Seven Masters Of The Arts Announced For Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative


Seven of the world’s most acclaimed artists have accepted an invitation to mentor a rising young talent for a year, through the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. The seven artists are: David Chipperfield (architecture), Mia Couto (literature), Alfonso Cuarón (film), Philip Glass (music), Joan Jonas (visual arts), Robert Lepage (theatre) and Ohad Naharin (dance).

The new mentors were announced at a ceremony in Mexico on December 6, honouring the mentors and protégés of the 2014–2015 edition of the Rolex Arts Initiative. This international philanthropic programme seeks out highly talented young artists from around the world and brings them together with great masters for a year of creative collaboration in a one-to-one mentoring relationship. The mentoring year will begin in mid-2016.

“These seven artists have had a profound influence on their disciplines for decades and are held in high esteem by the public and their peers…We acknowledge their generosity in serving as mentors in the Rolex Arts Initiative. They will join the family of internationally acclaimed artists who have committed to passing on their passion and expertise to a younger generation and to be reinvigorated in their own art in return.” said Rebecca Irvin, head of philanthropy at Rolex.

Nominating panels of influential artists and arts professionals from all over the world are meeting to select young talents who will be asked to apply to the programme. The mentor will choose a protégé from three or four finalists, whose names will be announced in June 2016. Each protégé receives 25,000 Swiss francs to support his or her participation in the programme, with a further 25,000 Swiss francs available for the creation of a new work at the conclusion of the mentoring year. Mentors are asked to spend up to six weeks with their protégés, but the pairs have complete freedom to interact in the way that suits them best.