Meet some of the characters behind our art cards

Chillin’ the Bunny, the standout Sunflower Sisters and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle all show up as characters on Mint’s art cards. Their stories may be seen through the card’s diverse imagery or imagined by hundreds of buyers and guests at our events.

But the characters behind the cards – the artists who created them –  their stories have not been told. Until now.

Mint’s first card debuted in 2016, the year of our birth, and is called Starry, Starry Night over Detroit. It was created by alumni Maisha Rahman, who now works as an illustrator and graphic designer. She painted the star-filled piece in the Mint tent at an art fair.

Since then, at least 23 artists’ paintings, photos and digital art have graced Mint art cards. Now we introduce three Mint Artists / alumni, the faces behind some of our most iconic or beloved greeting cards. Their stories shared here are just a snippet of their creative narratives.

Nur Shah – Nur came to Mint as an incredibly creative artist from Hamtramck who crafted beautiful paintings of women – and elegant henna for women’s hands and arms. She was and is a caring and delightful person who warmly welcomed strangers and friends to Mint pop ups and tents. Today she works as a fashion designer, entrepreneur and influencer. Her fashion line The Layali offers fashionable, fresh modest clothing for Muslim and other women.  Her Instagram account has 33,600 followers and videos of fashion, travel and Nur living the good life.

Her card Sunflower Sisters depicts three young women, dressed colorfully and wearing roses and flowers in their hair. It is one of Mint’s most popular art cards and it is based on a painting that Nur gifted to Mint.  And Nur’s younger sister Saliha Shah joined Mint this spring, so perhaps another Shah card will be coming.

Nur Shah shown in The Layali dress, azur. Her fashion designs are sold mainly on her company website, or from her social media posts.

Moumita Chawdhury – Moumita came to Mint through our pandemic arts and poetry competition for children and youth. Her image was a winner in 2020 and we knew she belonged in Mint. So we recruited her for the Mint Creative Summer Jobs in 2021, then hired her again and again. She is a talented artist whose paintings sometimes hint at her family’s previous life in Bangladesh. Lush flowers and bright colors grow easily in her work. Moumita also led an Art in the Parks arts and crafts in Palmer Park in 2023 and became one of our face painters. She also painted the Little Free Library in Palmer Park as her final project this past summer, a very generous activity. Moumita attends Wayne State University, and is majoring in public health.

Her first Mint card Corktown in Springtime showcases Detroit’s oldest and historically Irish neighborhood. Her second card highlights an iconic glass building filled with plants on Belle Isle, one that is closed and under renovations through mid 2024 . And her third? That, my friends, remains a closely guarded secret.

Hear more from Moumita in this new video:

Moumita Chawdhury talks about the joy in her Belle Isle greeting card in this video.

Alana Rider – After working in the Mint Summer Jobs in 2017, with four other artists, Alana became our first intern by proposing an internship needed for graduation. She attended a CCS – affiliated high school and decided to focus on Mint’s growing greeting card collection. She created Log Cabin Christmas, a whimsical look at the Palmer Park Log Cabin decorated for the holidays during that internship, and Psychadelic Love / Abstract Hearts, during her summer job. The Love / Hearts card continues to be a favorite for weddings and around Valentine’s Day.

Mint Alumni Alana Rider

These days, Rider manages Kpop Nara in Southfield, a store that carries South Korean music, artists merchandise and more. She loves music and still makes some digital art. She is thrilled her cards, created more than five years ago, are still popular. “It just makes me feel really proud,” she said. “Art work that I did so young still out there, loved by other people to this day.”