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Wednesday 26 June 2024
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Transitions 2022

Mentorship program for emerging visual artists

In partnership with Townsville City Galleries, Umbrella delivered the second iteration of the Transitions program in 2022. Five successful artist mentees 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 built upon their studio practices, portfolios and artist CVs, and developed exhibition application skills. Monthly group critique sessions enabled the artists to develop their network and grow from peer- and mentor-assessments. Read about the broader Transitions project here.


In 2022, the mentees exhibited some of their resultant work at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in the Showcase 23 August - 25 September 2022. 

Mentees and mentors

Emerging artist mentees & established artist mentors, respectively:
Aliya James & Anneke Silver
Bronte Perry & Laura Castell
Rob Douma & Ron McBurnie
Sonia Ward & Alison McDonald
Tom Marks & Blake Hudson

Click or hover on the images below for caption details. 

Introductory intensives and group critique sessions

The 2022 program commenced with introductory sessions at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts. Umbrella's Gallery Manager and Curator Daniel Qualischefski led the mentees and guest mentors in discussions to help the group bond and share their goals for the program. Daniel also led professional development sessions around social media, writing artists CVs and art texts and applying for exhibitions. Umbrella's Business and Partnerships Manager Alan Marlowe ran a session on photography for artists. The group was also joined by artist Sandi Hook and Jenny Mulcahy, who spoke about their arts practices and careers, with tips and insights for the emerging artists. Guests contributing to the discussions also included Ashleigh Peters and Jonathan Brown from Townsville City Galleries. 

Beyond the one-on-one mentorship sessions that the mentors are undertaking, they are also attending group critique sessions monthly, sharing their artwork progress and receiving ideas, suggestions and critiques from their peers, some of the individual mentors, staff from Umbrella and Townsville City Galleries and guest mentors. 

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

Sonia and Alison

Sonia Ward has been working with mentor Alison McDonald to refine ideas and work towards a solo exhibition proposal. Their work together has included sessions at the Aitkenvale Library using their green screen and technology for experiments. 

Tom and Blake

Tom Marks has been working via video calls with Cairns-based mentor Blake Hudson on a projection mapping project. The artists are refining workflows and ideas for a projection-enhanced model building. 

Bronte and Laura

Bronte Perry has been working with mentor Laura Castell to experiment with drawing, printmaking and mixed media work. They have been looking at abstracting forms, still life and finding Bronte's artistic voice and reinvigorating her arts practice.  

Aliya and Anneke

Aliya James has been working with mentor Anneke Silver to develop her writing, expand her attendance to exhibitions and to experiment with new forms of painting and colour theory. They have been looking at still life and portraiture and using oil paints.  

Rob and Ron

Rob Douma's relocated studio space has lead him to work smaller and more two-dimensionally (as opposed to the larger sculptural work he has created in recent years). Accordingly, Rob has been working with mentor Ron McBurnie to revisit printmaking techniques and to expand his skills and style in those areas. 

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Tues - Fri: 9am-5pm

Sat - Sun: 9am-1pm

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.