Art Mentorship

*UPDATE: Application period is now closed*
*CALL TO YOUTH: Two (2) youth scholarships are now available to take part in the mentorship program. Apply online. Open deadline

Beginning in January 2022 Oxygen Art Centre will be offering affordable one-on-one online mentorship opportunities for individual artists to receive two one-hour mentorship sessions with an Oxygen Art Centre Faculty Instructor.

Each online mentorship will be individually designed to meet the needs and interests of the individual artist mentee, potentially involving technical demonstrations, advice, professional development, and/or critique regarding a specific project or technical area of development.

Organized in a two session format, each mentorship will allow mentees to begin an area of inquiry in the first session and then have the opportunity to put some of their learning into practice before sharing and discussing their new work or development in the second session.

Online Mentorship Format and Information:

>> Each mentee will receive two one-hour online mentorship sessions (via Zoom).
>> Approved mentees will be matched with an Oxygen Artist Instructor depending on their practice, medium, and stated goals.
>> Oxygen Art Centre will sponsor two student mentorship scholarships for applicants that are between the ages of 16-25yrs. 

Online Mentorship Details:

>> $25 fee to be paid on confirmation of mentorship approval.
>> When mentorships are confirmed OAC will connect mentors and mentees.
>> Mentors and mentees will complete and submit a mentorship work plan (form provided by OAC) outlining the timeline, goals and parameters of the mentorship.
>> Group mentorship wrap-up: following the completion of the 2 sessions, all mentors and mentees will be invited to attend an informal critique session to share artworks, writing, and experiences from the program with a larger group.
>> Mentees will submit a mentorship program evaluation form upon completion of the mentorship.

Online Mentorship Application Requirements:

Application Deadline: November 15, 2021 @ 5 PM PST *deadline has now passed; only youth scholarship applications available*

Online Youth Mentorship Scholarship Application Requirements:

>> Complete the Online application form

Application Deadline: open until filled

Susan Andrews Grace

Susan Andrews Grace has served as a mentor to writers and poets, formally and informally. Some have gone on to publish work in periodicals and to publish books. She is a poet, essayist, and visual artist and as such is interested in the creative process, its manifestations and machinations and in particular the role of doubt in the production of creative work.

She has taught writing and professional practices at a variety of institutions including Oxygen Art Centre, Kootenay School of the Arts, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Her sixth book of poetry, Hypatia’s Wake, will be released by Inanna Publications (York University, Toronto) spring 2022. She holds a BA in Philosophy and an MFA in Creative Writing, has exhibited visual works in public galleries over the last thirty plus years, mostly in Canada, but also the USA. Andrews Grace has lived in Nelson since 2001 and was one of the founding faculty of Oxygen Art Centre.

Seathra Bell

Seathra Bell is a textile designer, artist, and educator from the West Kootenays. She received her BFA from the Alberta College of Art+Design and holds a Masters degree in Textile and Fashion Design from the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland.

Seathra teaches a variety of textile and design techniques including natural dyes, eco-printing, and pattern drafting, both locally and at ACAD.

The recipient of a major arts grant, she has researched and written an e-book on the local and Indigenous plant dyes of the Slocan Valley with the assistance and permission of the Sinixt Nation. Seathra divides her time working in the film industry, teaching, curating for the Langham Galleries, and running a small yarn company from her home studio.

Rayya Liebich

Rayya Liebich is an award-winning Canadian poet of Lebanese and Polish descent. She is the winner of the Richard Carver Award for Emerging Writers (2019), The Geneva Literary Award (2015), The Golden Grassroots Chapbook Award (2015), and the Kootenay Literary Competition (2005). Her debut full-length poetry collection MIN HAYATI has just been released through Inanna Publications and Education Inc. (Toronto, June 2021).

Liebich is a graduate of McGill University (B.A English Literature) and The University of Victoria (B Ed.) As of 2015, after a decade of teaching at the Nelson Waldorf School,  she has committed to her own writing practice and to helping others write their life stories. Her teaching includes; Liminal Life Writing, Flash-Fiction, Memoir, and Poetry  at Oxygen Art Centre, a series called Writing Through the Grief at Kalein Hospice and leading the Teen Creative Writing Club at the Nelson Public Library. She has worked as a writer in residence through ArtStarts BC in seven West Kootenay schools bringing her passion for poetry to the classrooms. She believes that children are natural poets and that the world needs more poetry.

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith holds a BA hons. in Fine Art Printmaking and has been a practicing visual artist for over 20 years. Smith’s personal and physical environment inspires her most recent work, which combines printmaking, collage, assemblage and painting. Smith is a founding member of Oxygen Art Centre and currently teaches as part of their faculty. She is a self-defined teaching artist who works from her studio in Krestova, in the West Kootenays B.C.

Smith loves to share her passion for creating through teaching. With over 15 years of teaching experience, Smith has worked with students of all ages whether it be joining schools as an Artist in Residence as part of an Artstarts – Artist in the Classroom projects or teaching adult continuing education workshops, or working individually with artists through private tuition sessions. She has been invited to lecture and facilitate large groups for hands on learning experiences at conferences and teacher professional development sessions.

prOphecy sun

Dr. prOphecy sun is an interdisciplinary performance artist; queer, movement, video, and sound maker; mother; and current Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University. Her practice celebrates both conscious and unconscious moments and the vulnerable spaces of the in-between in which art, performance, and life overlap.

Her recent research has focused on ecofeminist perspectives, co-composing with voice, objects, surveillance technologies, and site-specific engagements along the Columbia Basin region and beyond. sun hosts Tapes and Beyond on Kootenay Co-op Radio and is the Arts Editor for Ecocene: Cappadocia Journal of Environmental Humanities.

She teaches experimental voice and sound workshops, performs and exhibits regularly in local, national, and international settings, music festivals, conferences, galleries, and has authored several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and journal publications on performance, installation, and creative practice.

Deborah Thompson

Deborah Thompson is an artist, educator and curator of settler ancestry. She was born in Tkaronto (Toronto). She has made her home in Nelson, British Columbia for the past 22 years, and it is with gratitude that she acknowledges the indigenous people and their ancestral lands and waterways on which she lives. Her practice is the process, of which her endeavours include painting, drawing, collage and sculpture. She is currently exploring the translation of her two and three dimensional work into stop motion animation works. She has an Associates Degree in fine art from the Ontario College of Art and Design (University)(1984),a BA in Southwest Cultural Studies from Prescott College (1989) and an MFA in Visual Art from the University of Montana (1999). She has studied bronze casting at the Kootenay School of Art at Selkirk College. 

She has received awards for both her studio and curatorial work from the Canada Council for the Arts, Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Osprey Foundation and Canadian Museum Association. Her work has been shown in solo shows at Oxygen Art Centre (Nelson), Kootenay Gallery of Art (Castlegar), Gallery Gachet (Vancouver), University of Nevada Art Gallery (Reno) and Touchstones Nelson (Nelson). She had curated for Touchstones Nelson and the Oxygen Art Centre. She has written and been published curatorial essays for Pixie John- son, Stephanie Kellett and Z’otz* Collective. She has taught painting and drawing courses for the University of Montana, Kootenay School of Art, Red Deer College and the Oxygen Art Centre. She has two upcoming residencies in which she will be making new work. The Sitka Centre for Art and Ecology in Oregon, where she was awarded the Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency, and at the Art Shed in Sointula, BC.

Bessie Wapp

Bessie Wapp is a theatre artist, musician, educator, Jessie Award nominee, and Nelson Cultural Ambassador (2015). Bessie began her career in Vancouver working with many of the city’s most innovative performance groups (Public Dreams, Electric Company, Radix, Ruby Slippers, Touchstones, Vancouver Moving Theatre, Gamelan Madu Sari). As a core member of Mortal Coil (stilt-dance theatre) and Zeellia (traditional Eastern European music) she performed extensively across North America and in Europe (Lincoln Centre, Kennedy Centre, Festival D’ete, Zagreb Danceweek).

Returning to her home town of Nelson in 2006, Bessie continued creating new work with Western Canadian groups (The Only Animal, Old Trout Puppet Theatre), performing in festivals (Vancouver Int Jazz, Calgary Folk Fest, Kaslo Jazz Etc) and local productions (Hedwig, Pontius Pilate, Orpheus), and directing (Matchmaker on the Roof).

Bessie is especially interested in community-engaged work. She co-facilitated Squaw Hall, a theatre/film project with Williams Lake Indigenous youth (twinfish/urban ink); facilitated RAW Theatre, an expressive arts program with Trail area at-risk youth (Selkirk College); co-lead Ultimate High, a stilt program with Vancouver youth at-risk (Mortal Coil); and directed From the Heart: one day. one circle, a West Kootenay Indigenous and settler youth theatre performance (Mount Sentinel).

Bessie’s passion for teaching began 15 years ago and she has shared her knowledge and skills in a wide range of private and group settings (Oxygen Art Centre, School District 8, Medley Camp, Rossland Acoustic Music Camp). Other ongoing activities include directing the Blue House Choir, and playing accordion and singing with Klezmeridian, Bill Lynch Trio, and the Kootenay Divas.–2nejZUpE9wUBbL9SQ

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