Youth Art Mentorship Program

Black and white collage of various landmarks from Peterborough, Ontario, over a colourful, black, yellow, magenta, and cyan graffiti background and white dots Youth Art Mentorship Program

We’re excited to announce the launch of our inaugural Youth Art Mentorship Program. This program offers youth entering the final years of high school a unique and invaluable chance to gain hands-on experience and insights into career opportunities in the arts, and will culminate in an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

To participate in this program, you must be:

  • a grade 11 or 12 student enrolled in high school or an alternative education setting
  • a resident of the City of Peterborough or Peterborough County
  • between the ages of 16 and 20

Please note:
The AGP strives to reflect the whole of our community and encourages applications from all qualified candidates. We are committed to building an inclusive and barrier-free environment for staff, volunteers, artists, visitors, and patrons. We actively work to reflect the diversity of our community. As such, applicants will not be discriminated against for any reason, including but not limited to issues of race, creed, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, class.

Youth Art Mentorship Program – Call for Submissions

Submissions to the Youth Art Mentorship Program OPEN December 1, 2021. Apply to the Youth Art Mentorship Program.

UPDATE: Deadline for Applications has been extended to January 28, 2022

Please note: This is a juried called for submissions and not all applicants will be accepted into the program.

Successful youth will work directly with Artist Mentor Spencer J. Harrison and their peers to develop a body of work to present in a group exhibition at the Art Gallery of Peterborough. As a result, participants will earn a professional exhibition credit and receive payment for their exhibition in accordance to the 2022 CARFAC fee schedule.

The Artist Mentor will lead the group through guided critiques, workshops, and one-on-one discussions exploring the creative process and learning professional studio practices and techniques. Moreover, these sessions will foster a collaborative and professional working environment.

Additionally, participants will work with the Curator and Education Programming Coordinator at the Art Gallery of Peterborough to develop professional arts skills.

Submission Guidelines:

Submissions will be accepted online through the Submittable platform. Applicants who would like to make an alternative arrangement to submit their application (i.e. to submit via email) are encouraged to contact Andrew Ihamaki to arrange accommodations prior to submitting their application.

Please note: Any emailed, mailed, or paper copy submissions will not be accepted or returned unless prior arrangements have been made.

Submission Requirements:

  • Curriculum Vitae (maximum two pages)
  • Artist Bio: including a brief statement about your connection to the Art Gallery of Peterborough (max 300 words)
  • Artist Statement: Describe your artistic interests and goals for this program (max 500 words)
  • Portfolio: 5-10 images of your artwork. We accept jpeg format with a minimum resolution of 72 dpi and dimensions of 1080px.
  • Image List: A list to accompany your portfolio, complete with the artist name, title of work, date, medium and dimensions.

About the Artist Mentor:

Caucasian male, bald with glasses, wearing a lime green sweater and arms crossed. He stands in front of a wall with paintings hung in a grid pattern

Spencer J. Harrison in his studio

Spencer J. Harrison is an Artist, Activist, and Educator. Spencer has been painting and creating installation-based art for forty years, and his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

As an activist, his focus is on human rights for all who are marginalized, with his greatest focus on youth. For instance, he is the founder of Camp fYrefly, Ontario (a camp for LGBTQ2S&A youth) and has been an Artist-in-Residence with the Toronto District School Board for fifteen years. In this role, Spencer operates an open door, public studio where he has produced many works, including the first painted PhD dissertation in Canada.

Additionally, Spencer has been teaching in the Drawing and Painting department of OCAD University for more than ten years, where he has assessed more than 50,000 portfolios for the admissions to the University.

In conclusion, Spencer believes in the power of art and youth to change the world and is thrilled to be working in this program at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

Joining Spencer J. Harrison on the jury will be:

Caucasian female with long brown hair, wearing a black striped shirt and orange sweater, in front of a purple background with yellow, blue, green and orange blobs

Fynn Leitch has been the Curator at the Art Gallery of Peterborough since 2014. She has an MA in Visual culture and a BAH in Art History from Queen’s University and she is the former Director of Artspace (2011-2014). She has participated extensively in committee work, juries, and conferences regionally and nationally; including, the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario (ARCCO), ARCA National Conference, the Arts Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee for the City of Peterborough and the Electric City Culture Council.


Caucasian male with black hair and goatee, wearing a black t-shirt standing in front of a black background.


Lucas Cabral is a curator and arts administrator with a background in communications and community engagement. He completed his BFA at Western University and has since held positions at McIntosh Gallery, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and Artcite Inc. Lucas is currently Artistic Director/Curator at Artspace Peterborough.



For more information, or to inquire about supporting this program, please contact:

Andrew Ihamaki
Education Programming Coordinator

705-743-9173 ext. 2025

Thank you to our Community Supporters:

The Art Gallery of Peterborough is Temporarily CLOSED to the public

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