mentor intensive · mentors

Donna Bruni

Mentoring Philosophy

I was fortunate participate as a protege in the WARM Mentor Program from 1995 to 1997. The experience of having a mentor/advisor was pivotal to mapping my path and ongoing studio practice. My teaching approach, rooted in the belief that art is foremost, a self-directed activity, focuses on the personal narrative and creation of meaning through art.  As a mentor, my role is both collaborator and teacher, providing experience, support and resources needed for artistic advancement at every stage. Working closely with emerging and established artists, my role is to challenge, motivate and facilitate the artist’s process. Making art, planning, advising, curating, marketing, promotion, networking, installing shows, and hiring creative professionals (photographers, writers, artists, framers, builders) are all part of my everyday studio practice. Experiential learning, research, creative exploration, critical review and responsive dialogue are structured methods I use for reaching professional goals an artist sets for themselves.

Since 2000, I have observed hundreds of artists at work in the studio, as a Teacher’s Assistant in Advanced Painting classes at University of Minnesota, Intuitive Painting teacher at Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Artist-in-Residence in Minnesota public schools, Guest Artist at Walker Art Center Art Lab, WARM mentor and leading creativity workshops for business and community organizations in my Minneapolis studio. My directed research at University of Minnesota on creativity and risk-taking (The Artist’s Process; finding their way, 2005), substantiated the link between creativity and sense of well being. Collaborations with University of Minnesota’s Mill City Clinic, Society for the Arts in Healthcare, Midwest Arts in Healthcare Network, Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, Veterans in the Arts, Women With Heart, VSA Minnesota, Winona State University and others continue to focus on the role of visual arts in creating deeper community connections.

Donna Bruni, "Uncovering Beauty II," oil paint, tinted gesso on canvas