In 2020 As We Are commenced two one-on-one art mentorships, funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. The recipients of the mentorships were emerging artists Mathew Clark and Mandy White and our two art mentors, Perth-based artists, Kate Leslie and Natalie Scholtz. Each of the mentorships involved two weekly 3-hour art sessions at As We Are’s Fremantle studio, over 18 weeks.

The purpose of the mentorships was to develop both the artistic skills as well as developing their professional art practice and career. The painting and drawings skills development included: colour theory and mixing; various paint application techniques; and bringing line and drawing into a painting. The professional development was achieved through developing a professional artist bio and statement (with Ric Spencer, former Curator & Exhibitions Manager, Fremantle Arts Centre); professionally photographing of artworks (with photographer Garry Wilcox); visiting local artist studios and galleries; developing and maintaining a social media presence; submitting an artwork into mainstream art award; as well as partaking in a peer review session with visual art professionals.

Both Mathew and Mandy produced a beautiful body of work from the Mentorships.

In late 2020 As We Are was approached by the City of Fremantle to host a group exhibition at the PS Art Space, Fremantle as part of their 2021 Fremantle Festival. Mathew and Mandy were seen as very suitable candidates, and with further funding from the Department, As We Are has been able to continue the two mentorships in 2021.

This time Mathew and Mandy are working from the Artsource studios in Fremantle, and are working towards developing a body of new artwork for the Deep Winter exhibition in July 2021. They will be exhibiting alongside three other Fremantle-based artists with intellectual disability: Katrina Barber, Greg Barr and Jane Ryan.

(Photos: Garry Wilcox)