BEING Studio Mentorship Project

The story of the Mentorship Project is connected to BEING’s journey through the pandemic.

Originally designed as an in-person creative exchange, the project pivoted to examine what connection, creation and exhibition could look like in online spaces. This helped us discover contemporary digital tools and platforms.

Over the course of 2020, artist Becky Bair, Marika Smart, Christine Hammond, Gillian King, Henry Hong, Jake Riseborough, Hasina Kamanzi, Analisa Kiskis and Mike Hinchliff built relationships over zoom and supported one another in creating art at home.


This page tells the story of those collaborations and the new possibilities they generated.

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“Seeing her be in conversation with pieces she really likes, especially Frida Kahlo, you can literally see her speaking to her idol. Which is really fun.”
Hasina Kamanzi
“Frida Kahlo is one of my biggest inspirations […] I’m very obsessed with art. I love vibrant colours. Things that really pop on the canvas in my sketch book. I want people to know me as a person, don’t think of me as down syndrome, but I do have a lot of qualities inside myself. I’m very strong. I’m very stubborn. Totally a full package deal.”
Analisa Kiskis

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“You have to love art to make it and hope that people love it too.”

— Henry Hong

"Creating art is a way to express my thoughts. Many of my sketches are of dinosaurs, which I am fascinated by.I am inspired by the movement, sound and beauty of all living things."
“I want people to know about me, just to tell them that I’m an artist. “
Mike Hinchcliff
“What does it mean to be a Cry Baby? It means you’re sensitive.”
Jake Riseborough
"They're Ninja brothers. They bring justice and peace to the world"
Christine Hammond

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“There’s beautiful art inside on all the canvases. And people paint it because that keeps it. It comes from my heart, comes from inside and it pops out like 3D.”
Marika Smart

“There’s the component of poetry that is incredibly profound and extends past her drawings. Some of it encompasses and kind of defines her drawings.”

— Becky Blair



We gratefully acknowledge the support of the City of Ottawa