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Wednesday 26 June 2024
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Transitions 2021

Mentorship program for emerging visual artists

In partnership with Townsville City Galleries, Umbrella produced and facilitated Transitions in 2021 – a four-month program combining mentorship, critiques and development for emerging and early-career visual artists who have recently finished formal arts training. The mentees developed their arts practices further and gained valuable insights into working professionally. Transitions supports artists to develop their skills and confidence to forge a career in the arts.

The six successful artist mentees for 2021 – Anne Cole, Brooklyn O’Hearn, Moana Woods, Kaz Hauser, Rabin Sherchan and Shekira Smith – each self-defined their outcomes and worked through important steps to achieve their goals with help from their established North Queensland artist mentors. The mentees worked towards building their studio practices and portfolios, forging artist CVs, and developing grant and exhibition application skills. Monthly group critique sessions also enabled the artists to develop their network and grow from peer- and mentor-assessments. At the completion of the program, the artist mentees received a free one-year membership to Umbrella, which includes the benefit of being eligible to apply for exhibitions at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts.

The program is also filling a void in the Townsville arts economy. Two of the mentees noted:

This program is addressing exactly what I need right now, and I didn’t quite realise how much I can benefit from support like this until my first session with my mentor today. Sixteen hours of one-on-one mentorship, teaching or training with an accomplished artist under highly flexible, individual terms is positively golden for someone just finding their feet, and has the potential to really amp up the quality of the work that emerging artists in Townsville are creating.

A relative lack of artistic opportunity for Townsville’s youth is something that I have definitely noticed growing up here, so to finally have such an exciting opportunity is really great and I think that it will absolutely become a valuable piece of the Townsville community!

Mentors and mentees

The images below reveal mentees Brooklyn O’Hearn, Moana Woods, Shekira Smith, Anne Cole, Rabin Sherchan and Kaz Hauser with their respective mentors Margaret Robertson, Marc Roth, Rosana Kersh, Jane Hawkins, Roberts Crispe and Alison McDonald. 

Click or hover on the images below for caption details. 

Group Critique sessions

Images above: 1. A group critique session with some of the artists and guest mentors Jonathan McBurnie and Christina Papadimitriou. | 2. A group critique session with some of the artists. The mentees worked on building and refining their CVs with Umbrella’s Gallery Manager Daniel Qualischefski, and spoke with Townsville City Galleries staff. (Left to right: Rabin Sherchan, Rachel Cunningham (TCC), Ashleigh Peters (TCC), Kaz Hauser, Jonathan Brown (TCC) and Anne Cole).

The Transitions program is a partnership between Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts and Townsville City Galleries. 

Rabin Sherchan

Working with mentor Robert Crispe, Rabin developed his ideas and imagery pertaining to art concepts for animations and video works. See below for some of Rabin's works in progress and animation file. 

Brooklyn O'Hearn

Brooklyn learned and worked on an impressive array of printmaking techniques with her mentor Margaret Robertson. Brooklyn utilised the Umbrella Makerspace to develop works in progress (below) and to extend her concepts and understanding of the materials and processes. 

Anne Cole

Anne worked with mentor Jane Hawkins to developed skills and learn new casting techniques. See below for some of Anne's works in progress. 

Kaz Hauser

Kaz developed her practice working with mentor Alison McDonald, including processes of smashing, cracking and re-forging unfinished glass works. Alison encouraged Kaz to question her concepts and to push her work further.  

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Umbrella asks that visitors adhere to social distancing, visitor logs, and other COVID Safe directives and procedures as directed.

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Gallery closed Mondays, public holidays and during exhibition install weeks.

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(07) 4772 7109

408 Flinders Street,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

PO Box 2394,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

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Acknowledgement of Country

Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts respectfully acknowledges the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun and the surrounding groups of our region - Bindal, Gugu Badhan, Nywaigi, Warrgamay, Bandjin and Gudjal - as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, share and celebrate local creative practice. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia. They have never ceded sovereignty and remain strong in their enduring connection to land and Culture.

Umbrella is a Dealer Member of the Indigenous Art Code. This means we are committed to fair and ethical trade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and transparency in the promotion and sale of artwork. As a Dealer Member and signatory to the Code we must act fairly, honestly, professionally and in good conscience in all direct or indirect dealings with artists.


Umbrella is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments. | Umbrella is supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund. | Townsville City Council is a funding partner of Umbrella's program.