In keeping with the tradition of the master and the apprentice, The Artist as Mentor exhibition at Gallery 139 opening this week looks at the unofficial mentorship that has developed between three Newcastle artists and three of their students.
The combinations are Braddon Snape and “apprentice” Jo Lynch, Clare Weeks and “apprentice” Maisie Neale, and Peter Lankas and “apprentice” Dane Tobias.
"The gallery is trying to present exhibitions that are both commercial while seeking to represent the Newcastle artist community, gallery diretor Ahn Wells says. “For me this exhibition demonstrates to the public the strong connection we have to Newcastle Art School (Hunter Street TAFE) and the university and the importance these institutions have on the development of both emerging and established artists."
The journey of Lankas and Tobias over the last three years has been long and intriguing.
Lankas describes his relationship with Tobias as such: “I met Dane Tobias through Susan Porteous, in 2010. Susan was working in the art room at ConnectAbility, where Dane was a class participant. She told me she had come across a young man who had an amazing drawing talent.
“When she delved into Dane's skills and interests, it became clear that he was passionate about real estate, his bus journeys through the suburbs and google maps. He had a keen eye for design and an intuitive colour sense and spent time investigating Home Beautiful magazines.”
On his own behalf, Tobias states, “My works are strongly influenced by the vast diversity and culture of the man-made environment, which are similar to the works produced by my mentor.”
Weeks and Neale both come from photomedia studies, Weeks as a teacher and Neale as a student at Newcastle TAFE.
Both artists draw from similar aesthetics in their work but from different worlds of life experience, according to Gallery 139 website details on the show. Their works in this exhibition is an artistic collaboration between two like-minded individuals who inspire each other to push themselves and to explore new ways of individual expression.
The Artist as Mentor runs through September 17.