Every two years Rolex runs its Mentor & Protégés Arts Initiative, pairing talented young artists with highly acclaimed mentors from the arts world. The programme nurtures young dancers, musicians, theatre directors, writers, visual artists, filmmakers and architects, with the aim of uplifting the arts industries. One protégé for each of the categories is selected for each programme. The young artist receives a $25 000 stipend and the possibility of a further $25 000 at the end of the year to put towards an art project or piece of work.
The 2012–2013 cycle of the Arts Initiative culminated in a weekend event in Venice last month, where artists and industry leaders (including the likes of film star Sophia Loren) gathered to celebrate the work of the young artists. At the same time the programme announced the mentors for the next two-year cycle. The seven master artists include Olafur Eliasson (visual arts), Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu (film), The English Patient writer Michael Ondaatje (literature), Alexei Ratmansky (dance), Kaija Saariaho (music), Jennifer Tipton (theatre) and Peter Zumthor (architecture). Previous years' mentors include heavyweights such as artist and producer Brian Eno, film director Martin Scorsese, writer Margaret Atwood and South African artist William Kentridge.
The 11-year mentorship programme has birthed great success stories – one of which is young Johannesburg-based artist Nicholas Hlobo, who was paired with the Indian-born British sculptor Anish Kapoor as a mentor in the 2010–2011 edition.
Follow the rest of the journeys of the Rolex Mentors and Protégés here.
This post has been sponsored by Rolex, but all thoughts are our own.