The Lunenburg Symposium: Mentorship in the Arts

The Lunenburg Symposium

May 27th – 29th, 2016
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

To mark the 10th anniversary of our Mentorship Program VANS is excited to announce The Lunenburg Symposium: Mentorship in the Arts, in partnership with the Lunenburg School of the Arts.  Symposium sessions and all events will be held in the Lunenburg School of the Arts (unless otherwise noted), 6 Prince Street, Lunenburg, NS from 10am to 4pm, which includes a catered lunch from 12pm to 1pm.


Advance Registration is now closed, but we are happy to register you at the door May 27, 28 and 29. If you are attending the opening reception Friday, May 27th at LSA we can register you at the door after 4:15pm. If you wish to attend the symposium on Saturday or Sunday (or both) we can register you at the door between 9:15 am and 9:45 am. Please note that we can accept credit card, cash (exact change please) and cheque at the door but we will be unable to accept debit. Click here for more info.

At the Door (May 27 -29)
Student/Senior/Unwaged – $80
Regular – $100

1 Day pass – Saturday – $55
1 Day pass – Sunday – $55

Programming Schedule

Friday, May 27th
Reception and group activity hosted by the Lunenburg School for the Arts

Saturday, May 28th
10am – 12pm
Guest Presenter Zachary Gough on the Economies of Mentorship: In this workshop, we will use our time together to unpack some of the non-monetary exchanges, trades, barters, and swaps between mentee and mentor.  Then drawing from, and looking at, our past and present experiences with mentorship, we will learn some things from each other that will allow us to better shepherd good, successful, equitable mentorships for our personal and collective benefit. Our brainstorming and discussion will serve as the research for the group show exhibition that we will create by the time the workshop is over!
12pm- 1pm Lunch
1pm – 4pm Participatory Workshop led by Mammalian Diving Reflex: A workshop presentation featuring a practical application of MDR’s Succession Model for Youth Labour Engagement (SMYLE): an evolving approach to mentorship and youth engagement based on designed social circumstances operating as sites of research. The SMYLE is grounded in some simple, but paradigm-warping principles such as collegiality, social capital, friendship and performativity. This will include Kathy Vuu’s specific experiences being mentored by the company, and the mentorship she and Director of Creative Production Eva Verity have been engaging in.
6:30pm Group Activity! Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP) will host a performance from the vocal residents mentoring with Montreal-based early music ensemble Constantinople. 97-101 Kaulbach Street, Lunenburg.

Sunday, May 29th
10am – 12pm
Introductory remarks/workshop by Shawna Dempsey: Based on Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art’s experience as a pioneer in visual arts mentorship, this 90-minute workshop will suggest “how-to”s for anyone considering setting up a mentorship program, anyone who will be mentoring, or anyone who will be mentored. Topics discussed will include: defining structure, boundaries and expectations, avoiding pitfalls and negotiating conflict. The workshop will also explore learning models, and will offer a variety of useful approaches and practical advice.
12pm- 1pm Lunch
1pm – 4pm Artist to artist interviews with Iris Hauser and Cate Francis; Peter Dykhuis and Anne Macmillan; Sarah Crawley and Jaime Black. Moderator: Shawna Dempsey.

Guest/Artist Biographies

Jaime Black is a multidisciplinary artist of mixed Anishnaabe/Cree and European descent. Black has worked creating arts education curriculum for Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art, as a board member for Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA), as Education Coordinator at Martha Street Print Studio and is currently focused on a full time studio art practice. Perhaps best known for her internationally recognized installation The REDress Project Black’s work explores themes of gender, identity, place and resistance through installation, photography and performance. Black’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is currently on display at The Canadian Museum For Human Rights.

Sarah Crawley In her art practice, Crawley works with ideas generated from lived experience using different photographic technologies and materials. Her most recent work explores the impact that place has on identity. Crawley has exhibited across Canada in solo and group shows as well as internationally. A recipient of many grants and awards, she enjoys sharing her passion for photography through teaching and mentoring and is an active member of the visual art community in Winnipeg.

Shawna Dempsey is one of Canada’s best-known performance artists. In 1989, she and Lorri Millan started an artistic collaboration that is infamous for pieces such as We’re Talking Vulva, a five-minute rap performance in which Dempsey dresses as giant female genitalia, and Lesbian National Parks and Services, a multi-media project in which uniformed Rangers Dempsey and Millan work to protect the fragile lesbian ecosystem. Dempsey and Millan are also known for performance installations that engage the public in unexpected art-driven experiences, such as Grocery Store (a functioning grocery store in an Exchange District gallery) and Wild Ride (a carnival midway on Toronto’s Bay Street during the financial crisis of 2009). Their work has been featured in venues as far-ranging as women’s centres in Sri Lanka and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. They have also published books (Lesbian National Parks & Services Field Guide to North America and Bedtime Stories for the Edge of the World), and have curated exhibitions, including four major shows at the Winnipeg Art Gallery as Adjunct Curators of Contemporary Art. Dempsey is currently Co- Executive Director of MAWA, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, an art education centre. She is also an instructor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg.

Peter Dykhuis was born in London, Ontario. He graduated in 1978 with a BFA from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, then moved to Toronto, Ontario, where he established an active studio practice and worked for various galleries in the region. In 1991 he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he continues to live and practice. Peter Dykhuis has exhibited in artist-run centres and public galleries throughout Canada and the United States. As a member of the Red Head Gallery in Toronto, he has participated in solo and group projects since 2004. On the international stage, Dykhuis has exhibited at The Embassy of Canada in Tokyo in 1998 and installed Pressure Today at the conference titled Cartography and Art – Art and Cartography in Vienna, Austria, in 2008. You Are Here (Works on Paper) was presented at the Sydney College of the Arts in Australia in 2009. TAG Fine Art in London, England, displayed new works produced on clipboards in the exhibition The Art of Mapping organized in November of 2011.
Parallel to this, Dykhuis developed a career as an arts administrator, curator and critical writer, first in Toronto and presently in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In August 2007, Dykhuis became the Director/Curator of Dalhousie Art Gallery at Dalhousie University in Halifax where he is responsible for its administration and programming.

Cate Francis is a printmaker and illustrator from Saskatoon Saskatchewan, she obtained a BFA from the University of Saskatchewan in 2008. In 2012 she received a of a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier grant to pursue an MFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design which she completed in the spring of 2014. She has shown work in galleries across Canada and the US and Her work has been published in numerous local and national publications including Applied Arts Grain Magazine, and the Antigonish Review. She is a former board member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council, Juror and volunteer for AKA Artist Run Centre and a founding member of Ink Slab Printmakers. In addition to her personal art practice Cate also works as an award winning freelance illustrator for numerous clients in the Canadian arts and entertainment industry.

Zachary Gough is a person, artist, and student/teacher that works collaboratively and responsively with other artists, community groups and organizations to promote alternative economic systems and toward deconstructing the capitalist viral value paradigm and its manifestations. He often uses participatory and immaterial media, such as radio and performance, to address materialist concerns, such as labour, power, debt, education, and liberation. Zach is a graduate of the art and social practice MFA program at Portland State University in Oregon.

Iris Hauser was born in Cranbrook, BC in 1956. After studies in Victoria (1973/74), Nova Scotia (1975), Saskatoon (1977-79) and Germany (1980-81), she moved to Saskatoon. Her work has been collected by many patrons, including the Canada Council Art Bank, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the University of Regina, the Kenderdine Art gallery and the Mendel Art Gallery, and has been exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in public and private galleries throughout western Canada and abroad. Recent paintings may be viewed at

Anne Macmillan is a Canadian artist from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She received a BFA from NSCAD University in 2009, and in 2015 she completed a Masters of Science as a Fulbright scholar in the program of Art, Culture and Technology at MIT. During her studies she was awarded the Laya and Jerome B. Wiesner Student Art Award, as well as first place for the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts. Her practice has been supported by grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Nova Scotia Council on Communities, Culture and Heritage, and the Council for Arts at MIT. In 2016 she will continue her work during a four-month residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France.

Mammalian Diving Reflex views innovative artistic interventions as a way to trigger generosity and equity across the universe. Founded in 1993, Mammalian is a research-art atelier dedicated to investigating the social sphere, always on the lookout for contradictions to whip into aesthetically scintillating experiences. They are a culture production workshop that creates site and social-specific performance events, theatre-based productions, gallery-based participatory installations, video products, art objects and theoretical texts. Mammalian’s body of work is interconnected, varied and vibrant, reflecting their unique and growing body of knowledge and expertise on the use and function of culture. They create work that recognizes the social responsibility of art, fostering a dialogue between audience members, between the audience and the material, and between the performers and the audience. In all its forms, the company’s work dismantles barriers between individuals of all ages, cultural, economic and social backgrounds; they collaborate with non-artists, and offer both participatory opportunities for the audience as well as the traditional option of simply watching the proceedings as they unfold. It is their mission to bring people together in new and unusual ways, in Toronto, Canada, their home-base, and around the world, to create work that is engaging, challenging, and gets people talking, thinking and feeling. Mammalian is co-led by a four-director team, consisting of Darren O’Donnell, Artistic and Research Director; Eva Verity, Director, Creative Production; Jenna Winter, Managing Director; and Annie Wong, Young Mammals Director.

Thanks to our sponsors and partners:

ArtsNS-logoLunenburg School logoCanada Council logoTOTAL_MFA_2colour

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