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William Kentridge will mentor Columbian artist Mateo López as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative for 2012-2013, the luxury timepiece brand announced this week.

Every two years, Rolex invites masters in art, dance, film, literature, music, and theatre to provide individual guidance to younger artists selected by an anonymous panel of distinguished international arts professionals. Kentridge was selected as the visual arts mentor for the sixth cycle of the Mentor-Protégé program, which runs from 2012 to 2013. After a rigorous preliminary selection process, Kentridge chose Lopéz as his protégé. In the programme’s previous cycle, Nicholas Hlobo was selected as the protégé of British sculptor Anish Kapoor.

López, 33, spent a year studying architecture at Javieriana University but graduated in fine arts from the University of the Andes. His early studies in architecture equipped him to consider drawing in terms of time and space, and three rather than two dimensions. López is known for setting up his studio in public and for using memories of his personal journeys in his work, which is a trademark of his installations. The installation Viaje sin movimiento (Travelling without movement, 2008-2010) was acquired by New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Mentors and protégés spend a minimum of six weeks. The place and time of these interactions are arranged by mutual agreement. The form of the interaction is flexible, ranging from a protégé being granted access to a master at work, to mentor and protégé actually collaborating on a work. It has not yet been decided how Kentridge and Lopéz will work together.

Each protégé receives a grant of CHF 25,000 (about R220 000) during the mentoring year, in addition to money to cover travel and other major expenses. A budget of a further CHF 25,000 is available to each protégé at the end of the mentorship period, to go towards the production of a new piece of work, performance, publication or public event.

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