Every year the Rogue Gallery Art Center connects creative teens with professional artists through the Teen Mentor program. I’ve participated in the Teen Mentor program for five years now and always feel just as inspired by the students as they do by me.
The mission of the program is to not just teach teens practical art skills, but to also give them some idea of what it’s like to be a professional artist. I’m honest, so I may have scared away one or two by now! It’s certainly not an easy job. There have been many points in my career that I’ve almost given up — and I think it’s important to be able to admit that. Life is not as it plays out on television. Sometimes you feel as if you’re taking one step back for every two steps forward.
Why do art? For the true creative, there isn’t really a choice. We feel driven to translate the beauty of the world onto the canvas (or into the page, through the camera lens, etc). We are so lucky, sometimes, to get paid to do it.
The Teen Mentor program is not something I do because it’s lucrative, but because it’s rewarding to show teens that being a professional artist is a real possibility. The Rogue Valley may be small and out-of-the-way but I have seen some very talented artists come through the program. They are the future and you never know what these kids are going to do next!
You can support the Teen Mentor program by becoming a member of Rogue Gallery & Art Center. Or, you can support me, the mentor, by purchasing a painting or contacting me about commissioned work.
Thank you for your support which allows me to give back to my community.