top of page



In 2020, I founded the Artists X Advocacy Mentorship Program (AXA), an annual paid youth and young adult mentorship program, with initial funding from an Iowa Arts & Culture Resilience grant. The focus of AXA is to bring awareness to art as a career option, especially for individuals living with disabilities. AXA came out of a direct need to cultivate an environment, in Iowa, in which creativity could thrive through community works of art, advocacy work, and community partnerships.

-Jill Wells, 2020

AXA is a multidisciplinary mentorship program founded by International artist Jill Wells in 2020. The program brings together Midwest artists to work in Des Moines, Iowa for 3-6 month. The AXA studio space #447 is located inside Mainframe Studios. Mainframe provides dedicated and common studio spaces, gallery space, event space, catering and creative community. AXA's mission is to support emerging artists through social and emotional support, collaborative exchange and to incite change in the local discourse about what art and advocacy means today.

The three to six-month mentorship program includes two, three month long mentorship slots. Each mentee will receive:

  • weekly one-on-one mentor/mentee sessions 

  • mentee stipend

  • a series of community engagement workshops, podcasts and interviews

  • mainframe studio space

  • a resume/portfolio prep workshop 

  • professional photography headshots

  • creating an original public work of art

  • professional network development

  • social/emotional support

  • practical experience working with professionals in a variety of creative/corporate disciplines

SWISH II - Oakridge
Read more

2022 AXA Mural Project Artists: Jordan Weber, designer Lead painter: Jill Wells Mentee: Sabah Koko Sponsored by: The Greater Des Moines Public Arts Foundation

bottom of page