Finding Your Voice Mentorship Program
Virtual Ceramic Mentorship Program with Naomi Clement
Program Length: 5 months
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Time Commitment: Participants are expected to attend all group sessions, and dedicate a minimum of 5 additional hours per week to their own studio practice and creativity.
Type of Work: This program welcomes ceramic artists who make any type of work across the full spectrum, from functional to sculptural.
Application Deadline: December 9th, 11:59 pm EST
Program Fee: $1250 USD* Upon acceptance to the program, participants will be required to pay a deposit of $250 USD. Remainder of the course fee will be due prior to the first session. Additionally, there is a monthly payment option of $250/month.
This virtual mentorship program is for ceramic artists who are looking to develop and push their work in new directions. This mentorship program aims to provide artists with critical discussion and observation skills, as well as concrete ways to develop their artistic voice. Focus will be on idea and content development, rather than technical skills. The group will be kept small (a maximum of 10 participants) so that members feel comfortable sharing their work and their ideas. One of the goals with this group is to create a sense of community and open dialogue with participants. Participating artists will be given regular assignments (written and creative) to suit their individual needs and goals.
Participants must be prepared to come with an open mind, a wish to be part of a group of like-minded makers, a willingness to learn and share, and above all, a desire to make better work. Trust and vulnerability are an inherent and integral part of all art-making, and will be a big part of the success of this program.
*Note: There is one scholarship position available with a reduced course fee of $625. This will be awarded based on financial need, with priority given to those from historically marginalized communities. If you would like to apply for this scholarship, please include a brief outline of your situation and how the scholarship would help.
What people are saying:
“Finding Your Voice'' is a unique program that helps bridge the gap between the university clay experience and the “I’ve-been-out-in-the-world-for-a-while-making" clay experience. I had been searching for a way to present myself as a serious ceramic artist with serious ideas behind my work. Finding Your Voice allowed for the mental space and time to reconnect with my “why”, and the assignments really helped me become more confident in expressing myself. Thank you!” Crystal Nykoluk, 2022 Participant
"I was at a point in my artwork where I felt stuck, bored, and unsure of myself as an artist when I started my mentorship with Naomi. Through one-on-one and group critiques, monthly challenges, and the camaraderie that comes with being in a community of like-minded artists, I quickly found a path towards my artistic voice. I highly recommend this program to any artist who’s curious about developing their style or who also feels stuck in their process. It was truly a turning point in my career: one that boosted my confidence and reignited my passion for ceramics." Janna DeWan, 2021 Participant
"This mentorship program was instrumental in helping me move my work forward while remaining true to my own underlying voice.Naomi brings fun energy to the conversation and is unfailingly observant, thoughtful, and kind. Her observations and critiques are spot on; the scope of her knowledge on both aesthetic and technical aspects of clay as well as the community of clay artists is impressive." Karen Abel, 2021 Participant
Visit the gallery of past student work.
Who this is for
- Artists who have been working in clay for several years (a minimum of 2-3), who have competent skills with the material, and who have ready access to a ceramic studio and kiln.
- Artists who are actively looking to explore a new direction with their work, and/or delve deeper into their work conceptually.
- Artists who are eager for critical feedback on their current work, and who want to discuss their ideas and methods with a community of like-minded makers.
- Artists who are willing and eager to participate in open group critiques and dialogue about contemporary ceramics.
- Artists who are willing to put in the work. My job is to coach and guide, but as with all things in life: "you get out what you put in".
- Artists who are willing to commit dedicated time to pursuing their studio work and class exercises for the duration of the program, and who will agree to work a minimum of 5 hours per week in their studio.
Note This program is not for people who are looking for technical advice and skill building, as sessions are not demonstration based.
This program is also not intended for people who are currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution, or who have graduated in the last 12 months.
What The Program Includes
- 5 virtual guided group sessions of approximately 3.5 hrs each, centred around specific topics and themes, with corresponding assignments and readings. These sessions will include critiques and breakout room discussions.
- 5 virtual group "check-in" sessions, of approximately 1 hour each (these will be scheduled once the program starts and are not mandatory).
- 4 personal sessions with Naomi of approximately 45 min each to discuss personal goals and work.
- Access to a private group discussion forum to share work and respond to prompts and feedback.
- 1 free Pottery Techniques or Professional Development workshop (up to a value of $60)
Topics Covered Include (but are not limited to)
- Establishing goals for your work and for yourself
- Different ways to help you hone in on your artistic voice and vision
- Strategies for critiquing your own work
- Writing artist statements
- What are your influences as an artist and how do you feed your artistic “well”
Selected participants must be able to commit to attending all group sessions, which will be held virtually over zoom on the following dates:
Jan. 21, 1:00-4:30 pm EST
Feb. 25, 1:00-4:30 pm EST
Mar. 25, 1:00-4:30 pm EST
Apr. 22, 1:00-4:30 pm EST
May 13, 1:00-4:30 pm EST
Note that no make-up classes for group sessions will be possible.
1. Prepare a single PDF that includes:
- 10 images of your current work and corresponding image list with dates, dimensions, and materials
- Statement of Intent about your background in clay, why you want to take this program, and what specific goals you have for it. Maximum of 500 words.
- Artist Statement
- Current CV
- If you are applying for the scholarship position, please write a brief paragraph about how this scholarship would help you.
2. Fill out the application form at the end of this page and attach your PDF document.
Applications Due Dec. 9th, 11:59 pm EST
Hi, I’m Naomi Clement, I’m a ceramic artist, teacher, and creative entrepreneur. I’ve been working in clay for over 22 years, and I’ve taught workshops and exhibited my work all across Canada and the US. I have my BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, and my MFA in Ceramics from Louisiana State University.
I’ve had the great fortune to teach all over this lovely continent of ours, in a variety of different settings. It has always struck me that there is a big hole in the education opportunities available to ceramic artists: we've got tons of great "how-to" learning opportunities out there, but not really any "why" learning opportunities available outside of academia.
So that's what this mentorship program is about: it is a space to talk the why of making art, and really dig into finding your unique voice as an artist. It is also about connecting with other makers, having real conversations about the work, and developing some critical observation skills when looking at your own work.
I'd love to help you figure out what it is you want to say as an artist, and how you want to say it.
This program aims to be a safe and welcoming space to artists of all backgrounds, persuasions, and creative interests. As such, there will be a zero-tolerance policy towards any participant who displays bullying, non-inclusive, or racist language or behaviour, or who in any way disrespects or threatens the work of this program, its participants, and/or its instructor. Any participant deemed by the instructor to be in violation of this policy will be asked to leave the program immediately. No refunds will be given.