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We are proud of our community support and the programs and initiatives that support Detroit youth. Why not talk about it?

October 2023 – Mint Artist Guild Presents its Most Diverse Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit at TechTown Detroit; array of activities planned

Detroit – From mittens to immigrants to making a living as an entrepreneur, the nonprofits depicted in the 2023 Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit are an eclectic and diverse lot. And the youth artists from Mint Artists Guild who created their Generosity paintings are almost as diverse, coming from many neighborhoods and many cultures around Detroit.

The Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit officially opened on Oct. 25, showcasing social justice, social issues, and business – focused nonprofits. And Mint also has on display artists’ self-portraits from artists ages 14 to 23 who are Latina, Detroit natives, Bangladeshi Americans, multiracial and more.  Mint’s exhibit is up at TechTown Detroit, 440 Burroughs, through late January.

It is the eighth annual Paint Detroit with Generosity art show, and it contains so much more this year. Mint is planning a variety of community and generosity activities including Free Art Fridays, a scavenger hunt in Detroit near TechTown, a Giving Tuesday coloring day with giveaways, and a silent auction of art and artisan gifts.

TechTown Detroit will also host Mint’s second Generosity Breakfast on Jan. 19, a morning of connection and celebration of Detroit’s generous nonprofit culture. Mint is seeking corporate underwriters for this breakfast.

“We believe in the power and beauty of generosity and sharing art, almost as much as we believe in the talents and resilience of our youth artists,” said Vickie Elmer, executive director and co-founder of Mint Artists Guild and creator of the Generosity initiative.  “This exhibit captures a rainbow of nonprofit organizations and an equally wide array of artists” from Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck and beyond.

Mint will donate all the paintings to local nonprofits after the exhibit closes.  This year, half the nonprofits are new to Mint’s Paint Detroit with Generosity initiative, including Detroit Windsor Dance Academy, MoGo, ProsperUs and Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. Mittens for Detroit and Freedom House Detroit are among the returning nonprofit partners.

The Generosity paintings were created by a record 20 youth artists who worked for Mint Artists Guild in partnership with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent. Two other youth artists worked in a local clay studio as part of the Mint Summer Jobs program.

Since 2016, Mint and our artists have created and given original art to nonprofits to spread the word about their work and the beauty and significance of generosity. So far, more than 65 nonprofits have received or will be gifted almost 150 original paintings from Mint.

Mint Artists Guild is a  Detroit nonprofit founded in 2015 that has been dedicated to the enhancement of Detroit’s creative youth. Every year Mint gives emerging artists an opportunity to learn how to successfully sell, prepare, and promote their art and a space to grow in their artistic abilities.

TechTown Detroit assists tech startups and small businesses develop, launch, and grow by connecting entrepreneurs to learning and networking events in Detroit, resources, and meeting spaces.  Founded in 2000 by Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and General Motors, TechTown became an independent nonprofit in 2004.

More photos of Paint Detroit with Generosity paintings and exhibit at TechTown Detroit are available by request.

Painting by Dana Hanson (dancers) © Mint Artists Guild 2023.
Painting by Saliha Shah (mittens)© Mint Artists Guild 2023.

December 2021 First time for Mint Artists Guild at a Detroit museum; other firsts too 

 Mint Artists Guild will showcase its Paint Detroit with Generosity paintings made by talented and artistic youth at the Detroit Historical Museum now through January 2, 2022.  

Detroit, Michigan — In a beautiful swirl of firsts, Mint Artists Guild will debut its Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum.

It is Mint’s first exhibit at a museum in Detroit.  It is the first time Paint Detroit with Generosity was supported by the Buck Dinner, a group that supports social justice and peace initiatives. It also is the first time Mint, a Detroit nonprofit, has offered three paintings for the public to join in the gifting and nominate a nonprofit to receive.

However, it is the sixth annual Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit – and some nonprofits are repeat recipients of original paintings.

Mint is sharing the space near an exhibit dedicated to J.L. Hudson’s Department store, a retail legend most Mint Artists may have to learn about from their parents or grandparents.

Fifteen artists ages 14 to 22 were  part of Mint’s Summer Jobs program, and eight of them were first-timers to Mint. They spent part of their summer creating artwork for 25 local non-profits. The Mint summer jobs program is supported by Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, the city’s youth employment program. 

In addition to the Paint Detroit with Generosity paintings, all 15 artists 

will have their self-portraits on display at the Detroit Historical Museum now through Jan. 2, 2022.

“The Detroit Historical Society is excited to partner with an organization that is encouraging youth art and creativity. These young artists are the future of art and museum professionals, and we are thrilled to display their art through the holiday season!” said Tracy Irwin, the Detroit Historical Society’s chief exhibitions and enrichment officer. 

Several Mint paintings will be donated to social justice organizations such as Sugar Law Center and the Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration – also firsts for Mint.

“The Buck Dinner is honored to support the Mint Artists Guild’s work to train the creative leaders and artistic activists of the future. Since 1929, the Buck Dinner has funded hundreds of groups fighting for peace, justice and equality. We believe the work of the Mint Artists,” said Barbara Barefield, an artist and Buck Dinner organizer.

Since 2016, Mint and our artists have created and given wonderful pieces of art to nonprofits to spread the word about their work and the beauty and significance of generosity. So far, more than 60 nonprofits have received or will be gifted almost 150 original paintings from Mint.

Mint Artists Guild is a Detroit non profit founded in 2015 that has been dedicated to the enhancement of Detroit’s creative youth. Every year Mint gives emerging artists an opportunity to learn how to successfully sell, protect, and promote their art and a space to grow in their artistic abilities. 

Paintings by Natasha Guest (orange) and Ileana Bell (blue doves); both © Mint Artists Guild 2021   More photos of Paint Detroit with Generosity available by request.  

For more information, contact Vickie Elmer or Kelly O’Neill at

Hear Dayana Juarez, Mint Artist,  talk about her painting she created for Connected Detroit.

Detroit, February 2021 —  Fifteen paintings of heroes created by youth in Detroit during the pandemic are headed to Grand Rapids to inspire and share their stories.

Mint Artists Guild Youth Show

Grand Rapids Who Their Heroes Are

Mint Artists Guild has its first exhibit in Grand Rapids held at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), a pandemic-inspired exhibit of heroes from many eras and cultures.

These heroes paintings by Mint Artists Guild’s summer workers will be on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum Feb. 20 through May 22.  Mint, a non-profit that aims to develop, showcase, and enrich aspiring Detroit artists, created the “Heroes: Now & Then” show during the summer of 2020, during the pandemic.

The exhibit consists of 15 paintings of diverse heroes as seen by Detroit artists ages 14 to 21. Among them are a Black healthcare worker fighting a deadly virus while also fighting racism, a woman who is part of the Gulabi Gang, a group in India that fights domestic abuse and violence against women and a child who looks like he is growing up in Grandmont Rosedale or perhaps Detroit’s East Side.

Guests viewing the exhibit are encouraged to pick up Heroes coloring pages while at the Museum, also created by Mint’s summer workers.

This exhibit will mark many “firsts” for Mint, which was established in 2015. It will be the first exhibit in Grand Rapids, the first time Mint workers created mainly from home, and the first time that a Mint exhibit has traveled to multiple art centers, said Mint executive director Vickie Elmer. 

“Heroes: Now & Then resonates during the pandemic, by sharing the bravery, the stories of heroes, including little known ones,” said Elmer. “They encourage us to see how and why heroes show up in dark days – and in ourselves.”

One of the summer workers, Vianca Romero, painted one of the marquee images of the show, a World War II hero named Willem Arondeus.

“Seeing all of the heroes filled me with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. This added to the excitement of seeing my other pieces I did for Mint in different places.  Having my work presented in Grand Rapids is a huge step forward and I’m very excited for the exhibit’s opening!” Romero said.

GRAM regularly presents artwork by student artists throughout the year to support and cultivate the next generation of artists in the community.

“The Grand Rapids Art Museum is thrilled to highlight the creative work of the youth artists from Mint Artists Guild this spring,” said  GRAM Director of Learning and Creativity Christopher Bruce. “We hope our guests will feel a shared sense of togetherness, inspiration, and hope while they ponder the heroes in their own lives.”

The Mint exhibit debuted on February 22nd and will be open to the public with purchase of a timed ticket admission through GRAM’s  website, You can visit to view a brochure of the exhibit and learn more about the Mint Creative Summer Jobs program, which is hiring for 2021 starting in March. Also visit the Mint website to donate as we create new opportunities and exhibits with Detroit youth.  ###

About Mint Artists Guild

Mint Artists Guild transforms young aspiring artists by providing education, enrichment and experience, resulting in earning opportunities, exposure, and mentorships that launch creative careers and lasting connections. Mint also infuses the community with art and creative experiences, supporting positive and healthy cultures.

About the Grand Rapids Art Museum 

Connecting people through art, creativity, and design. Established in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, the Art Museum is internationally known for its distinguished design and LEED® Gold certified status. Established in 1910 as the Grand Rapids Art Association, GRAM has grown to include more than 5,000 works of art, including American and European 19th and 20th-century painting and sculpture and more than 3,000 works on paper. Embracing the city’s legacy as a leading center of design and manufacturing, GRAM has a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft.

For GRAM’s hours and admission fees, call 616.831.1000 or visit  

Interviews with Mint Artists available. Contact Kelly O’Neill, Mint’s Communications Director, at 810-224-1213 or for more information. 


Elizabeth Payne, GRAM Communications Manager, 616.831.2917 or

Instagram: @MintArtistsGuild

Twitter: @MintArtists

YouTube: Mint Artists Guild

Photo Caption:  A Registered Nurse fighting COVID-19 painted by artist / Mint worker Alexis Bagley

Photo Caption: Some of Mint summer workers in front of Palmer Park Community House / Mint Studios photo taken by Vickie Elmer

Photo Caption:  Gulabli Gang by Mint worker Zora Flounory A Registered Nurse fighting COVID-19 by Mint worker  Alexis Bagley


B-Roll Description:

First painting is by Vianca Romero and it is a painting of Willem Arondeus who saved many Jewish lives during WW II.

Second painting is by Alexis Bagley. Her chosen hero is a Registered Nurse fighting COVID-19.

Third painting is by Michael Johnson and it is of artist Keith Haring. 

The fourth painting is by Jessica Fligger who painted a scene of two women helping each other to defy the stereotype of men saving women.

The fifth painting is by Zora Flounory and it honors the Gulabi Gang, a vigilante group in India that fights domestic abuse and violence against women.

The final photo was taken by Vickie Elmer and includes the artists from left to right, Michah Hartman, Theo Eggebrecht, Jessica Fligger, Seyi Akintoroye, Vianca Romero, Terrance Devoe, Michael Johnson, Zora Flounory, and Tommy Dubose.

Additional art work can be found here in Google Docs folder

Get Booklet that features all of the artists and their artwork here

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