Kent Bellows Mentoring Program

Joslyn's Kent Bellows Mentoring Program is dedicated to building creative capacity in teens, fostering artistic community, and encouraging the mentoring spirit in the arts. We offer small-group, teen art programs in many areas, allowing students to try a number of different mediums, techniques and formats. Current programs focus on painting, sculpture, mixed media, printmaking, murals, fashion, music, ceramics, digital arts, photography, and gallery practices. Students are encouraged to meet and connect with peers from different schools, learn new skills and explore unfamiliar art forms. Open studio formats are also available for students with challenging schedules or who may simply want to "test-drive" the program.

For more information on our programs, please visit our KBMP Vimeo page or our Teen at Joslyn Facebook page.

Program History

In January 2014, Joslyn Art Museum welcomed into its family the newly named Kent Bellows Mentoring Program and ownership of the Kent Bellows Studio, located at 33rd and Leavenworth Street in Omaha. In 2007, a nonprofit organization was established to create an art mentor program for teens — the legacy of Nebraska-born artist Kent Bellows (1949–2005), whose realist work, including the self-portrait at right, is part of Joslyn’s collection. That entity dissolved at the end of 2013, and Joslyn assumed responsibility for the future of its successful program, recognized for its dynamic vision, unique and versatile curriculum model, and exceptional work with young people. Kent Bellows Studio remains the home base for the Mentoring Program and — as an integral piece of Joslyn’s whole — the program allows the Museum to significantly expand its active engagement of teens, local artist mentors, and youth agencies throughout the metro area. The identity and integrity of this highly respected program, which helps develop the creative voice of youth, remains intact, with promise for growth and diversification.

What's Pictured: Kent Bellows (American, 1949–2005), Self Portrait Raging, 1991, graphite on paper, Gift of Dr. Thomas J. Huerter, 2003.19, Collection of Joslyn Art Museum


Kent Bellows Mentoring Program operates during after school hours and on Saturdays. Participants can expect to spend at least four hours per week, spread over two days, developing their art. Check out our student work here.

Students work with mentors in these areas of focus:

The Kent Bellows Mural Arts Program matches professional mural painters with young artists to create public art for the community. Each mural is designed by the mentor and students in response to community research and in collaboration with Omaha Public Works. Traditional latex and aerosol paints are used separately or in combination to achieve different visual effects. To date, students and mentors of this mural arts program have completed over 40 community murals.
In this painting-focused program you will investigate various painting techniques, strategies, and forms while also learning about historical and modern artists using the medium. You will work closely with other young artists and your mentor to develop and display original paintings in either oil, acrylic, or watercolor. You will have many hours of open studio time and will be encouraged to define your own projects.

In this program you will be exposed to a variety of printmaking methods including intaglio, relief, litho, and screen. Emphasis will be placed on expressing your own visual ideas and a thorough understanding of the printmaking art form. Each student will produce a number of original prints.

The Sculpture Arts Program will help you build the spatial thinking skills necessary for rendering sculptural forms in clay, metal, wood, plaster, and/or plastics. You will learn molding and casting techniques, and explore a history of sculpture making. Emphasis is placed on hands-on construction methods.

In this program you will experiment with different combinations of art making methods and mediums while exploring the potential of alternative craft and art tools. You will learn about other mixed media artists while developing your own experimental style and process. (Class size 3-4)

In the Clay Media Program you will explore various construction and glazing methods for working with clay. Collaboration and discussion will be encouraged. You will also develop professional ceramic studio practices and learn how to express meaningful ideas through objects. Your work will be exhibited in the end-of-semester show.

You will work with a professional curator to learn the techniques for designing, hanging, and marketing an art show by visiting local galleries. You will also critically discuss art with a variety of working artists and arts professionals. For your final project, you will curate Kent Bellows Mentoring Program’s next exhibition!

In this unique program, you will investigate urban art and learn how to create art for public spaces. Your mentor will demonstrate different techniques for working large scale including using aerosol and traditional painting methods. For your final project you will create a local, collaborative mural!

In this art and technology program, you will work with digital tools to create imagery, video, 3D models, and motion graphics. You and your mentor will research current art and technology trends and make work for the end of semester exhibition.

This program explores fashion as art. You will work closely with a working fashion artist to create wearable designs out of a variety of fabric and experimental materials that will be displayed on the runway!


This program investigates the use of technology and traditional instruments as music making tools. You will work closely with a talented mentor using Ableton Live to create music and sound art that can be performed live.


In this program you will be exposed to traditional photographic processes using black and white film and darkroom practices. Emphasis will be placed on your own ideas that you would like to capture and how to properly enlarge and develop them into prints.

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