What if six professional artists from various disciplines offer their support and advice to nine types of budding teenage creators?
Louie, I think this is the start of a great mentorship.
Since 2004, the New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks! sponsored the Teen Artist Internship Program, created to inspire and educate high school juniors and seniors who have expressed an interest in pursuing a career in the visual arts.
TAIP offers budding artists the opportunity to work with mentors to experience what it’s like to maintain a personal studio and engage in long-term artistic endeavors that require dedication and patience.
Since TAIP’s inception, many local teens have gone on to pursue their art education at a number of regional colleges, including UMass Dartmouth, Boston University, Rhode Island School of Design, Massachusetts College of Art, and many more. ‘others.
Each of the annual mentorships culminated in an exhibition at the museum, which allows the teens to share their work with the public, alongside the art of their tutors.
Mentor painter Roy St. Christopher Rossow, a third-time entrant, worked with two students, Emma Almedia and Kerin Lacroix, who both have an affinity for manga and comics.
Rossow, who works in a hyper-realistic mode, was able to help focus on the fundamentals of drawing, composition, and lighting all at once. Almedia, taking inspiration from the anime “One Punch Man”, has created a series of sequential art images that reflect a sensibility that could lead to a career in the field, with more discipline and effort.
Along the same lines, Lacroix took advantage of Rossow’s ideas to hone his skills to pursue a career in comics.
Student Avary Amaral was mentored by designer, painter and photographer Sheila Olivera. Both featured multi-faceted collages and the creative thread between the two is pretty obvious. Both feature the faces of young women amidst a sea of diverse visual elements. Olivera’s “Dress Maker’s Daughter” is a rumination of her days as a seamstress in her father’s clothing factory.
Amaral’s “Welcome to the Unknown” more than holds its own and features a heart on one side of the woman’s collar and a skull on the other. Surprisingly and fortunately, a wave borrowed from the great Japanese painter Hokusai also appears.
Mentor Diana Arvanites, a multidisciplinary artist, exhibits “Silver Lining”, an elegant and simple mixed-media geometric work. She worked with New Bedford High School student Tiara Hatchett, encouraging her to explore different papers and liquid drawing techniques.
This exploration led to “The Inner and Outer Layers” by Hatchett, made with Sharpie, gel pen and acrylic paint.
At first glance, they appear to be just blue squiggles on the faint silhouette of a bear, but closer examination reveals there’s much more to it.
Judith Klein, painter/engraver-gallerist (and eleven-time TAIP mentor), trained Kaylee Tillson, who exhibits a self-portrait in charcoal and three separate works, all titled “Studio View”. One is an acrylic painting, the other two are woodcuts, one in black and white, the other in color.
The view is over Clark’s Cove, visible from Klein’s Kilburn Mills workshop and gallery. Tillson received a valuable lesson both in using different techniques and in exploring the subject again and again.
Olivia Baldwin, painter, weaver and sculptor, mentored Adryana Climbron and Arianne Driscoll. Climbron features a charming portrait of a smiling girl interacting with a butterfly, bumblebee, beetle, spider and ladybug. This is not an etymological study. It is an image of youthful exuberance.
Driscoll notes that Baldwin gave him the opportunity to “touch all kinds of mediums, including acrylic and clay”. Significantly, this dabbling led her to “just let go and just embrace the art”.
“It’s Not Me” by Driscoll, a digital painting, is intriguing and portends her future, whether it’s her or not.
Devin McLaughlin (aka Nevid) is a painter who works at Hatch Street Studios, and he mentored Kaili Stys and David Thompson, both students at Dartmouth High School.
Stys would love to work as a video game designer or comic book artist and Thompson has similar interests, noting his love for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and creating his own superheroes and villains. With some knowledge of McLaughlin’s personal works, he is the perfect mentor for both.
Congratulations to all the TAIP students for their first museum exhibition, and a big thank you to all the mentors for encouraging the young artists to pursue their dreams.
“TAIP: Artful Identities” is on display at the New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks!, 608 Pleasant St., New Bedford until April 3.