They live in Detroit, of course, and Hamtramck, Holly and Fraser. They work in crayons, acrylic or watercolor paint, ink and many other mediums. Their creativity and work are as fresh as the latest headlines – and as timeless as the puppy who is part of one child’s picture.
They are the eleven winners of the Metro Detroit Youth Arts Competition, winners, winners whose diversity and creativity make them wonderful representations of Detroit and of Mint Artists Guild’s hopes and expectations.
“We hope for better things, in Detroit. We rise from the ashes, each day, to build our communities. The Youth Arts Competition is a manifestation of our uniquely Detroit spirit of hustle and hope,” said Will ‘The Poet’ Langford. Langford worked with Mint co-founder Vickie Elmer to hustle to launch and develop the competition, starting in June. They both serve on Mint’s board of directors.
The winners range from kindergarden to college and chose a wide variety of subjects for their art and poetry. Mint intends to share more of their stories and work in future blog and social media posts, so here briefly are our 2020 winners:
Moumita Chawdhury, 18, Hamtramck, “Unifying, The Hope of a New Beginning,” oil pastels and colored pencils from Bangladesh.
Ishaan Kundapur, 13, Northville. “Beautiful Detroit: Birthplace of the Auto Industry,” water color. (Mint greeting card winner)
Sydney Lenn, 17, Fraser. “No Justice, No Peace.” Black and white photograph.
Ife Martin, 16, West Bloomfield. Silence. Spoken word poem.
Tahlia Ray, 16, Detroit. “Unity.” Fiber art.
Arise Elisabeth Rock, 15, Detroit. “The Ascension” three-part acrylic painting. And City of People, poem. (Yes, she won twice, though the judges did not know that.)
Justus Smith, 10, Detroit. “Rising from the Ashes.” Mixed media piece.
Fae Taylor, 6, Hazel Park. “The Daytime.” Mixed media with crayons.
Fiona Taylor, 5, Hazel Park. “Puppy’s eyes.” Mixed media with paint. (Yes they are sisters and yes, the puppy piece is adorable!)
Several of the pieces reflected the Black Lives Matter movement or the covid-19 crisis that engulfed the world and how art brings us together in trying times. Others shared the beauty of Detroit, with its leafy trees and lovely streets. About a third of the winners created based on each of our three themes: Detroit is beautiful, art as a unifier and Detroit’s “we rise from the ashes” motto.
Winners were chosen by current Mint Artists, our alumni, professional artists and writers and two of Mint’s co-founders. All of the winning art will be professionally framed by Jo’s Gallery or Sherwood Forest Art Gallery. And all the winners receive a prize package and $225 in cash prizes, underwritten by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and individual donors. Then the art will go on display in Detroit at our partner businesses and at a Mint Showcase along Livernois, known as “the Avenue of Fashion.” Our two poetry winners will share their spoken word in public too. (Winners will receive their art back by yearend to hang in their place of honor. Follow Mint on Facebook or Instagram for details on showings.)
“We want to celebrate youth creativity and business generosity in a competition focused on Detroit’s beauty and resilience and on art as a unifying influence in today’s challenging world,” said Elmer.
Join us for the first-ever virtual emerging artists art fair in Detroit: the Mint Virtual Art Fair. Buy work from seven current artists and alumni, or from Mint itself. Choose art for yourself, your dad or the new graduate. Decorate your office or your home while you support creative youth who are eager to sell art and pay for college.
The Mint Virtual Art Fair will be live streamed on the Mint Facebook page – see the pinned post that says Virtual Art Fair near the top of our posts. Or go to Mint’s YouTube and the event will show up under Videos and Live Stream. (You may have to pull down or search for it on YouTube
. It’s easier to find on Facebook.) Please join us at 11 am this Saturday.
Preview and purchasethe artists’ work in the Mint Shop. Artists receive 80 percent of the purchase price, and Mint keeps 20 percent, among the lowest commissions around. The art will be available through Friday night, June 12, though most are one-of-a-kind pieces so when they are purchased, they are gone.
We will share a videotaped version of the Virtual Art Fair afterward, but we hope to see you Saturday morning.
Then show up, with your resume, references and at least three work samples, for an interview with Mint. Your interview will take 20-30 minutes and you may bring a parent or relative, though that person will not be part of the interview.
This is the last of our three April interview dates. All hiring will be finished by May 15.
We just closed out a year of firsts – our first exhibit held at the Fisher Building, our first time selling anything at the Detroit Institute of Arts and our first summer where we employed 10 artists and creatives.
We hit double digits and many of Detroit’s best venues in one year.
We hope you like our success by the numbers for 2019, and that you will pitch in some dollars to grow our successes this year.
Here’s a look at 2019 by the numbers:
2 Wolverine Promise interns who worked with us, Catherine and Trinity. It was our first time participating, as we prepared to launch a Mint marketing internship program.
weeks of free arts and crafts in Palmer Park. That seven weeks is more than double the previous year, thanks to support from individuals and others. We aim to offer nine weeks this year, with your support.
10emerging artists from Detroit who were part of our Creative Summer Jobs program, up from six in 2018
12 Mint greeting cards that are on sale at the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum Store through mid March, as part of the Detroit Collects show. They debuted at the member-only shopping night in November.
71 Yes, more than six dozen volunteers helped Mint with projects, events, workshops, Mint Masterpieces and more.
1,023– Number of hours our Summer Creative Workers were paid for creating with and for Mint in July and August.
$11,500– Estimated amount of art, jewelry and artisan gifts sold by Mint’s Learn and Earn artists this year through Mint. They endured rain, a storm, cold temperatures and made great friendships and connections through these pop ups and art fairs.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of Blossoms full service florists, Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, Integrity Shows, People for Palmer Park, the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, and many individual donors and small businesses who make these accomplishments possible. We ask that you will support us too so these success numbers will be bigger and more beautiful by the end of 2020.
If you love art, and want to see it – a lot of it – in an intimate setting, join us for our party and fundraiser in the art-filled home of Judge Deborah Geraldine Bledsoe Ford and attorney Jerome Watson. It’s one evening only, so don’t miss out.
The Detroit collectors have filled their home with works by internationally known artists Norbert Okpu Peju Aliaese, Hughie Lee Smith and Jacob Lawrence. Also Detroit / Michigan artists LeRoy Foster, Henry Heading, Bill Murcko and Carl Owens. And many others, including Mint Artists Guild alumni Ackeem Salmon.
This year, we honor as featured alumni artist Damon FirstBorn Chamblis. His art and offer original and limited edition art of other emerging artists and professional artists in our Mint Masterpieces silent auction so guests may build their collections.
So “join us for the youth. Stay for the art!” A limited number of tickets are available Buy your tickets to Mint Masterpieces on Oct. 19 now.
Don’t miss out!
This painting by artist Hughie Lee-Smith is part of the eclectic, international collection of Judge Deborah Geraldine Bledsoe Ford and attorney Jerome Watson. Buy Mint Masterpieces tickets to see it and so much more.
Mint Artists Guild long has depended on artists to support our youth, our programs and our growth. They lead workshops, donate art supplies, give advice and mentoring. And they give their inventive, creative masterpieces for our Mint Masterpieces silent auction.
This year, we are fortunate to have work from artists who have supported us for several years, and some who are new to our creative circle of generosity and growth.
Jewelry maker Jody Mitchell is donating an original necklace made from Tibetan agate and brass. The brass Ashanti stool pendant was purchased at from the MBAD African Bead Gallery in Detroit; the golden stool is the divine throne of the Ashanti people and the ultimate symbol of power in Asante, now central Ghana. Believed to house the spirit of the Asante nation, living, dead and yet to be born, a royal stool may belong to any chief or any person of consequence. Mitchell slowly “evolved” an intuitive process for making her one-of-a kind jewelry for more than 20 years. She has a strong affinity for rare and ancient beads because they tell a story
Mike Willenborg, a machine repair expert and artist, has supported Mint before, by making us one of the beneficiaries of the Scrap Fest, held at the Lexus Velodrome. He bought tickets to Mint Masterpieces, then donated two pieces of his copper and metal paintings to our silent auction. Willenborg used to discard old parts and metal pieces, but now he allows them to speak, with “whimsey and weirdness.” Gears, bearings, chains and copper plates all have long lives and many stories to tell. How they become tarantulas and moons and elephants with spider webs for ears, Willenborg says, no one will ever tell.
Henry Heading‘s beautiful work combine his talent as an artist and as a carpenter. He creates his own frames, and they are works of art that flow from the intricately painted piece. He donated this beautiful heart piece to our silent auction. Heading is new to supporting Mint Artists Guild, and a regular working with Mint co-founder Hubert Massey on large murals and mosaic projects. He also is one of the favorite artists of Mint Masterpieces’ hosts Judge Deborah Bledsoe Ford and attorney Jerome Watson.
Anthony Brass, whose orange hand-tree piece came to us after the Palmer Park Art Fair, is a new supporter of Mint. He learned about our nonprofit from his partner, artist Espacia Fotiu, who is a Mint alumni whose career started in the Mint tent. Brass considers himself a “contemporary surrealist artist” whose work is sold at fine juried art fairs and events. His beautiful orange hand-tree piece is eye catching and will certainly be a beautiful part of the evening of Oct. 19.
The silent auction also is featuring work from collectors. We will offer a wild zebras piece by California artist YESNIK / Dave Kinsey donated by 1XRun co-owner Jesse Corey; one by Detroit artist Ron Scarbough, donated by collectors David and Linda Whitaker, and by photographer Bill Sanders, donated by Mint cofounders Vickie Elmer and Mark Loeb. Also look for many pieces by Mint Artists and alumni featured in an earlier post.
If you want one of these pieces, or you want to be part of the creative future of Detroit, buy your tickets today to our art-filled party on Oct. 19.
Summertime seems better and more beautiful with a trip to Belle Isle. And Belle Isle State Park on a weekend with 100 artists, plus food trucks, tropical drinks and more, sounds like a slice of heaven.
So mark your calendar for Aug. 3 and 4 for the Belle Isle Art Fair, produced by our long-time supporter Integrity Shows. (Mark Loeb, Integrity’s president and founder, is also a co-founder of Mint Artists Guild.)