Artist Mentor Program Awardees

For nearly 15 years, the Artist Mentor Grant Program has been dormant.  Thanks to funding provided by Minnesota’s Land and Legacy Amendment, the R2AC has re-ignited the program. The purpose of these grants is to assist a young person in the five-county region as s/he pursues a passion in the arts.  Students can use funding to work one-on-one with a professional artist or the money can be used towards a camp or a workshop in the student’s discipline of choice.

This year, 10 area young people ranging in age from 14 – 17 applied for the Artist Mentor Grants.

Five students were granted funding that will assist them in attaining their artistic goals.

Click here to read Patt Rall’s article about the Artist Mentor Program in the Bemidji Pioneer.

Click here to watch Lakeland Public Television’s “In-focus” segment on the Artist Mentor Program.

Pictures of grantees during their panel interviews and explanations of their projects can be found below.

Carl Graefe, Bemidji High School 10th sophomore, has played the ukulele since he was 3 1/2. He is an acomplished musician who has written the music and lyrics to many original songs. He also loves woodworking. Marrying his passion for music with his joy for turning wood, Eric will work with Jeff Burger to create his own ukulele.
Eric Haugen,picked up a friend's child sized cello at age 3. He immediately took to the instrument. A junior at Bemidji High School, Eric has played with the Bemidji, Duluth, and teh Bismarck Symphony Orchestra. His grant money will go towards the costs of attending the International Bowdoin Music Festival where he will recieve individual lessons, work on challenging concertos and etudes, and audition for universities.

Miranda Rosequist, a Bemidji 8th grader, has been drawing for as long as she can remember. She has the natural ability to draw powerful images from her mind's eye rather than copying another image. Her mentorship with Nina Lubarski will allow her to further hone her skills of shading and inspiration. Her plan is to one-day unite her love of drawing with her love of animals in a career as a zoologist.
Gabriela Karam, a Nevis 10th grader, heard someone play the alto sax in the 4th grade and knew, at that moment, she had to have one and learn to play it well. Karam has been playing the sax for six years. She will study under Dr. Steve Konecne focusing on jazz music and improvisation. She seeks to find guidance in dynamics, articulations, and vibrato. When looking at her future, she sees herself playing the saxophone at university and beyond. She aspires to know her instrument as well as Dave Brubeck and Charlie Parker.
Mitchel Hoffmann, a Laporte 10th grader, can’t remember a time when he was not interested in sculpture. He will use his grant to work with Guthrie metal artist, Paula Jensen. Hoffmann is self-taught and has earned both Best in Show and First Place in the Sculpture at the Juried Art Exhibition in Park Rapids. He believes it is important to study with a professional now, because he sees his future as a professional sculptor.