The Mentorship Project

Arnica is responding directly to concerns expressed by emerging artists in the region over lack of support and opportunity in the gap between primary training and qualifying for funding from major art-based funders. Production and exhibition of artwork are of the utmost importance for an artist’s career advancement. A perennial systemic problem for recent BFA graduates is finding a community outside of school that supports their artistic practice, including the tools, space and funding to make art at the same calibre as in school and to continue to get critical feedback on their work in order to grow their ideas and expertise. We have identified an opportunity to address that gap in this region between primary training and the subsequent development of a career.

The Mentorship Project provides influence and feedback on a regular basis and opportunity for an important exhibition of new work with a mentor of significant stature in the art world. The record of this accomplishment becomes the necessary evidence for future career development.


The Mentees

Kelsey Jules & Dion Fortie

Mentor: Carlos Colín

Artist Statement

As a Latin American artist, I am investigating how to use our local knowledge, lived realities, and histories as new expressions of social and cultural progress. My research topic explores and connects the core cultural, theoretical, social, political, artistic intersections between art, society, and decolonialization. I have studied baroque as a colonial legacy in contemporary Mexico, and by extension, Latin America. One of the goals of my research and art practice is to encourage new generations in Latin America and abroad to be exposed to Latin American theories, culture, and knowledge. My interdisciplinary research areas of interest \include History, Art History, Latin American Art, Contemporary Art, Latin American History, Anthropology, History, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

Carlos Colín WEBSITE


Mentee: Kelsey Jules

I look forward to being a mentee and having the opportunity to work closely and collaborate with my mentor. I am excited to create artwork that will include my culture as well as the contemporary side of being an indigenous woman. This includes growing up with no knowledge of who you are, feelings of segregation, emotion, and trying times. I will do this as well as taking the time to hear other thoughts and direction from my mentor. I am privileged to have such an amazing opportunity to have my voice heard through my artwork. I hope to give insight and understanding to individuals viewing my work as well as starting a conversation on subject matters that may be difficult to open up on.

-I am a force to be reckoned with-

Artist Statement

My work explores the relationship between the Canadian historical event of residential schools and how they directly impact descendants of the survivors today. I explore my traditional and current First Nations culture through black and white photography, sculpture, and collaborative work. I express how mixed, lost, found, and a constantly fluid and changing culture that adapts to current events as well as its surroundings to survive.

Kelsey Jules WEBSITE

Mentee: Dion Fortie

Here are a few things I am excited about and looking forward to during the mentorship:

- Growing my knowledge and understanding of the art world as a whole, navigating the art world
- Becoming better informed of the themes and ideas present in Canadian art history
- Placing my work in a larger context
- Conversations/discussions/critique of artwork, mine and others
- Learning practical skills and knowledge
- Building a professional connection with my mentor, make a friend
- Have fun, make art

Artist Statement

I am a collector of things cast-off: the unwanted, abandoned, and discarded objects of everyday life. On daily walks through the city, I revisit riverbanks, industrial outskirts, and thrift stores, with the possibility of finding something new and unacquainted; rejected objects and materials detached from their original function and context. These spaces become valuable repositories of information accumulated from the undercurrents of society, gathering places for life’s abject. Collecting what I find I begin a process of play by joining unrelated objects into sculptural arrangements that give them new potential both symbolically and formally. Human in their scale they suggest anthropomorphic forms, stand-ins for the human body and a by-product of human activity performed within the location of their finding; an object-embodiment of the past.

Dion Fortie WEBSITE

Our Sponsors

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors! We extend our sincere appreciation to our sponsors, without whom
The Mentorship Project would not be possible. We invite you to support these community-minded organizations.