In this article, I share insights from research and experience working as a teaching artist and mentor inside and outside traditional institutions. I investigate how relational and contemplative pedagogies promote and sustain authentic relationships of reciprocity. Narrating recent experiments with mentoring practices that emerged from the cultural landscapes of adults engaged in arts learning, the paper highlights new connections discovered through a research model borrowed from intuitive inquiry. Findings are presented as reflective stories, journal entries, or field notes gathered while mentoring graduate art education students and participating in a community of practice in the visual arts. The article demonstrates how a holistic and contemplative philosophy of mentoring supports embodied knowings and connective agencies that unfold as relational ecologies of lifelong learning.


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