Mermaids, business pitches and more creative firsts for Mint

Mermaids and filmmakers and a pitch competition, oh my.

Mint Artists Guild’s summer of firsts has taken us into strange and delightful terrain, and under the Belle Isle Bridge.  We told you about the first batch of first-ever activities earlier and those came through beautifully. This next batch is even more creative and you may be able to buy or engage with some of the fruits of them at our fall and winter events.

Read on and marvel at our wilingness. to jump into the new and the next.

This Mint print by Saliha Shah shows the joy of ice cream. It was created during Mint leader Jessica Fligger's print making workshop.
This Mint print by Saliha Shah was developed in Mint Summer Jobs in Jessica Fligger’s lithography workshop.

Leader lithography.  Mint summer leader / artist Jessica Fligger has grown into a master printmaker. Jessica, an 18-year-old Cass Tech co-valedictorian, has been making prints with Mint for several years. So this summer, she led all 20+ artists in lithography workshops in the Mint Studios. Her coaching and encouragement on pronto plates and printing press mean we will offer marvelous Mint Prints this fall in the Mint Shop and at art fairs and pop ups.

Mermaids.  We have seen them and they are magical. The Motor City Mermaids joined us at the Belle Isle Art Fair. And we created a coloring page by Mint summer worker Zee Brown showing them swimming under the Belle Isle Bridge.  Pick up a copy at most of our events until the river water gets too cold or we run out. And another of our summer artists painted a green-haired mermaid.

Trash to treasure day. We always strive for creative reuse of art supplies and materials. So our first Trash to treasure day gave two of our teams the opportunity to show how inventive they could be with leftovers and Freecycle finds. Both came up with magical, joyful art and performance art; Team Watermelon Surprise’s two-piece mirror lamp is shown above. Team Sushi created a sweet kitchen. We marvel at the creative team work that developed in just six weeks in the Mint Creative Summer Jobs.

Digital art shows. Thanks to Mintern Nicholas Parnell and his mentor Jamie Thomson, the Mint website has a new carousel app, which will allow us to showcase digital art exhibits. The first one will debut in September. This also represents the first time a Mintern from Wolverine Pathways has expanded capabilities so extensively on our website.

Filmmaker.  For the first time, Mint hired an emerging filmmaker to join the Mint Summer Jobs program. Jamela Lugo-Thomas studies film at College for Creative Studies. Her short films about Mint debut on our YouTube Channel; check out the Trash to treasure story. Some of her paintings are stunning too, and one will be part of the Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit in the fall.

Mint’s Trash to treasure team building day was captured by Mint’s Jamela Lugo-Thomas.

Entrepreneurial pitch. For the first time, Mint held a Shark Tank like entrepreneur’s pitch session, with our First Merchants banker as the judge. Three young artists participated and they seemed poised and prepared, thanks to Mint’s coaching and their dedication. Their plans call for an art sales website by Dana, a henna studio from Saliha and a hair salon for young people by Masiah. We will continue to support them in their creative journeys.

Mint has more firsts this week. It’s our first time to be part of the Rocket Community Challenge fundraising initiative. On Tuesday, we showed off children’s art made by summer campers at the Roberto Clemente Recreation Center, our first art show in a Detroit Recreation Center.  On Saturday, we will show and sell work in our inaugural tent at the Grosse Pointe Art Fair.

If all these firsts inspire you to try something new, we hope you will jump in. And we invite you to become a first-time donor to Mint this week.