as part of the rolex mentor and protégé arts initiative, four of the world’s most distinguished creatives — sir david adjaye (architecture), zakir hussain (music), crystal pite (dance), and colm toíbín (literature) — have each chosen a young talent for a period of creative exchange and personal inspiration. the multidisciplinary philanthropic program unites established and emerging names for a year or more of open-ended collaboration.

rolex mentor protege arts initiative david adjaye
sir david adjaye, mentor in architecture
image © rolex/tina ruisinger (also main image)



in the mentoring period that spans 2018 and 2019, ghana-born british architect david adjaye has chosen to work with mariam kamara, 38, niger; indian musician zakir hussain with marcus gilmore, 31, united states; canadian choreographer crystal pite with khoudia touré, 31, senegal; and new york-based irish writer colm toíbín with colin barrett, 35, ireland. the mentor-protégé pairs are free within this period to schedule their times and places of interaction according to their particular needs.

rolex mentor protege arts initiative david adjaye
mariam kamara, protégé in architecture
image © rolex/tina ruisinger



‘the artists who have so generously agreed to participate as mentors in the 2018−2019 rolex arts initiative have influenced their disciplines profoundly and are held in the highest esteem by the public and their peers,’ said rebecca irvin, head of philanthropy at rolex. ‘they now join a community of internationally acclaimed artists who have taken the opportunity through rolex to pass on their passion and expertise. we extend our congratulations to the highly accomplished younger artists who have been chosen by the mentors.’

rolex mentor protege arts initiative david adjaye
crystal pite, mentor in dance, with her protégé khoudia touré at scotiabank dance center, vancouver BC canada
image © rolex/robert wright



as part of this year’s initiative, sir david adjaye will mentor mariam kamara, principal of the firm atelier masōmī. dedicated to designing spaces and structures that respond to the needs of people in her homeland, niger, and all of africa, kamara is exploring adaptations to local techniques in her various projects. mariam kamara also teaches urban studies at brown university.

rolex mentor protege arts initiative david adjaye
colm tóibín, mentor in literature, with his protégé colin barrett
image © rolex/bart michiels



rolex announced the new mentors and protégés at a public ceremony in berlin celebrating the completion of the 2016−2017 mentoring year, the 15th anniversary of the program. rolex also said that protégés who have completed their mentorships will become known as rolex fellows who will be invited to apply to a collaboration fund for joint projects.

rolex mentor protege arts initiative david adjaye
zakir hussain, mentor in music, with his protégé marcus gilmore
image © rolex/hugo glendinning