Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Supports Professional Development for the Visual Arts
Building skills and supporting exploration and innovation are the core values of all SHMF’s Career Development Programs. Based on the belief that professional mentorship between individuals in both formal and informal settings offers unique possibilities for professional artists, the Magaret Woodson Nea Mentorship program is one of the Career Development opportunities offered by the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation.
Margaret Woodson Nea Mentorship Program
The Margaret Woodson Nea Mentorship Program stems from the vision and philanthropy of professional photographer, Margaret Woodson Nea. Ms. Nea believes “unique personal relationships empower artists to delve deeply into the creative spirit.” In honor of Strathbulter artist, Freeman Patterson’s impact on her career, Ms. Nea worked with the SHMF to initiate mentorship opportunities for others. With her support and vision, a pilot mentorship program was launched by the foundation in 2013. In 2014 and 2015, Ms. Nea extended additional financial support to honor two other Strathbutler artists, Cathy Hooper and Marie Hélène Allain, both of whom she considers personal mentors. Based on the productive results of these early mentorships, the Margaret Woodson Nea Mentorship Program was established as a permanent feature of the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Career Development Programs in 2020. It is named in honor of a great patron of the arts as a lasting tribute to her creative spirit.
Distinct and individual mentorships have been awarded to the following artists: Serge Richard, Deborah Payne, Ann Manuel, Vicky Lentz, Theresa MacKnight and Bonny Hill.
How to Apply
SHMF will periodically award Margaret Woodson Nea Mentorships based on the recommendation of the SHMF Career Development Program Committee. These opportunities will arise from a compelling proposal by individual artists or mentors. They are not tied to fixed application deadlines but are assessed individually for their potential for exceptional, career interaction. The committee is looking for proposals from artists taking a deeper dive into ideas or techniques, not necessarily the production of a body of work. A Margaret Woodson Nea Mentorship must hold the the promise of deep personal growth based on the shared experiences of professional artists. Compelling reasons for financial support must be an integral part of all mentorship proposals. Expressions of interest should be addressed to:
The SHMF Career Development Committee
Box 416, Stn Main
Saint John, NB
Characteristics of Margaret Woodson Nea Mentorships
- Margaret Woodson Nea Mentorships support exceptional opportunities in collaboration
- Mentorships arise during a period of professional change, challenge and growth; they are unique and personal
- The mentorship begins as a finite period of creative exchange but generally evolves into a mutually rewarding and lasting relationship.
- The development of a wider professional network naturally evolves from the mentorship
- Both the mentor and the mentee provide an initial list of goals and expectations.
- A clearly defined schedule of meetings and associated costs is a key element
- An ongoing journal of responses documents the mentorship process
- A financial accounting of all expenses related to the mentorship, including stipends, travel and material costs is maintained