A summer full of firsts for Mint

Mint Artists Guild is growing like our namesake herb, and we are keeping it fresh too.

So we have many first-time activities that we’re launching this year. And many of them take us to more people and places than ever before. Here’s a preview:

  • Art Factory. Mint and other Detroit organizations are working with the Huron – Clinton Metroparks to bring more art and other activities to Detroit this summer. For the first time, we are offering an art workshop series for teens and adults in Detroit. The first one Contemporary Painting from the Spirit was led by Mint Artists / alumni Dayana Juarez. The next Art Factory starts July 12 and focuses in printmaking, led by Mint cofounder and art teacher Linda Buck. The final one in August focuses on 3D art, creating a totem, and is led by art teacher Lorna Collins Braxton. Cost is $25 for each three-week series; please register here.
  • Artists galore. Mint hired a record 22 youth artists through GDYT this year, more than triple the number working for us in 2018 and up from 17 youth artists in the 2022 Mint Creative Summer Jobs program. And three of those artists – Juarez, Ileana Bell and Jessica Fligger – will lead initiatives or teams for us. Follow us on Instagram and on Facebook for our Meet the Artists campaign.
  • Clay art. We are partnering with Art in Motion. Two Mint Artists will learn clay techniques and help with children’s clay art camps this summer. This is our first foray into clay. We have worked with Art in Motion for two previous Art in Windows.
  • Rec Center summer camps. Mint is participating in a pilot program to bring more arts and culture to Detroit Recreation Centers this year. We are working with DEYA, Heritage Works and Mosaic Youth Theatre on this initiative. Mint will be at Clemente Recreation Center with weekly STEAM art activities for around 50 children.
  • Coloring books. We are working on two coloring books this summer, one for the Metroparks following four children through their summer of adventures, and the second about Generosity in Detroit, underwritten by the MSU Federal Credit Union Desk Drawer Fund. The Generosity coloring book connects to our Paint Detroit with Generosity initiative. Doubling down on coloring books is new to us, though we certainly have a rich coloring page library and our first coloring book Beautiful Detroit continues to be available in the Mint Shop online and at select independent book stores and shops.
  • Fall arts and crafts. Thanks to two supporters, we will offer family-friendly arts and crafts in the fall for the first time. Because of a small grant from the Detroit Industrial School, we will plan family friendly arts and crafts indoors and outside in a Detroit park, starting in October. Watch our events page for details. And we will offer family-friendly Art Factory for children at Willow Metropark starting in September. Please register for Art Factory Willow here.

Of course, many things will stay the same for Mint, from our commitment to donate original Paint Detroit with Generosity paintings to our zeal to teach productivity and career skills to creative youth to our plans to connect with new neighborhoods and groups.

All the first-time activities fall within our mission to create opportunities for young Detroit creatives to learn, earn and launch creative careers, and to provide community art activities for all. We hope to see you at several of these events and activities.

Kay Willingham at Art in Motion gives instructions to Mint Artists Michael and Jacob, who will work there this summer. (Photo: Vickie Elmer)