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Our Heroes: See them now at the Scarab Club in Midtown Detroit

Hero paintings by Zora Flounory and Alexis Bagley; © Mint Artists Guild, 2020

In  challenging times, the world needs heroes. We invite you to find one in these small portraits created by Mint Artists Guild.

These 15 small paintings will carry a big impact. And as the exhibit’s title Heroes: Now & Then reminds us, heroes may not be heroic every day. Occasional heroes and unknown heroes also deserve celebration.

Each portrait was created by a Detroit youth artist working for Mint during the pandemic, working from their homes. They chose their own heroes – and they are a diverse group from many eras and from today’s headlines.

The show debuts this Wednesday, Sept. 2, at the Scarab Club and will be up through Oct. 10.

The Heroes: Now & Then show shares at least three lesser known heroes:

Willem Arondeus, a Dutch writer, artist and activist, joined the resistance against the Nazis. His main job was to falsify papers for Jews in the Netherlands.  Painted by Mint summer worker Vianca Romero,  Arondeus saved hundreds or perhaps thousands of Jews from death, only to be executed himself. His final days are the subject of a short historical film called Willem.

Angela Davis, a civil rights leader, also worked on behalf of black prisoners and for LBGTQ rights. She appeared on the FBI’s most wanted list and later was acquitted of all charges. Angela Davis, painted by Mint summer worker Michael Johnson, has written many books and taught at universities. Read more about her in this Academic Kids post.  

Woman from the Gulabi Gang.  Started in Northern India in 2006, this group of women activists protect other women from domestic abuse, violence and the patriarchal system. Gulabi means pink in Hindi. “I get a lot of respect and dignity when I wear the pink sari,” says Maya Davy, a mother of five told the CBC. Painted by Mint summer worker Zora Flourony,  some Gulabi Gang members now drive taxis, taking on that male bastion.

Note that we are not sharing images these portraits in our blog because we really want people to go to The Scarab Club to see them.  The show is upstairs in its beautiful and historic building, next to the plein air paintings. Plus the main exhibit is photographs, so now we’ve shared three reasons to visit.  (The Scarab Club is open 12 to 5 Wednesday through Sunday, and has a small parking  at 217 Farnsworth, Detroit, directly behind the DIA.)

After you’ve visited our heroes, please wander a couple of blocks to Hannan Center to see our Abuela, Grandma, Bibi exhibit through Sept. 30. (It is closed weekends.) Because of covid-19 limits and safety protections, please call Hannan ahead to reserve; 313-833-1300 x. 0.  Or head to the DIA Museum Store or the Detroit Artists Market and buy Mint greeting cards.

Please subscribe to our blog. In a future post, Mint will recommend hero books for children and teens, books mostly selected by independent bookstore staff.

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Sounds sweet, looks beautiful: Mint at the DSO

Mint Artists Guild has reached another milestone:  A piece of our art now belongs in a major arts institution’s collection.

Success sounds sweet after we donated a Paint Detroit with Generosity painting to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

The painting, created last year in the Mint Creative Summer Jobs program by worker Charles, will hang in the DSO’s new education wing.

Mint’s Paint Detroit with Generosity  initiative in 2018 was underwritten by a Michigan Council for the Arts grant, with Culture Source and the National Endowment for the Arts, and supported by Blossoms, a full service florist, and many individual donors.

We give original paintings to more than 25 local nonprofits, from Mercy Education Projects to Ronald McDonald House to the Greening of Detroit. Several others beyond the Detroit Symphony Orchestra celebrate music, performance and culture:

  • Crescendo Detroit
  • Heritage Works
  • Mosaic Youth Theatre
  • YMCA Y-Arts.

And the Boll Family YMCA in downtown Detroit hosted our exhibit last year where thousands of people saw the paintings created by Mint workers.

To support this year’s summer jobs program, where these lovely paintings are created, please give to our spring fundraiser today.  Give $250 or more and you may choose a small Mint painting as your reward.

 Paint Detroit with Generosity is worth a standing ovation and a big donation!

Painting © Mint Artists Guild, 2018

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Mint Artists next exhibit will bring together tea and made-in-Detroit art. It’s taking place at SocraTea in Midtown Detroit and an opening is scheduled for Friday. Of course, SocraTea serves Mint tea – and even donated some to us. Please join us Friday 6 to 8 p.m. and meet our two featured artists.