"You have no idea the impact you've had. Very grateful"
"My mentorship with Lenka was a fantastic mix of critical insight, imagination, provocation, and a good serve of practical advice about the logistics of sustaining a professional practice as a artist/parent in the world today. I've become braver and more resourceful as an artist because of this. T-H-A-N-K-Y-O-U, so very much! It was wonderful."
"Within 6 months of my mentorship with Lenka Clayton I moved from a pretty fixed practice of 15 years into one that has become flexible, investigative and open. Lenka offers insightful observations about the work delivered in a way that promotes questions and experimentation. Her wit, humor and kindness all generate a desire to continue working with her and so I have signed up for another 6 months. I highly recommend the mentorship with Lenka Clayton."
“If luck and intuition are my friends, I can’t thank them enough for leading my way — through a series of online searches — to Lenka Clayton. Through the course of a nine-month mentorship (the first six months were so great, I signed up for three more), I felt my practice transform from an amorphous, ghostly entity just out of my own arms reach, into something solid and tangible — a process that helped me create a vision of what I wanted to do and a map of sorts of where I wanted to take it.
Lenka is brilliant, kind and incredibly generous with her vast knowledge of art, art-making and the art of being an artist. Her clever wit is infectious and every conversation we had left me inspired to get to work. My mentorship with Lenka was a fast-acting and motivating force that created clarity, direction and a new willingness to take much greater risks. I can’t thank her enough for shaking me up in just the right way. She has a masterful, clear-sighted way of showing that even some of the most complex concepts envisioned can be approachable and manageable. I cannot recommend the mentorship program with Lenka highly enough; if you’re lucky enough to have an opportunity to work with her, you will be so very glad you did.”
"The Artist Residency in Motherhood and the mentorship undertaken with Lenka has been singly the best thing I have done for my practice since the birth of my first child five years ago. Through Lenka's mentorship I was further able to reconcile the daily practice of motherhood with my sidelined artistic practice and am able now to see them both as symbiotic and essential in informing and enhancing each other. Lenka's attentive and engaged Skype tutorials helped me to feel incredibly motivated in my practice, she enabled me to see that I had the resources in front of me and the ability to make things happen immediately rather than waiting for some ephemeral 'key' to catalyse parts of my practice. Lenka has the rare ability to be thoroughly engaged with and interested in tiny details and ideas and even through the medium of Skype I felt I had her full attention and interest in my personal entanglements, creative and domestic. During the six months mentorship Lenka oversaw and advised me on a body of work, as well as offering supportive critique and conversation to various other projects. The Mentorship is led very much by the needs of the artist and Lenka is very flexible about where the focus lies. I found the tasks she set me between our conversations to be particularly useful in preventing me from being pulled away too much from my practice by the inevitable tides of domestic life - in fact I don't think there is one part of my domestic or parenting life that I don't now consider to be part of a wider contextualised and ongoing praxis and I thank Lenka and her Artist Residency in Motherhood heartily for that. I recommend Lenka's mentoring to everyone!"
I am available to work one-on-one with artists looking for structured mentorship for their own creative practices. The mentorship is tailored to the specific needs of each artist. Artists can use their mentorship sessions to:
Set up and follow a guided Artist-in-Residence-in-Motherhood
Make a strong start back to working after a break (for example after having children)
Prepare and get feedback on a portfolio, grant application, or upcoming exhibition
Set and achieve professional goals
Create personal accountability
The mentorship program is a six session package to be completed within six months. Each meeting is one hour and can take place in person (in Pittsburgh) or on Skype. Mentorships can also be extended.
This is a separate program to the Artist Residency in Motherhood. There is a fee to take part in the mentorship program, and a limited number of spaces. Please submit the form below for more information.
As there are limited spaces, a deposit is required to secure a mentorship spot. This deposit is non-refundable once the mentorship period begins. The remainder of the fee can be paid in one or two instalments and must be paid in full within 3 months of the mentorship beginning.
Please let me know at least 24 hours in advance if you are unable to keep an appointment and we can reschedule. In order to accommodate other studio and teaching commitments I'm unfortunately unable to reschedule meetings with less than 24 hours notice and the missed meeting will count toward the six hours of mentorship. Thank-you for your understanding.
Lenka Clayton, bio
British interdisciplinary artist Lenka Clayton is the founder of An Artist Residency in Motherhood and was the first artist-in-residence-in-motherhood from 2012 - 2015.
Her work considers, exaggerates, and alters the accepted rules of everyday life, extending the familiar into the realms of the poetic and absurd. In previous works she's hand-numbered 7,000 stones; searched for 613 people mentioned in an edition of a German newspaper; filmed one person of every age from 1 to 100, and reconstituted a lost museum from a sketch on the back of an envelope. For three years she was the world’s first Artist-in-Residence-in-Motherhood after she founded a fully-funded artist residency that took place inside her own home and life as a mother of two young children. She and artist Michael Crowe are currently in the middle of writing a unique, personal letter to every household in the world.
Lenka Clayton's work has been widely exhibited including at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, FRAC Le Plateau in Paris, Kunstmuseum Linz in Austria, Kunsthalle St. Gallen in Switzerland, Anthology Film Archives and MoMA in New York City, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, the Tehran International Documentary Festival, and on BBC Radio 4 and Channel 4 Television in the UK. Recent work has also appeared in Frieze, Creative Nonfiction, Esquire Russia, The Daily Telegraph, The New Yorker blog, The New York Times, and in the publication "Typewriter Art" amongst others.
She has worked one-on-one with hundreds of artists from Foundation to Graduate level. She taught for extended periods at Central St. Martins in London (now University of the Arts), at Alfred University in New York State and currently teachs at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. She's been a visiting artist at 23 universities and colleges including Cranbrook Academy of Art, Ohio State University and Bowdoin College in the US and Örebro Konstskolla in Sweden.
Clayton holds an MA in Documentary Direction from the National Film & Television School, (Beaconsfield, U.K.) and a BA in Fine Art from Central St. Martins, (London). She was recently awarded a Creative Development Grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation/Heinz Endowments and a Sustainable Arts Foundation award. Clayton lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she was named Emerging Artist of the Year 2013. In 2014 she was awarded a Carol R. Brown Award for Creative Achievement. She is currently artist-in-residence at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia and working on a major project in with artist Jon Rubin at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.