Since spring of 2015 I have been in the MARN mentors program. I applied as an emerging artist to be mentored by a local professional artist. I was really nervous when I applied, but I got in! I was chosen by Della Wells, an amazing local artist.
In reflecting on my time working with Della Wells, the main thing that stood out to me about the experience was how much I learned and grew as an artist because of it. I have grown considerably from my time working with my mentor Della Wells. As an emerging artist living in the Milwaukee area I had very few connections and little knowledge of how the art world really worked. I learned a lot from Della’s considerable knowledge. Every time I met with her I took copious notes; in fact on our first meeting I took 5 full pages. What I took away from the first meeting was: think of money as an investment; invest in myself and my career; do research; have a body of work; know what I want to say through my work, the importance of networking; and she said so much more than I have room to write here. The main thing that I have gained from Della is the ability to think bigger and set my goals and horizons higher. I had been thinking small before and not really taking my career and myself seriously. While working with Della I started to paint and established a regular studio practice. I also have more confidence in myself as an artist and have decided to pursue a career as a professional artist, whereas before I was ambivalent. I feel as though I have many more opportunities open to me in the future through having worked with the MARN mentorship program. Many thanks to Tia, Cassie, Pamela. and everyone involved at MARN.
At the end of the MARN Mentorship program there is an exhibition to wrap it up. The show is at the VAR gallery, located at 643 S. 2nd Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204. The opening reception is this Saturday, January 9th from 5-9pm. I hope you can come down and see it. If you can’t make the opening, there is a closing reception on Saturday January 23 from 5-9pm. I have worked hard on my piece for the show, here’s a sneak peak: