Artist Mentorship Program (AMP)

Artist mentorship program 

Faculty member Lynn Peterfreund (on left)

Zea Mays Printmaking is offering a unique opportunity for a select group of artists seeking to deepen their artistic practice while developing their printmaking skills. The Artist Mentorship Program (AMP) pairs each participating artist with a Zea Mays Printmaking faculty mentor. Working closely together on a self-designed course, the mentor is there to guide the artist through technical and conceptual challenges, helping refine the artist’s eye and skill.

Regardless of age, experience and past art training, the Artist Mentorship Program (AMP) is open to all artists who wish to engage in a sustained studio experience designed to sharpen their abilities as artists and as printmakers.

Developing one’s work over time and absorbing new approaches to technique can challenge the content, the expression, and the visual elements of one’s art making practice.  Mentorship can provide support, insight and clarity during the often challenging, artistic process. Mentors will respond to ongoing work, providing guidance, feedback and encouragement.

This program can specifically help an artist deepen his/her artistic practice within the field of printmaking, gain technical skills, set goals, resolve aesthetic issues, prepare a portfolio for graduate school, or approach galleries.

AMP18-19 application

How it works:

Participants in the Artist Mentorship Program are assigned a faculty mentor with whom they work closely. They discuss how the program can provide a framework and direction for each individual artist. Mentors and mentees work closely to set goals. A mentor may provide hands-on demonstrations, printing assistance, critiques, editing help, assign readings or research, or recommend resources specific to the participant’s interest — helping the participant work toward and develop a focused project and deepening the experience of making, looking, and thinking about art. Mentors offer guidance in how to shape an interest into an idea, and an idea into a body of work.

Mentees do not have to be local.  Past mentees have come from California, Ohio, Maine, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.  Long distance travelers often come for a week or two and combine their mentorship with a residency at Zea Mays.

The Details:

AMP55:
AMP55 is for artists who want to deepen their artistic practice, learn new techniques, engage in critical dialogue about their work, develop language to talk about your work, overcome obstacles and generate new work.

  • The program consists of 40 hours of one-on-one work with your mentor over the course of ten months. The hours can be spent as critique, technical instruction, support while making art, goal setting, discussion of readings or trends, career advising, portfolio development, etc. In addition, your mentor will spend up to 15 non-contact hours in email/phone conversations, research, documentation, etc. to support your mentorship.
  • Hours can be put together into blocks for shorter or longer sessions (i.e. 2 hour critique session one month, a 6 hour work session the next).
  • Mentorship hours can be used to work with your primary mentor, or with other mentors in the program to target specific areas of expertise, or to get a different perspective on your work.
  • You and your mentor design the program to suit your individual desires and availability. At your first meeting you will discuss your interests, goals, artistic practice, obstacles and outline the shape and scope of your mentoring experience.
  • One 2-day workshop of your choice is included in the mentorship program.
  • Mentoring can take place at Zea Mays Printmaking, or at a mutually agreed upon place (i.e. your studio) or via Skype or telephone.
  • In addition to your time spent with your mentor, artists must commit to a minimum of 250 hours working independently.
  • Additional hours can be added to the mentorship program at a rate of $65/hour.

When: September 2018 – June 2019

Cost:
$3500 includes:
40 contact hours with mentor
15 non-contact hours by mentor to support mentee
1 – two-day workshop
inclusion in an exhibition in the Sanford Gallery at ZMP upon completion
10% discount on ZMP annual membership (membership is not included)

AMP35
AMP35 is shorter in length and is for artists who 1) have a definite project in mind (upcoming exhibitions, organization and graduate school applications, flat file entries, etc) and want the technical and professional support to complete a project within a given deadline or 2) who want to develop a personal printmaking practice but require less support or 3) those who want to repeat the program on a more limited basis.

  • The program consists of 25 hours of one-on-one work with your mentor over the course of 4 – 10 months. The hours can be spent as critique, technical instruction, support while making art, portfolio development, help writing artist statements, exhibition promotion. In addition, your mentor will spend up to 10 non-contact hours in email/phone conversations, research, documentation, etc. to support your mentorship.
  • Hours can be put together into blocks for shorter or longer sessions (i.e. 2 hour critique session one month, a 6 hour work session the next).
  • You and your mentor design the program to suit your individual desires and availability. At your first meeting you will discuss your interests, goals, artistic practice, obstacles and outline the shape and scope of your mentoring experience.
  • Mentorship hours can be used to work with your primary mentor, or with other mentors in the program to target specific areas of expertise, or to get a different perspective on your work.
  • Mentoring can take place at Zea Mays Printmaking, or at a mutually agreed upon place (i.e. your studio) or via Skype or telephone.
  • In addition to your time spent with your mentor, artists must commit to a minimum of 100 hours working independently.
  • Additional hours can be added to the mentorship program at a rate of $65/hour.

When: September 2018 – June 2019 

Cost:
$2200 includes
25 contact hours with mentor
10 non-contact hours by mentor to support mentee
inclusion in an exhibition in the Sanford Gallery at ZMP upon completion
10% discount on ZMP annual membership (membership is not included)

Apply:

AMP@ZMP 2018/19 is open to 10 artists. Apply for acceptance to the program by filling out the attached application. The applications will be reviewed by the mentors and studio director. Application deadline for the 2018-19 program is July 1, 2018.

AMP18-19 application

The mentors:

Zea Mays Printmaking faculty members Annie Bissett, Nancy Diessner, Louise Kohrman, Lynn Peterfreund, and Joyce Silverstone will serve as the 2018-19 mentors.  These mentors were selected by studio director Liz Chalfin based on their varied technical specialties, their teaching skills, their experience as working artists and their successful experience working in mentor/mentee relationships.  Liz Chalfin will serve as Program Director and will be available for consultations.

Annie Bissett specializes in relief printing with wood, with a focus on Japanese method watercolor woodblock printing (moku hanga) and white line (Provincetown) prints. All printing with these methods is done without a press. Assistance is also available for portfolio building, creating a web site, developing social media presence, and writing artist statements. Read more about Annie

Nancy Diessner’s areas of expertise include: photopolymer intaglio platemaking and printing; photopolymer plate alteration and alternative techniques; polyester plate lithography (including Pronto Plates); collagraphy; intaglio printmaking including copper sulfate etching of aluminum; chine colle and printing a la poupe. Read more about Nancy

Louise Kohrman’s areas of expertise include:  “green” intaglio processes such as hard ground, soft ground, non-acid techniques (drypoint), lift grounds, aquatint and etching in ferric chloride; chine colle and related techniques (mounting, collage, printing on or working with delicate and Asian papers); technical troubleshooting and professional printing methods; image development; and technical and conceptual critique. Read more about Louise

Lynn Peterfreund’s areas of expertise include all basic monotype techniques: additive and subtractive techniques, color theory, color mixing and layering, color viscosity, transfer drawing, working large and working with mixed media. Also, intaglio techniques: etching, aquatint, drypoint, spit bite, and coffee lift. Experience working in both abstract and representational art. Read more about Lynn

Joyce Silverstone’s areas of expertise include: color theory applied to layering and color mixing for printmakers, viscosity printing techniques, monotype printing on and off the press, layering and combining monotype with woodcut, and alternative relief plates, collage, and polyester plate lithography.   Read more about Joyce

impressions from current and past Mentees:

“The Artist Mentorship Program offered me an accelerated learning environment and an instant artistic community—much appreciated when starting a career in art. I view it as a personalized, abbreviated first year of art school with practical, analytical, social and aesthetic components.
Practical: For one who has a home studio, there were invaluable suggestions regarding spray booths, press blankets and green recipes. There was exposure to useful techniques, such as gradient rolls and wiping methods, from the individual sessions and classes.
Analytical: Perhaps the most challenging and intensive part was the critique sessions. Without the normal artistic background the critical insights, vocabulary, and artistic and historical references made for exhausting but extremely valuable sessions.
Social: One of the delights of the program was working in a community of professional artists. The benefits included lively lunches, quiet conversation while working in the evening, exposure to different styles and tools and, much appreciated, empathetic support from my mentors.
Aesthetic: The mentorship is designed and best served by being on site at Zea Mays. Given I live in California my visits to Zea Mays were the highlight of the program. In addition to the people, the physical environment—the New England landscape, Smith College Art Museum, Zea Mays Flat File Project and Gallery, studios with their tall windows, kitchen cum reference library, and the cozy apartments—was beautiful and inviting.
For all these reasons the mentorship enabled me to call myself an “artist” with increased comfort and understanding of what the title entailed.” – Janet McLaughlin (2016/17 mentee)

“Zea Mays Printmaking has critically informed my life and my art over the past two years. With a background in the performing arts, and feeling a little lost in my life, I hoped the summer intensive would catalyze in me a new artistic direction. My first real immersion in printmaking processes, we covered an overwhelming amount during just a few short weeks. Transitioning into the mentorship program immediately following the summer intensive allowed me to explore and develop these new skills in a way that I could not have done on my own. The flexibility of the AMP is ideally suited to my personality, goals and work style, and my mentor, Louise Kohrman, has been exceptionally responsive to my evolving needs during our time together. Initially, recognizing my lack of confidence with copper plate etching and spit bite aquatint techniques, Louise gave me structured assignments that challenged me technically as well as artistically. She followed up these assignments with thoughtful critiques and suggestions for improving the quality of my work. I have gained confidence in my ability to produce work more closely aligned with what is in my head. As part of the AMP, I have also benefited from critique sessions with other ZMP mentors. Each of the mentors brought with their unique perspective some new insight; I have felt my artistic vision expand exponentially after each of these sessions. I cannot imagine being where I am today artistically without the support of ZMP and the mentorship program.” – K.E. Sekararum (2016/17 mentee)

“My mentorship at ZMP with Joyce Silverstone was just what I needed. I am primarily an en plein air painter who wanted to expand my imagery and to learn more about printmaking. Joyce is a great listener, a wise advisor and an energizing cheerleader. Many times I didn’t really know what I wanted but had only a clue, she helped me hone that in. Joyce is such an inspirational teacher, she really helped me make the work happen.
Going back over my application essay and reading my goals, needs and processes, I am reminded that I accomplished what I set out to do. One goal was that I wanted to learn more about myself as an artist, through understanding my processes and listening much more carefully to my own voice. So how do you teach that!? Well, Joyce and the generous folks and space of ZMP allowed me to expand my thinking, my possibilities and my capabilities. I learned during my mentorship, to slow down and tune into my own thoughts and voice. This I feel was the biggest take-away, one that I feel will last my artistic life time.
The work I completed during my mentorship, opened a door in a way that I think would have taken much, much longer to have done alone or on my own. Plus, the people at Zea Mays are truly wonderful and accomplished. I also had the opportunity to worked with Liz and Lynnand feel fortunate to have this experience.” – Gretchen Jacobs (2016/17 mentee)

“The Mentorship Program experience has been extremely valuable for me. Having someone to talk to about my work in general, and individual pieces in particular, over the extended period of a year (and longer) has helped me to:

  • Identify and connect to the larger arc of my work and goals
  • Learn to ask myself questions about my work as I go along, that help make it better
  • Choose topics and techniques to learn and try to master (color, color mixing, mark making, value, composition)
  • Think about my work in the context of art history
  • Discover particular artists to follow and study
  • Consciously collect images and writings that inspire me,
  • Speak and write about my own work more clearly

Lynn is a joy to work with. Our discussions about art and life and the intersections of both were very meaningful and inspiring. She shares from a wealth of knowledge and experience with great respect and care. I appreciate the way she has structured our work around my particular work and goals. Lynn and Liz have helped me find ways to make the mentorship work in spite of the challenges of the distance of my home (in NYC) and family commitments.
In preparing to write this summary of my experience, I printed out and re-read the notes Lynn sent after each of our session. These are a great resource for me to look back at. There are many suggestions of things to look at, to try, to think about. I feel verygrateful for the experience of the Mentorship program, and I think I now have a more organized framework for my art practice. I look forward to finding ways to continue this process. ” – Nancy Doniger (2016/17 mentee)

“Participating in the Artist Mentorship Program at Zea Mays Printmaking has given me a sense of where I want to go in my work. Having a great mentor to lean on and give constructive feedback during our meetings and support as I move further into the many techniques available in printmaking. My way of working is task oriented and my mentor has realized that having definite projects to work on for each session is very much my style. I feel the mentor puts emphasis on recognizing how my background fits best for the work I want to do and thus provides me with reasonable pressure to accomplish that. Getting acquainted with the studio and the equipment is important in order to feel secure while working independently – learning this is also a part of working with a mentor. I feel respected by my mentor and encouraged to try new ways.” – Edda Sigurðardóttir (2016/17 mentee)

“I was awarded my first artist residency: a week in a dune shack on Cape Cod National Seashore. I felt I needed some artistic guidance to develop the work created during the residency into a uniform body of work.  A print project mentorship with Zea Mays was the perfect solution for me.  Conversations with my mentor before the residency began triggered ideas and artwork created on site.  Development of print imagery after the residency has been enhanced by further interaction; critiques, short demonstrations of print technique and color use tailored to me were extremely useful and gently steered me down my artistic path. We even came up with a new print technique!” – Louise Wallendorf, (2016/17 mentee)

I have been in the Zea Mays mentorship program for several months. I feel incredibly fortunate to have Joyce Silverstone as my mentor and to be based at Zea Mays.  The program is very thoughtfully designed. The focus is on your learning – whatever direction you need that to take.  I feel fully supported both when I am meeting with Joyce and when I am away working in my studio.  Our communication between meetings means I know she is paying attention to the work I am making, and either of us can initiate a conversation between meetings if I need technical advice or help in thinking through the direction of my work. Joyce has a wealth of technical information as well as a deep understanding of visual art and the creative process. She teaches me printing techniques, suggests resources for me to look at, helps me think about in what ways I want to develop, and designs assignments based on our conversations. I can tell that she works differently with each student depending on their needs.  Liz and other experienced teachers are available as well.  It is wonderful that this program is based at Zea Mays.  It is a well organized, well run studio that is healthy to work in not only because of the research and careful attention they are giving to non toxic printing methods. It is also healthy because of the lively, supportive and thoughtful community of artists who run and maintain it, and the many ways they have created for other artists to be involved in the studio.  This is a really unique learning opportunity that is flexible and individually designed for the maximum benefit of the student. It’s hard for me to imagine a better designed mentorship program.”  – Amy Meltzer (2016/17 mentee)

“I am so grateful and happy that I have been able to be part of this program. Lynn has been a wonderful mentor: articulate, able to say what is not working in a painting as a fact rather than an artistic failure, supportive and encouraging. She pinpointed several consistent errors in my figure work. Correcting these has helped me to see and to paint better. She introduced me to watercolor monotype, a process with which I am experimenting at home. I love its’ possibilities! She has taught me how to use non-solvent based inks and this has made working at home much, much easier. I no longer have to worry about solvents cloging our septic system AND my headaches have disappeared. Most of all I really loved working with Lynn as Lynn. She is so much fun! All I can say is that I loved this program. Thank you for creating it”. -Sue Nichols (2015/16  mentee)

“I wanted three things from my Zea Mays mentorship: a deepening knowledge of printmaking, an increased confidence in my work and in myself as an artist, and a greater sense of myself as a part of a community of artists. I got all three from working with Joyce this year. I will always have more to learn—this is one of the joys of the work—and it is the mentorship that has opened these possibilities to me. I cannot praise it (and Zea Mays) too highly.” – Sarah Thomson (2015/16 mentee)

“What excites me is walking into the printmaking studio and having one idea for a plate (and print) and then—either learning something new or having the technique or image take me in a direction I had not planned. That was my first sentence of my application a year ago. And AMP@ZMP has taken me in directions I had not planned and couldn’t be more excited and pleased with the experience. AMP@ZMP has more than met my expectations. My mentor. Louise, focused on helping me meet my goals and was flexible as those goals changed in focus. My goals were focused on improving my technical skills, printing in color and pushing my imagery. I ended up focusing on working large and in different techniques. My imagery is going in a direction I find exciting and working with color will be happening—just not now. Working together in the studio to improve my skill set, the timely critiques and working on my own was a solid balance for me. I highly recommend the AMP@ZMP.” – Larinda Meade (2015/16  mentee)

AMP18-19 application