Visual Arts and Photography Mentorships

DSTL Arts provides mentorship in the visual arts to young illustrators, painters, and photographic storytellers enrolled in our Arts Mentorship Program while also teaching skills and offering guidance for entering careers in the fine arts and photography sectors.

Meeting a minimum of once a week, or 1.5 hours, our students develop their visual storytelling skills by working one-on-one or in small groups with an Arts Mentor who will guide them through various visual storytelling ideas and tools, including visual metaphor, form and composition, theme, narrative structure and idea development. We also focus on critical art theory and content curation, leading to either publication and/or presentation of a collection of visual art.

Visual arts students in our Arts Mentorship Program will have multiple opportunities to present their art at public events throughout their mentorship, including our annual student art showcase, where DSTL Arts students typically debut completed artworks in a group show format.

The benefits of joining our Arts Mentorship Program as a Visual Arts student include:

  • one-on-one or small group mentorship from a practicing artist
  • connect with other young artists and writers like you
  • get feedback on your drawings, illustrations, photos and more
  • publicly present and sell your own art and photographic prints
  • learn how to market your art and creative skills
  • develop a portfolio of publishable work and artist résumé for schools, jobs, and more
  • get help with college and career choices
  • tutoring (as needed)

Enrollment in our Arts Mentorship Program lasts for a minimum of one year, and may continue for students who show true dedication to their craft. Students enrolled in our program must meet our eligibility criteria at their time of enrollment. Continue on to learn more about our Arts Mentorship Program’s eligibility requirements.

Arts Mentorship Program Eligibility and Application Criteria

Youth ages 16–21 years old only
Students must meet at least one of three following eligibility requirements:

  • part of a low-income family
  • have a learning or physical disability
  • current or former foster youth

A portfolio of previous artistic work must be submitted for review (copies only, do not submit originals)
Student applicants must attend and successfully complete an entrance interview and orientation

For further instructions on How to Apply, download the Arts Mentorship Program Enrollment Application (English and Spanish applications included; please fill out one per applicant).

Applications only accepted during the following dates:
January 1–January 31
July 1–July 31

Please note:

Due to our current program capacity, we are forming a wait list. Applicants shall be informed of future openings in the order that their applications are received.

Applications received outside of these dates may be considered during the next application period. Portfolios shall not be returned. Incomplete applications shall not be considered.

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