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We are pleased to announce OUR INAUGURAL PARTICIPANTS for 2018 

The Youth Week WA KickstART Festival's inaugural Art Gallery of WA Mentorship Program is a professional development program for visual arts practitioners and curators aged between 12 and 26.

After receiving 37 expressions of interests, a cohort of 6 emerging artists and 1 young curator have been selected to collaborate with a member of the AGWA Curatorial Team and staff from Propel Youth Arts WA, to create a new exhibition that responds to identified themes from the upcoming exhibition A Window On Italy: The Corsini Collection - Masterpieces from Florence, which opens at AGWA on 24 February 2018.

The mentorship program will culminate in an exhibition, entitled The Corsini Collection: Revisited, which runs from Saturday 14 April until Monday 18 June.

This KickstART x AGWA Mentorship Program is proudly presented by Propel Youth Arts WA and the Art Gallery of WA. The Youth Week WA KickstART Festival 2018 is presented by Propel Youth Arts WA, and is funded by the State Government of Western Australia. The KickstART Festival is also supported by Lotterywest and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.



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Danna Torres Bennz

I am a Venezuelan-Australian thrilled and inspired by the experiences that give me the opportunity to innovate, make great memories, learn and grow, expand my horizons, and continuously develop my knowledge and skills. In 2010, at nine years of age, my family and I embarked on one of the greatest adventures of our lifetimes... we moved to Perth, WA! I’ve had the opportunity to represent Australia using artistic and technological tools to translate cultural, environmental, historical, mathematical, scientific and personal concepts in creative ways. I am endeavouring to enrol into university to continue my studies and professional preparation, and I aspire to continue to be part of future meaningful projects and experiences, enjoy growing and making wonderful new memories alongside extraordinary people.

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Jarrad Levy

I am currently in my second year of my Photography and Graphic Design / Creative Advertising undergraduate degree at Curtin University. Outside of tuition, I use my time to collate a versatile and ever expanding portfolio involving personal artistic endeavours including portraits, still life and narrative work; as well as commercial works for events, businesses and brands. Looking forward, I hope to create a larger body of work for gallery display, alongside gaining more experience shooting portraiture and editorial style photography. I have set the ball rolling on a number of creative pursuits, two including a still life piece involving models and furniture juxtaposed in outdoor settings, that comments on the passage of time and the changing human mind, as well as a second photo series depicting a raw and unvarnished insight into youth culture in a modern society, through the exploration of the evolution of fashion and changing pop culture.

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Lauren Rodriguez

I am a current student at Edith Cowan University studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts with Visual Arts as my major. I also do volunteer work for Kickstart Festival and work from home selling artwork and entering competitions or community art projects. I aim to get more involved in community art projects this year and gain more exposure to my work through programs such as this. I am especially excited to enter in the 2018 Archibald Prize for Portraiture. In the future I hope to work as a visual artist and/or curator. I work primarily with acrylics or markers on canvas or paper but also with mural and light installation, photography and sculpture. I like to experiment with texture, layering and glowing works under blue light. Distortion, illusion and perception are all key themes in my work.

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Melissa Clements

Melissa Clements is a portrait artist living and studying in Perth, using art as a tool to demonstrate her lived experience. Her experiences as a British migrant and own studies have influenced her examination of themes of self-exploration, identity and purpose. Melissa is passionate about the intrinsic benefits of art to sublimate human emotions and amplify feelings of empathy. Melissa is currently studying History of Art under a research based degree at the University of Western Australia; her academic study provides her endless influence to develop a rich metaphorical DNA into her art. Consequentially, much of Melissa’s visual art deals with notions of fragment and layering of meaning, combined with Baroque features of Chiaroscuro. Melissa is a recent exhibitor of the Black Swan Prize Salon des Refusés and Year 12 Perspectives Exhibition, and aims to continue her own art practice alongside a career in gallery curatorship.

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Pip Lewi

Pip Lewi is an emerging artist from Perth, Western Australia. She is interested in capturing the essence of 'the everyday' within the mediums of painting and drawing. Her work aims to explore how culture and identity relate to place through reconnaissance of suburbia and the use of motifs and symbols to channel a realised middle-class Australian aesthetic.

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Saleheh Gholami

I have recently completed my Undergrad Bachelor of Art (Fine Art). I have recently worked on a project with the theme on Reconstruction of a memory, a narrative of an absence (Absences). This project started with intentions of highlighting issues asylum seekers are facing in Australia’s detention centres. I am interested in how objects can be used as a metaphor to create a scene or to reconstruct a memory. It was my hope that this project be able to portray the passage of time, the fear and will, through repetition of reflected image, the repeated movement of fear, sound of the ocean. These are part of a few things that I am interested in my art practice and It is my aim to further develop this current project to bring change.



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Aisyah Sumito

Aisyah Sumito is an emerging curator and visual artist, working primarily with printmaking, painting, and photography to explore their own cultural influences, mental illness, and queer identity. Sumito exhibited in True Blue Group Show (2017) at Beyond Skate Gallery, curated KickstARTISTS: Symbiosis alongside Olivia Tartaglia in April at City Arts Space for the Propel Youth Arts WA 2017 KickstART Festival, as well as Borders and Transitions alongside Claire Bushby, at James St Light Locker arts space for City of Perth 2017 Winter Arts Season. Sumito is currently studying Visual Arts at North Metropolitan TAFE, is a Paper Mountain Studio Artist, Co-Curator and Workshop Facilitator of Belonging, and is based in Perth.



Dunja Rmandic
Associate Curator Projects at the Art Gallery of WA

Dunja Rmandic is a curator, recently appointed an Associate Curator Projects at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Previous to the current role, she was Curator of Collections at Devonport Regional Gallery, Tasmania, for two years, where she curated collection shows Fashion Fancies, Solitary and co-curated Re-Viewing: Contemporary Response to Robinson Collection.

Dunja has worked in a number of commercial and public galleries since graduating with Masters in Art Curatorship in 2007, in administrative, research, curatorial and collection management roles. She was on the board of Kings ARI for over three years and worked on various projects including Forms of Deceit (Counihan Gallery in Brunswick), Humming a New Diaspora (Blindside) and co-curating Letters From the Field (Atelierhof Kreuzberg, Berlin).

She has published catalogue essays and chapters including for My House Is Too Small Residency Project, Next Wave’s 'Views From Here: 19 Perspectives on Feminism', Kings ARI 10 Year publication, co-authored a chapter in Utopian Slumps: The Collingwood Years, and published reviews in Un Magazine and Artlink.



The Youth Week WA KickstART Festival 2018 is presented by Propel Youth Arts WA, and is funded by the State Government of Western Australia. The KickstART Festival is also supported by Lotterywest and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.

All enquiries can be directed to hello@propel.org.au or 08 9328 5855.

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