SHIFT mentoring program 2015
In autumn 2015, Finnish Art Agency launched a mentoring program for professional visual artists. SHIFT program offered personal career coaching and a seminar with international professionals from the arts sector. A maximum of 12 coachees were chosen based upon the received applications. The purpose of the program was to provide tailored support for developing the artist’s careers, for example by helping and planning the organizing of exhibitions, setting long-term goals and creating international contacts.
We were looking for visual artists who are motivated to push their career forward and set concrete goals for their actions. The artists participating in SHIFT mentoring program 2015 were Erika Adamsson, Hanna Kanto, Kristiina Uusitalo, Mia Damberg, Tiina Kivinen, Santeri Sarkola, Julia Weckman, Elina Aho and Kaija Hinkula. The participating artists committed to developing their practice during the coaching period. The mentoring program was firmly confidential.
The program included three personal one-to-one meetings and a seminar with international art experts (29.–30.10.2015). During the program, both the artists and the mentor kept actively in touch with each other. In the first meeting we got an overview idea of the artist’s works and the current situation, and define his/hers ambitions for the future. Both the artist and the mentor committed in preparing the issues raised in the meetings also outside the appointment times. The meetings were tailored to fit the coachees individual requirements. The aim was to find the best possible solutions for every artist’s career and individual situation.
Possible subjects for the appointments could have been 1) different customs in communication, marketing and international collaborations 2) finances: pricing of the artworks, making a budget, applying for grants 3) content: organizing exhibitions and the exhibition process.
900 € (incl. 24% VAT and SHIFT seminar)
SHIFT seminar (29.–30.10.2015)
International SHIFT seminar brought wide range of European art professionals to Helsinki. The guest speakers told about their experiences of good art practices and opened up their own practice through several examples. SHIFT seminar speakers included, for example, director Mark Devereux from Mark Devereux Projects (Manchester, UK), curator Cecilia Andersson from Bildmuseet (Stockholm/Umeå, Sweden) and producer and curator Bren O’Callaghan (Manchester, UK). The seminar fee was included in total SHIFT mentoring program price.
Finnish Art Agency was founded in 2013 as an agency for internationally oriented Finnish artists, as the demand for mediating actors in the visual art scene is increasing. FAA supports and advises its customers actively in their different projects and develops new patterns of collaboration and production. Finnish Art Agency’s task is to ease the communication between the artists and cooperators so that the joint projects can be completed successfully. The agency searches and contacts agents, introduces and brings together artists and institutions. Apart from single visual artists, FAA’s clients include museums, universities, organizations and offices in several sectors. The agency’s collaboration with artists and museums is based upon fostering and nurturing the national and the international networks, thus actively mapping out work opportunities for artists. Finnish Art Agency’s task is to be a forerunner in a field where there are practically no equivalent actors.