor in the program, described eagerly how rewarding it was to work with “Maddie,” and detailed with enthusiasm the ways in which collaborating together was just as important as the resulting art.

Jocelyn Gonzalez, a sophomore from Ojai Valley School, gave a lively and engaging presentation on how her “fun” summer with pastel artist Jannene Behl had progressed and how the new techniques she had learnt using both alcohol and watercolor underpainting had brought fresh ideas and vibrancy to her own already accomplished pastel work. Behl studied with legendary pastel-artist Bert Collins, also an Ojai resident famous for her fine, realistic landscapes on sandpaper. Through Behl’s mentorship, therefore, Gonzalez was lucky enough to work in Collins’ studio too in the company of adult students and was able to experience a community of artists.

To provide a really detailed account of the inner-workings of the student-mentor experience, artist Patricia Anders kept a comprehensive blog (www.artpropensity.com) of her time with budding artist Joshua Jacober, a young man of great promise eager to learn everything he could from his summer. Anders, whose specialty is drawing, especially in symbolic imagery, also works in mixed media, both traditional and alternative. Jacober, at the start of the summer, primarily worked in charcoal but was looking to elevate his own design and learn the “really tough fundamentals” of drawing. Under Anders’ influence, Jacober moved into pen and ink drawing – a more stringent medium with no ability to erase mistakes! – and discovered a whole new level of detail was now available to him. The introduction of color enlivened his art and delighted Anders, who declared early on in her blog,“I like his thinking!”

The glowing testimony of the participants in the Ojai Student-Artist Mentor program is proving, year after year, what a meaningful and rewarding experience it is for all involved. “It’s thrilling to hear the mentors talk about how exciting it’s been to see the students’ creativity expand in the course of the summer,” said Addison. “It’s clear that the Mentors and Students have poured their hearts into their work together.”

Application forms for 2019 will be available soon and artists and students interested in applying should contact The City of Ojai Arts Commission. For the latest news on when and how to apply, check out their website at www.ojaiarts.org, which will show that information as soon as it is available; to keep up-to-date with the arts in Ojai. To participate, students must attend one of the Ojai Valley high schools, either public or private, and their parents must reside in the Valley.

To see the 2018 student art, visit he City Gallery (located in Ojai City Hall at 401 S. Ventura St.) which welcomes visitors Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except holidays. To experience the art of the mentors in the program, visit the Ojai Valley Museum,130 W. Ojai Avenue, which is open Sundays 12 noon -4 pm., and Tues-Sat 10am – 4pm. Both highly creative shows run through October 20th and are well worth the visits.

 

Students! Apply to work with an artist for the summer 2018. Deadline May 25

Students! Apply to work with an artist for the summer 2018. Deadline May 25

Four local artists of note have signed up to mentor four student artists this summer in the City of Ojai Arts Commission’s 5th annual Artist Mentor Program.  Now it’s time for student artists to do their own signing up so they can learn from these first-class artists.

Pastel artist Jannene Behl (pictured) has studied with legendary pastel artist Bert Collins; her students will study at Collins’ studio in the company of adult students to experience a community of artists. Sculptor and glass artist Stephen Dee Edwards is  world-renowned and a winner of many awards with international exhibits of his glass art. Printmaker Gail Pike Hercher will acquaint her student with the many artful and commercial uses of prints and will introduce her student to the concept of interning with other artists.  Patricia Anders, whose specialty is drawing, especially in symbolic imagery, also works in mixed media, both traditional and alternative. She will encourage her student to keep a journal of their work.

Over the summer, each student artist will work with the mentor for 50 hours learning the artmaking each mentor offers.  Past experience assures the program will be meaningful for the students. “It’s thrilling to hear the mentors talk about how exciting it’s been to see the students’ creativity expand in the course of the summer,” said Michael Addison, Chair of the Arts Commission. “It’s clear that the Mentors and Students have poured their hearts into their work together.”

Student Application form is below.

A student applicant must be in one of the high schools—private or public—in the Ojai Valley. Their parents must also live in the Valley.  The deadline for applications is May 25, 2018.  The Ojai Education Foundation has partnered with the City in sponsoring the program.

Arts Commission Accepting Mentor Applications – 2018

Arts Commission Accepting Mentor Applications – 2018

ojai mentor program 2014Applications Due on March 23.

The City of Ojai Arts Commission is accepting applications for artists who wish to participate in the 2018 Artists Mentor Program. This is the fourth year for the successful program, which pairs working artists with students for a summer internship.

“Although this is for a summer internship, we are starting the process earlier this year. This will allow students more time to qualify without interfering with their year-end school activities,” said Ojai Arts Commissioner Michael Addison. “We are currently looking for four Ojai artists for the mentoring program. We are trying to make the process as easy as possible and they can complete their application online.”

Please fill out application below.

Exhibit and Performance Features Youth and their Mentors

Exhibit and Performance Features Youth and their Mentors

 

Kirsten Hoj discussing her work with her mentor John Meideiros

Kirsten Hoj discussing her work with her mentor John Mederos

17-year old actress Kirsten Hoj is off to UC San Diego to begin her formal education in theater arts soon.  But she leaves better prepared than most students who have not had the rare opportunity to study with John Medeiros, a master of improvisation as well as acting and directing.  The lucky pairing is thanks to the Artist/Student Mentor program through the City of Ojai’s Public Arts Commission.

“We had a strong group of mentors and mentees for this incredible opportunity,” said Bobbi Balderman, Chair of the Artist Student Mentor program at the Arts Commission.

The public will be able to see Kirsten perform a monologue based on her studies with Medeiros on Sunday, September 17 from 4 – 6 pm at the Ojai City Hall.  At the same time, a reception for the visual artists will be held.  Their exhibit features the works of the mentors and mentees that runs from August 27 – September 29.

Sarah Afdeey working on a glass piece under the tutelage of Stephen Edwards.

Sarah Afdeey working on a glass piece under the tutelage of Stephen Edwards.

The mentor/mentee pairings besides Medeiros and Hoj are: painter Amy Lynn Stevenson and mentee Jose Torres; glass sculptor Stephen Edwards and mentee Sarah Afdeev; multi-media artist Vera Long and mentee Ezri Hartley.

The works of Stevenson, Edwards and Long will also be featured in a special exhibit at the Ojai Valley Museum and will run at the same time as the exhibit at City Hall.

 

2017 Student/Mentor Application

2017 Student/Mentor Application

The City of Ojai Arts Commission is accepting applications for students who wish to participate in the 2017 Arts/Ojai Artists Mentor Program. This is the fifth year for the successful program which pairs working artists with students for a summer internship.

“Last year we selected four Ojai artists for the mentoring program,” said Ojai Arts Commissioner Michael Addison. “After the great success of last year’s program the City has graciously increased our budget enabling the expansion of this year’s program to include five artist mentor positions.”

In addition to City funds allocated for the project, additional funds will again be granted by the Ojai Education Foundation.

Each student commits to a minimum of 50 hours of one-on-one instruction over the internship and works with a mentor to prepare work for an exhibit or performance at City Hall in the fall.

The City is looking for students from Ojai public and private schools. Each applicant will be asked to chose which artist they wish to work with and why. The students will again be chosen on the basis of their application and recommendations of their instructors.

Contact: City Arts Commissioner Michael Addison


2017 Student application

Mentor Program 2015

Mentor Program 2015

The Ojai Arts Commission Pairs Local Students With Artist Mentors

When Nordhoff High School student Audrey Hernandez is not working as a lifeguard at the Lake Casitas water park this summer, she can often be found in the studio of Ojai artist Vera Long, who is mentoring Hernandez as part of the City of Ojai Arts Commission’s summer arts-internship program.

“I am truly grateful for this energizing opportunity to foment Audrey Hernandez’s art career,” Long says. “I am continually impressed with her strong inner resolve and motivation, and all I see as my offering is to expand her parameters a little, and fill her possibility-toolbox just a little more. But this young lady needs no addition of talent and spirit.”

Hernandez is one of four local high school students currently participating in the city-funded Arts Mentor Program, now in its third year. The other students are Dylan Reed of the Oak Grove School, who is paired with the songwriter, producer and recording artist Smitty West; Madeleine Bigger of Nordhoff, paired with the author and writing consultant Catherine Ann Jones; and Felicity Evans of Villanova Prep, who is working with the mixed-media artist Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend and also with the typographer and Classic Letterpress owner Norman Clayton.

Hernandez, 16, is heading into her junior year at Nordhoff, where she will continue participating in the school’s Advanced Placement Studio Art program. But having the chance to study with Vera Long this summer is an education in itself.

“I feel very fortunate and lucky to have this opportunity to work with her,” Hernandez said. “She’s taught me so much already, and I’m excited to learn more.”

For Long, a member of the Ojai Studio Artists group, the city’s Artist Mentor Program is another example of the community’s commitment to fostering the arts.

“Many thanks to the Ojai Arts Commission for this wonderful program,” Long says. “Ojai is such a truly nurturing nest for proactive creativity. Thank you Ojai community for continually supporting your local artists – past, present and future!”