SAVAC keeps an open door policy for mentorship. SAVAC staff are equipped to provide guidance, develop goals and share skills, knowledge and expertise with the artists of colour working in a visual and media arts including: photography, video production, sculpture, painting, animation, digital media, performance amongst others. We attempt to meet our communities’ needs by connecting artists with individuals or institutions that will benefit them. SAVAC staff are more than happy to talk through any barriers that artists of colour are facing; to chat about work that artists.
Throughout the year, SAVAC provides emerging curators various opportunities to work with established curators to hone their skills. In 2016, our members show, Terraforming, at Trinity Square Video provided emerging curator Maria Coates a mentorship opportunity guided by the artistic directors of SAVAC and TSV. Maria was responsible for making selections from an open call for submissions made to TSV and SAVAC members, writing a short text on the selected work, titling the exhibition, and designing the exhibition layout, overseeing the exhibition budget and logistics in consultation with her mentors.
In 2015, SAVAC and the Robert Mclaughlin Gallery supported curator Ambereen Siddiqui’s successful application for the OAC’s Culturally Diverse Curator’s grant. This resulted into the Beyond Measure exhibition presented at Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa) which went on to win the Ontario Association of Art Galleries award for Short Curatorial text under 2000 words.
Portfolio review is a great opportunity to meet other artists from the SAVAC community in a relaxed, supportive environment. Four selected artists have the opportunity to present their work during the portfolio review session to mid-career artists and curators. The facilitators engage with the artists, ask questions and give specific feedback on the work presented. Geared to emerging and established artists alike, this program aims to catalyze an open discussion on areas of interest to individual artists, including feedback on past/future projects, suggestions for how to connect with audiences, recommendations for trajectories to explore and advice on to how to install the work in various contexts.
“My time spent learning from the staff and other members at SAVAC was instrumental to the development of my artistic practice. As an artist from the Pakistani diaspora who received only a western education in Art History, it was very difficult for me to find relevant examples of contemporary artists working in the same themes that I was engaging with. SAVAC was able to provide me with resources that were not available to me though my BFA. With their programming, archives, portfolio reviews, and general support, I was able to discover other artists also engaging in themes related to diaspora, migration, gender, labour and much more, that directly informs the artwork I am making now.”
– Zinnia Naqvi
Portfolio Review with Nahed Mansour29 March 2016, 6pm
Portfolio Review with Sameer Farooq18 June 2016, 6pm
Grant Writing Workshops
Every year, SAVAC organizes a series of workshops led by Tina Hahn that are geared toward helping artists and arts professionals apply for the Access and Career Development Program. The session teach emerging artists how to create a clear and convincing grant application with budgets and supporting material that juries will understand and appreciate. In 2014, over half of the workshop attendees were successful grant recipients.
“…She provide so many resource and sample material to covering A to Z about access grant. It was really helpful to understand all the rules and tip for write grant. She took many times to focus for everyone with their question and need. Very knowledgeable and helpful.” – Yoon Jin Jung
“…Her attention to details as well as her time managements provided me not only enough time to develop my ideas and put together my application in timely manner but also granted me an opportunity to get her feedback about my application. When I received the grant, I felt validated as an emerging artist.” – Siamak Haseli
Tina Hahn has over a decade of experience as a documentary producer, director and editor, producing programming for Discovery Health Channel Canada, CTV, Bravo! Canada, Book Television, Knowledge Network and SCN. She has worked at the National Film Board of Canada, the Toronto International Film Festival and Planet in Focus along with a number of non-profits in the special-needs field. She has lead workshops at Trinity Square Video, the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), the Diversi Film and Video Fund, Ryerson University, Hart House, and Bishop Strachan School.