Mentoring Artists for Women's Art: Foundation Mentorship Program, Application Deadline April 24

Application Deadline: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 by 4pm

Year-long Mentorship Program, Sept 2019 – Sept 2020

For all women and non-binary visual artists

The Foundation Mentorship Program (FMP) has been the core of MAWA's programming activity since 1985. It is offered each year because it is so effective in helping participants in their journey towards being professional artists. Women who have gone through the FMP describe it as having been "pivotal," "transformative" and "life changing." It is designed to help women-identified people in the visual arts develop skills and define their decision-making philosophies, and to provide access to the information, resources and support they need to realize their goals. It is a year-long program in which established artists (mentors) meet individually with their mentees for 4 hours per month to share their experience, expertise and advice. The entire FMP group meets for 3 hours per month for critiques, discussion, gallery visits and other activities.

Applicants are selected based on the quality and potential of the artwork submitted, the emerging artist's willingness to dedicate time to the program and the mentor's ability to work with the emerging artist through a shared medium or conceptual interest. Mentors choose mentees who they feel they can help. Potential mentees of all adult ages and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants will be charged a $300 fee for the program. There is no fee to apply, although you must be a MAWA member. Students are not eligible.

If you have applied before and were unsuccessful, consider revisiting your application and the quality of your images, and apply again. Demand for this program far outstrips available spaces. Sometimes the mentors agree that an artist's work is excellent, but they do not feel that they have the specific skills or experience to help that artist. Another year, another mentor might select you.

To apply for the Foundation Mentorship Program:

Please email a single pdf document containing:

  • a letter outlining why you want to participate in this program and what you hope to achieve through mentorship (make sure the letter also includes information regarding how we can contact you by phone, email and post); please also describe your artistic practice (if English is not your first language and you would would like to apply verbally, please call the office and we can make accommodations)
  • an artist résumé (maximum 3 pages)
  • up to 20 embedded jpg images of your artwork captioned with the title of the work, the media, date completed and dimensions, or links to up to 3 minutes of video

If you are not already a member, please also submit a MAWA membership form and payment. MAWA memberships cost $15 for underwaged persons and $30 for others. Applications are due at MAWA by Wendesday April 24 at 4pm. Email applications to and put "FMP Application 2019" in the subject line.

The 2019-2020 Mentors

Yvette Cenerini

Yvette Cenerini is a Franco-Métis artist who has participated in group shows in Manitoba, Québec and Ontario and has had a solo exhibition at La Maison des artistes, Winnipeg. Her work in paint and photocollage is characterized by the use of animal-as-subject. It examines the intricacies of emotion through a simple aesthetic, laden with sarcastic undertones. Cenerini is currently interested in the amalgamation of collage and new media to depict the notion of dependency. She is a graduate of MAWA's Foundation Mentorship Program.

Sarah Crawley

Photo-based artist Sarah Crawley works with ideas generated from lived experience, using different photographic technologies and materials. She has been investigating the impact that memory, place and loss have on identity, using analog photography, pinhole photography and printmaking to explore these relationships. Since being mentored in MAWA's Foundation Mentorship Program in 1989, Crawley has had an active career as an exhibiting artist while also teaching, mentoring and working as an arts administrator.

Leslie Supnet

Leslie Supnet creates moving images using a variety of animation techniques, found media and live-action footage to create psychological narratives about loss, change and shifting identities. Her work has screened at micro-cinemas, galleries and film festivals such as TIFF Short Cuts Canada, Melbourne International Animation Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam, among others. She has taught animation for various artist-run centres, community-based initiatives and at OCAD University. She is a graduate of the Foundation Mentorship Program.

Jenny Western

Jenny Western is an independent curator, writer and educator. She holds a master's degree in Art History and Curatorial Practice from York University in Toronto. Jenny's research interests include matrilineality, regionalism, bicycle culture, the small and the quiet. She has curated projects across Western Canada and is a member of the Ephemerals, an all-female Indigenous art collective with output ranging from fashion to films.

Lisa Wood

Lisa Wood is a figurative-based artist whose practice encompasses painting, drawing, collage, installation and photography. In the last 5 years, she has been creating paintings and drawings based on time-lapse photography of people at social occasions involving food and drink. She is interested in surveillance technology, the body and eating in relation to social psychology. Wood is an Assistant Professor at Brandon University in the Department of Visual and Aboriginal Art. She is a graduate of the Foundation Mentorship Program.