In partnership with Townsville City Galleries, Umbrella is producing and facilitating Transitions – a four-month program combining mentorship, critiques and development for emerging and early-career visual artists who have recently finished formal arts training. The mentees develop their own arts practice and gain valuable insights into working professionally. Transitions supports artists to develop their skills and confidence to forge a career in the arts.

The six successful artist mentees – Anne Cole, Brooklyn O’Hearn, Moana Woods, Kaz Hauser, Rabin Sherchan and Shekira Smith – have each self-defined their outcomes and will work through important steps to achieve their goals with help from their established North Queensland artist mentors. The mentees are working towards building their studio practice and portfolio, forging artist CVs, and developing grant and exhibition application skills. Monthly group critique sessions will also enable the artists to develop their network and grow from peer- and mentor-assessments. At the completion of the program, the artist mentees will receive a free one-year membership to Umbrella, which includes the benefit of being eligible to apply for exhibitions at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts.

Transitions is also filling a void in the Townsville arts economy. Two of the mentees noted:

This program is addressing exactly what I need right now, and I didn’t quite realise how much I can benefit from support like this until my first session with my mentor today. Sixteen hours of one-on-one mentorship, teaching or training with an accomplished artist under highly flexible, individual terms is positively golden for someone just finding their feet, and has the potential to really amp up the quality of the work that emerging artists in Townsville are creating.

A relative lack of artistic opportunity for Townsville’s youth is something that I have definitely noticed growing up here, so to finally have such an exciting opportunity is really great and I think that it will absolutely become a valuable piece of the Townsville community!

Images above: Mentee Anne Cole and her artworks and moulds. Anne has been developing her skills in sculptural casting with her mentor Jane Hawkins.
Images below: Mentee Brooklyn O’Hearn’s copper plate etching process that she has been developing with her mentor Margaret Robertson, in Umbrella’s Makerspace. The pair have been exploring a variety of printmaking processes.

Image below: A group critique session with some of the artists. The mentees worked on building and refining their CVs with Umbrella’s Gallery Manager Daniel Qualischefski, and spoke with Townsville City Galleries staff. (Left to right: Rabin Sherchan, Rachel Cunningham (TCC), Ashleigh Peters (TCC), Kaz Hauser, Jonathan Brown (TCC) and Anne Cole).


The Transitions program is a partnership between Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts and Townsville City Galleries. 

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