The first session of the Artquest Painting Salon was held via Zoom on 8-Sept from 6:30-9:30pm. This session was initiated by Nick Kaplonsky of Artquest and included guest presentations by artists Malca Mizrahi and Scott McCracken of Turps Banana. Salon members Ewelina Skowronska and Alice Wisden presented work for feedback.
Malca attended one of the Artquest Z-Crit sessions (as did I: see here for my own introduction and later posts on the feedback I received). Subsequent to that she took the lead in setting up a peer mentoring group with others from her session. She gave us a presentation on the work of current members of her group, two of whom were also in this Painting Salon session, and then talked about how the group ran and some lessons learned.
Malca’s group was focused on painting only, by design, to ensure a common point of contact between the participants. She said that the group did fall to only two or three members at one point and might have come to an end but a call to Nick led to finding more people interested and the group now was nine strong. In the discussion that followed, some in the Salon spoke about how mixed peer groups might lead to wider consideration of work, but I have to say I would prefer a painting-only or painting-and-printmaking group.
Scott described the history of Turps Banana and how its Art School had begun. The Studio Programme participants (usually 24 students per year) tended to be at a more advanced stage of their careers, typically having completed BA or MA degrees in Fine Art or at least able to demonstrate the ability to partake in the artistic conversations that form a large part of the course. There is also an Off-Site Programme and individual Surgeries and 1-to-1 Mentoring available.
The Correspondence Course, which Scott leads, currently has around 160 participants and a wide and expanding list of mentors. The criteria for joining this course is much less restrictive; a painter need only show that they have the potential to benefit from the mentoring on offer.
I’m hoping to join the Correspondence Course at its next intake providing I can get into a more productive flow of working and figure out how to actually talk about my own work!
The presentation of and discussions about Ewelina and Alice’s work produced interesting insights into their work but that is for them to post about.