The Artist Exchange program is a mentoring process that enables Kansas-based artists to teach and learn together while engaging in challenging, innovative work over the course of eight to ten months.
Each year, three artists are invited to serve as one-on-one mentors to three mentorees selected through an application process which seeks artists who are embarking on new work, taking their work in new directions, or striving to advance the level of their artistic practice, with mentors serving on the selection committee.
These artists, working in one-on-one pairs, communicate and meet regularly as they develop work for the culminating experience of a month-long exhibition at the Art Center. Participants document their methods and insights in personal journals as they share ideas, discuss concepts and techniques, and refine their artistic philosophies.
In addition, all mentors and mentorees come together at least three times during the program to participate in retreats with Art Center staff members. These activities are designed to enrich the overall process, with the goal of fostering exchanges that are beneficial regardless of participants’ ages and/or levels of development. Discussions are intentionally wide-ranging, inviting diversity and questioning as the means for deeper exploration that will inform subsequent artmaking.
The first Artist Exchange took place in 2006, with the added component of a keynote mentor, Lawrence-based artist Stan Herd, who served as a consultant to the program, interacting with participants and sharing in discussions of working concepts and methods that have guided the development of the program.
The Salina Art Center Artist Exchange program is made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Warhol Initiative program of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.