Mint Artists Guild hires talented teens to create art for Detroit parks

Mint Artists Guild hires talented teens to create art for Detroit parks

Nine young emerging artists will have a pretty cool job this summer thanks to the Mint Artists Guild.

The emerging artists, ages 15 to 21, will be paid to create original mosaic pieces for Detroit’s parks. Some of the nine peoples chosen worked for Mint last year and were invited them back, others were recommended by art teachers in local schools.

Emerging artists, ages 15 to 21, will be paid to create original mosaic pieces for Detroit’s parks this summer.
Photo by © Brendan Ross

“We did interviews with all of them,” says Vickie Elmer, co-founder and executive director of Mint Artists Guild. “They are from all over the city. We are pleased we have such a diverse group.”

The jobs are made possible by the Mint’s Paint Detroit with Generosity initiative, which donates original paintings to about 30 local nonprofits including the Belle Isle Conservancy, Coalition on Temporary Shelter, Ruth Ellis Center and YMCA of Metro Detroit.

“Generosity creates opportunities for connections and collaborations,” says Elmer. “It’s part of Mint’s DNA, and we hope to instill it in our emerging artists’ mindsets too.”

Each Generosity painting is created after the young artist researches the nonprofit and sketched several ideas that reflect the organization’s work, mission and values.

Hiring nine young artists is five more than were employed last year, which means the Mint needs to raise extra funds. It is also adding five weekly community art activities in Palmer Park this year for families and individuals.

A spring fundraiser on Chuffed seeks to bring in $2,700 from individuals. People may donate any amount from $10 to $1,500 by clicking here. Each year individuals contribute thousands of dollars to support Mint’s Detroit youth development, creative career training and beautification projects, the organization says.

“Then watch how those jobs grow and spread across the city through original art donated to two dozen nonprofit organizations, through the power of generosity and giving,” says Mint’s.

Mint focuses on teen visual artists from Detroit and is open to all young artists who are serious about their creative talents and want to learn business, career and life skills and sell their work.

Young people interested in joining Mint can apply by clicking here. They must also share examples of their work. The next open call for artist applications is in September.

“We encourage all (young artists) to apply and send in their work so we can connect with them,” Elmer says. “We want to help them understand they can earn a living from their work, and we want to help them be professional. We have amazing young people doing that.”

Mint focuses on teen visual artists from Detroit who want to learn business, career and life skills and sell their work.
Photo by © Brendan Ross

This is the third year of the Generosity initiative, which is supported this year by Blossoms, PNC, Integrity Shows and many individuals. A Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs grant administrated by Culture Source also supports Paint Detroit with Generosity.

In 2017, Mint’s art supplies were funded by Awesome Foundation Detroit.

“The Awesome Foundation chose Mint Artists Guild for the monthly grant donation because they were so impressed with the summer jobs program,” says Rahul Yadav, former dean of the Awesome Detroit chapter, a micro granting organization.

Mint works from the Palmer Park Community House. Its summer jobs program is part of the City of Detroit’s Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, funded by foundations and others. Its summer open house is scheduled for 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. on July 25. You’ll be able to see work in progress and create art led by the teen artists.

The Paint Detroit with Generosity paintings will be on display in an October exhibit at the Boll Family YMCA in downtown Detroit.

“We were thrilled to receive and exhibit a painting from Mint Artists Guild,” says Margaret Edwartowski, Y Arts executive director.  “Our new work brightens our facilities and gives a young artist an opportunity for recognition and visibility.”

Other work created over the summer will be for sale at the Mint tent at the Belle Isle Art Fair Aug. 4 and 5 and the Funky Ferndale Art Fair in late September.  Proceeds will support the Mint 2019 summer jobs program and other Mint youth development and creative career programs.

The Mint Artists Guild was founded in November 2015 as a nonprofit focused on teaching teen artists skills needed to sell work at a juried art fair. Since then it has given more than 35 emerging artists the opportunity at the Palmer Park Art Fair.

Top photo by © Brendan Ross 



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