SHIFT 2022

Shift Mentoring Program 2022

Finnish Art Agency’s SHIFT mentoring program 2022 offers personal career coaching and group meetings, workshops and talks with external international experts. The aim of the program is to provide tailored support for developing artists’ careers, for example by setting long-term goals, understanding the art world mechanism and creating international contacts. “To grow through what you go through” is the motto of the program – we believe that all the challenges and reflection will eventually make you a stronger professional. Being open to growth, learning and positive future thinking will make it easier for you to clarify your goals. By the end of the program you will have better skills in building a network as an artist, you will understand more about art commissions and the possibilities for you to grow sustainably as an artist to those goals you have made for yourself. 

How we got here?
The mentoring program was organized for the first time in 2015. Due to the growing need to have dialogue and support through online groups for artists and individual career development opportunitites SHIFT will be now held fully online for the first time. This will make it possible for participants to join from all over the world. The program will be held in English. The program is made flexible so that professional talks can be accessed online when it suits best for the participants. In case the participant is not able to join, they can watch the material via zoom video links. It is highly recommended to participate live in all sessions as making questions and having a dialogue is the best way to learn. 

Who can apply?
Finnish Art Agency is looking for artists who are particularly motivated and committed to push their career forward and set concrete goals for their actions. Artists from various different stages of their careers are welcome to apply. The participants can be at any stage of their careers to attend. You must understand and speak basic English to participate. One-to-one coaching can be held also in Finnish.
The SHIFT mentoring program is firmly confidential. 

How to apply:
The open application form is on Finnish Art Agency’s website and can be filled there until 28th of January. After sending the application form a selection of applicants will be interviewed for the program. The interviews will be made between 31st of January – 4th of February. The final group of selected mentoring program participants will be chosen by the 7th of February 2022. The application form is open on Finnish Art Agency’s website from the 11th of January 2022 until 28th of January 2022

The 11 month program costs 2352€ (including vat/tax). The payment can be made in 6 installments or as a one time payment.

Notice! In Finland you can deduct training expenses that relate to maintaining and supplementing your skills or expertise needed for work. To confirm this, please get in touch with your tax office. Please check out your local tax office for more information.

About SHIFT:
The program will include talks, workshops and dialogue with external arts and culture professionals from around the world. The program is directed by certified business coach, arts expert with 20 year experience and creator of Finnish Art Agency, MA Laura Köönikkä. The core of the program is each participants personal experience and process which will be supported by individual personal coaching sessions and group sessions.
External professionals will share their career stories in addition to honest opinions about art world’s best practices. Participants will learn about conseptualizing art works and exhibitions, commissioning art from artists point of view and institutions point of view. How to price you work, collaboration and presentation as an artist. We are going to unravel processes and share how work opportunities like exhibitions, fairs and public commissions can be achieved.  We will also focus on writing about your art and updating your artist statement. Hearing ideas, thoughts and experiences from art professionals and artists will be an opportunity for the participants to gain knowledge and information for their own future practice. 

Program lead and mentor:
Founder of Finnish Art Agency, curator, certified business coach, MA Laura Köönikkä 

The workshops and talks are a special opportunity for the SHIFT mentoring program participants to hear exclusively how established artists and experienced professionals. All the talks are in dialogue with the external professional so participants can make questions.

External professionals for talks and workshops:

Beate Cegielska, Director, Gallerist, Denmark, Galleri Image
Mark Devereux, Director, Mark Devereux Projects, UK
Jay Grimm, Art advisor, US, Jay Grimm Art Advisory
Nanna Hjortenberg, Director, CHART Art Fair, Denmark
Anne Klontz, Exhibition manager at Konstfack, Curator for Tallinn biennale 2023, Sweden
Claire Mander, Director and Curator of theCoLAB UK
Alan Phelan, Artist,  artist homepage Ireland
Mike Pinnington, art writer, Co-founder/full-time editor,  The Double Negative, UK
Laura Robertson, writer, art critic, editor and lecturer,, UK
Pirkko Siitari, Head of exhibitions, curatorial lead Helsinki Biennale, HAM, FI
Jeanne Simmons Artist, artist homepage, US
Liz West, Artist, artist homepage, UK

The program starts in February and ends in December 2022.
The 11-month program is divided into 4 different modules with different themes:

Personal career developmentArtist toolkit and communication update 
Building a support network as a creative professionalPresence online and offline. Storytelling as an artist.
  • Personal career development will include
    Throughout the program you will have four (4) 90minutes one-on-one meetings with Laura Köönikkä, coach, mentor and the head of SHIFT program. In these sessions you can focus on issues that are important for your own career and self-reflection. You can focus on limiting beliefs or process your past experiences or future challenges and dreams. The sessions will be an opportunity for you to clarify your strengths and personal skills as a professional artist. Through self-reflection you will understand your possibilities to grow and develop in your career. In the sessions you will have the opportunity to articulate your core values and work towards a future in which you can be more confident and empathetic to yourself.

  • Artist toolkit and communication update will include
    In the program you will have a chance to get feedback and help for the text material on your website and portfolio. By the end of the program you will have an updated artist statement which has been read and commented on by the program’s professional team.Toolkit and communication module is giving you practical ideas and help to update your materials. 

  • Building your own support network as a creative professional will include
    This module is focusing on themes such as networking, activity, finding the right partners and finding your voice as an artist. We are approaching the theme with the idea that we (the art world) all need each other. By growing own network and contacts opportunities become easier to access. Supporting each other and sharing is a state of mind. What is your story?

  • Presence online and offline. Storytelling as an artist.
    One of the main goals of the program is to track the change and growth process of each participant. During the year each participant will have an interview of themselves and their art published on Finnish Art Agency’s website and social media channels: Facebook and Instagram. Storytelling and the methods of self-reflection play a key role in this module. 

Individual work: Writing / Program reading/ Watching videos / other material

Shift Self-assesment

Self-study online sessions: creativity through body awareness hosted by movement therapist Kaisa Selin

How to participate:

The program is held 100% online so you need a stable internet connection, computer and headset/headphones in a quiet environment.  Easiest is to download the Zoom application. Zoom can be also used in a browser window on a Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, Android tablet or Android phone. You will find a Zoom invitation with a link to access the workshop/talks/coachings before each session.

Where do I sign up!?

You can use the embedded form below or fill in the application in a separate tab with this link.