Waterford Artist Online Mentoring Scheme

Open to visual artists resident in Waterford city and county

Scheme closed

We are no longer taking applications

We would like to extend our thanks to all applicants. If you have applied and receipt of your application has not been confirmed by email by Mon 23 May, please contact info@biglook.art. We are aiming to complete the selection process and notify successful candidates by week commencing 30 May, in view for the mentorship program to begin by early June. We are delighted with the interest there has been in the program, and look forward to continue offering artists in the area similar opportunities in future.

You are eligible for this scheme if you are resident in Waterford city and County Council's administrative area and are interested in developing an existing painting or drawing practice through an online mentoring program.

This scheme is funded by the Arts Office, Waterford City and County Council.

A maximum of 6 applicants (mentees) will be selected through a competitive application and selection process. Each successful mentee will be matched to an artist mentor they can learn from. Selected mentees will benefit from 12 hours of time from the matched mentor over the course of 6 months. In addition, selected mentees will have the opportunity to exhibit at the Artform Annual 44 Exhibition in Waterford City in December 2022.

The deadline for applications will be 23:59 on 18th May with selected mentees announced thereafter. The mentoring scheme will then run from June to November.

Application process:

  • Applicants must fill out the online form - see link below
  • No hard copy applications will be accepted
  • The online submission process is a live process and you will not be able to save progress. Applications must be completed in a single session. Therefore, please have the following answers prepared before you fill out the application form: 
    • Mentoring goals (max 200 words)
    • External influences that inform your art practice  
    • How you see your art practice developing in the next 5 years (max 200 words)
    • 3-5 examples of your own work not to exceed 10 MB per image
    • Current artist CV with list of artistic achievements to date

It is very important to note, applicants do not choose mentors. instead, through the selection process, successful applicants will be matched to a suitable mentor. Therefore when filling your application avoid references to any of the mentors on the panel, as this could prejudice the outcome resulting in your application being disqualified.

If you have any questions about the scheme that are not answered on this page, you will have the opportunity to add these to your application. We will do our best to respond to these questions in advance of the selection process.

Selection process:

Mentees will be selected by a jury of artist mentors through a competitive selection process. Applicants will be shortlisted on the basis of:

  • The information provided in the application form
  • Clarity in how the mentoring will help the applicant advance their existing practice
  • Ambition for developing artistically in the future
  • Suitability to match with an available mentor

Shortlisted applicants will then be introduced to a mentor via a Zoom call as part of the selection process.  A final selection based on suitability will be made at this point and successful applicants will be notified.

Funding provided under this scheme represents €1,200 per participant to be administered by Big Look in partnership with mentors in the provision of mentoring hours. Hence, it is very important that successful applicants participate fully in the scheme.

Participating mentors

The following mentors will be taking part in the scheme:

  • Catherine Barron - Waterford
  • Julie Cusack - Waterford
  • Eamonn Colman - Kilkenny 
  • Maurice Quillinan - Dublin
  • Gabhann Dunne - Dublin
  • Dave West - Dublin

'Sweet Spot' by Catherine Barron

Terms & Conditions

  • You must be over 18 years old on the date of application to apply for this funding
  • You must be resident for two or more years in Waterford city and County Council administrative area to avail of this scheme
  • Deadline for receipt of applications is 23:59 on 18th May 2022
  • Canvasing of applicants to mentors/organisers of this scheme will result in disqualification
  • Scheme will be for online mentoring only
  • Funding provided under this scheme to be administered by Big Look in the provision of mentoring hours and is non-transferrable
  • Note this 12 hours is the amount of time funded under this scheme for the mentor to support the mentee. The time commitment for each mentee will rely on the program of work agreed with the mentor and include video calls, assignments and other activities to be agreed on a case by case basis
  • Successful applicants must have access to a laptop, desktop computer or tablet with a fast internet connection
  • Candidates are completely responsible for ensuring that the device being used is in full working order
  • Online mentoring will be conducted using Big Look online mentoring tools and Zoom or a similar video call solution 
  • Each successful applicant will be assigned a free Big Look account 
  • Big Look accounts created in this way are  subject to the terms and privacy policy of Big Look and can be cancelled if desired at the end of the mentoring program
  • Owing to GDPR considerations, your consent to this scheme, will allow for sharing of your contact details with the mentors and the Arts Office in relation solely to this scheme
  • Mentees will be required to fulfil any assigned work arising from the engagement with mentors over 6-month period
  • Mentees will be required attend direct one-to-one video calls with the mentor from time to time as required. These calls may be recorded or facilitated by Big Look
  • Non attendance in agreed calls or failure to fulfill assignments, except in extenuating circumstances may result in remaining mentoring credits being awarded to another shortlisted artist
  • Mentoring applications must be within the disciplines of painting and/or drawing only.
  • It is not possible for applicants to choose or indicate a preference for a particular mentor. Doing so may result in your application being disqualified
  • Successful applicants will be matched to an artist mentor by the selection panel. It will not be possible once matched to change to a different mentor
  • The decision of the selection panel of mentors will be final, no correspondence will be entered into regarding decisions.
  • Mentees will be required to produce at least 1 original art work from the mentoring program to feature in the Annual 44 the Quay exhibition in Waterford in December 2022
  • All work provided to the Artform Annual 44 Exhibition from the mentoring program must be for sale. Our partner Artform will retain a 35% commission on works sold
  • Logistics in relation to participation will be communicated in a letter of offer
  • We reserve the right not to make an award at the discretion of the selection panel 


  • How will the 12 hours of mentoring time be used?

    Each successful mentee will be allocated 12 hours of mentor time. This time will be spent by mentors on a blend of written critique, preparing assignments, research and face-to-face interactions. This 12 hours of mentor time will be spread over 6 months from June to November. Face to face interactions will be over Zoom or a similar online tool. The scheduling of these will be based on mentor and mentee availability.

  • What time commitment is required from mentees throughout the process?

    In order to get value from the mentoring program it needs to feed directly into your existing practice. Therefore, try not to think of it as a 'side project', but rather one that will help you challenge and improve what you are doing in your core work. Your mentor will set some assignments and challenges for you to complete. By applying for this scheme you commit to work closely with your mentor and respond to these assignments. How much time these will take can be agreed on a case by case basis and be calibrated to fit with your other commitments. In addition each mentee will produce new work that will be featured in the upcoming Annual 44 The Quay exhibition in Waterford.

  • What painting and drawing mediums will be supported through this scheme?

    Applications are open to artists working across all painting and drawing mediums. The mentoring will not be primarily focused on technique, but on helping artists evaluate their own practice and uncover opportunities to develop.

  • What art styles will be considered for this scheme?

    Artists working in any style or guided by any philosophy will be considered. We encourage you to check out the work and biographies of each of the participating mentors to get a sense of the range of expertise available within the scheme.

  • I am an art student in college, can I apply for this funding?

    This award is primarily targeted to support early to mid-career practicing artists. However, we will also consider art students who can demonstrate how online mentoring will help to address a gap which is not currently being satisfied through the college or course they are attending.

  • Is participation in the Annual 44 The Quay exhibition required?

    To help bring more focus to the program we have partnered with Artform who organise the Annual 44 the Quay exhibition in Waterford. This is one of the largest open submission exhibitions in Ireland. Each selected mentee is expected to produce new work from which one or more works will be feature in the exhibition alongside the work of your mentor. We believe that this provides a great opportunity for any artist to gain exposure in a high profile show and will be a worthy inclusion on any artist CV.

  • What do I do if I am unhappy with how things are progressing or if I have a complaint?

    We will work hard through the selection process to identify mentor-mentee relationships that will work for both sides. All shortlisted applicants will have an opportunity to have an introductory call with the matched mentor to discuss how the engagement might work. This is an opportunity for both sides to verify if there is likely to be any incompatibility that could affect the outcomes of the mentoring. That said, any feedback or complaint can be made in confidence at any time during the program. We will treat all feedback seriously and will work on a case by case to resolve any difficulties and arrive at a resolution.

  • Why can I not choose my preferred mentor?

    In order to ensure that mentors provide maximum value to mentees, they will be actively involved in the selection process. Taking care with your application form with considered responses will facilitate mentors to assess what potential mentees fit their expertise best and what is most likely to work best for both sides.

  • What technology is required to participate in this scheme?

    To participate in the scheme you must have either a laptop, desktop computer or tablet with a fast internet speed. Your device must be relatively up to date and capable of running Zoom and other free software that may be required over the course of your mentoring. As this scheme is for online mentoring exclusively, we assume that you are computer and internet literate and comfortable with using technology to browse the web, make online purchases, take part in video calls, edit documents and have basic file management skills.

Application form

Deadline 18th May 2022

Affiliations and sponsorship

We are grateful to the Arts Office Waterford City and County Council and Artform for their support