Creative sister and brother are Metro Detroit Youth Arts Competition 2021 winners

She writes poetry, paints and performs with Shakespeare in Detroit. He loves nature and diving into painting or creative projects.

Arise and Temple Rock are the sister and brother winners of Mint’s Metro Detroit Youth Arts Competition this year – she’s the big sister who already has published a book. He’s the singer who appreciates creative gifts and activities.  They are among 10 winners in poetry and visual art.

 In a blind judging, Arise Rock won for both poetry and painting – and for the second year, she’s a two-time winner.  Temple’s winning piece wowed our judges, including Mint emerging artist Eleanor Aro and Mint supporter Will “The Poet” Langford.

The Rocks are part of a very creative Detroit family of seven. Mother Yvette Rock is an artist and owner of Live Coal Gallery, where Arise works part-time. Father Joshua Rock describes himself as “fun-loving, risk taking Dad and husband who loves to teach and play and write” and he helps restore homes and land in Detroit. Yvette and Joshua Rock both have supported Mint Artists Guild.

Yet our judges didn’t know their names or affiliations when selecting their work as winners in the second Metro Detroit Youth Arts Competition, underwritten by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation among others. Last year, two sisters won the competition: Fae and Fiona Taylor of Hazel Park were among the first year winners.

We asked Temple and Arise to share insights about each other.

“Temple is the one who brings us all together! We all love working with him and seeing him grow and develop his talents. He has a beautiful voice,” Arise said in an email interview. He sings beautifully. “The way he thinks is very unique. I love seeing him express how he feels through art. It’s inspiring to watch him work.”

Temple is 12, and shares a birthday with his mother, which they spent partly in a family karaoke night. He attends Spain Elementary – Middle School.

Arise just turned 17 and attends Detroit School of Arts. Her first books were novels that were printed by and debuted in her mom’s gallery.

She is “a good director for any theater projects we undertake, or any building – making – creating projects,” Temple said in an email. Arise’s claim to fame: “She does so much!  She is very active with what she wants to do.”

On Instagram, Arise calls herself a “actress•writer•entrepreneur•artist” and she and her siblings used to create handmade dolls including one depicting Harriet Tubman. She played Juliet in the Shakespeare in Detroit STEAM production of Romeo and Juliet in 2019.

Both siblings created visual images based on Mint’s prompt: “Just my imagination running away with me,”  The Temptations song title. Yet Arise plans and works on creative projects repeatedly, and Temple does not. He “attacks art with a passion and fresh viewpoint,” she said.

Arise Rock’s winning painting is called The Dreamer.

Arise’s piece The Dreamer “encapsulates the beauty of a child’s mind. …This piece shows that you can be anything you want, and that children should be encouraged to dream and to wonder.”  It will be adapted into a Mint greeting card and available for sale at Mint events and on our online Shop.

Temple’s piece is called Flying Through My Thoughts and it shows “when I think about the crazy things flying and being created in my mind. This is my imagination, I’m on a bird and it’s flying away with me with all my other thoughts following behind,” he wrote in his application to the Youth Arts Competition.

Temple Rock’s winning piece is called Flying Through My Thoughts.

Arise’s poem also won the Youth Arts Competition. It is titled We Are One, and will be shared in mid-October.

The Rock’s visual pieces and most winners work will be on display in mid-October at the next Mint Art in Windows display along Livernois.  A second Mint blog post introduces the other 2021 winners.