Mint at the Palmer Park Art Fair

Mint Artists Guild will showcase our Learn and Earn artists at the Palmer Park Art Fair. Please save the dates: June 5 and 6.

Because of covid-19, extra precautions are required this year. So we will share updates via Facebook.

Self Love show

Join Mint Artists Guild and Capturing Belief for our new show Self Love, opening April 29 at The Congregation Detroit.

Photographs and paintings will share youth perspectives on self care and self love. Buy a piece you love and take it home for your own self care!

An artists reception will be held Saturday, May 8, from 3-5 p.m.

Art and photographs will be up through May 27.

Self Love photo by Dejuan of Capturing Belief will be available for purchase during the art show.
Posted on

Generosity All Around: Mint gives back in Detroit during a tough pandemic year

Mint summer worker Tommy DuBose leads a free arts and crafts in Palmer Park in September. (Photo: Vickie Elmer for Mint)

“Not being able to do everything is no excuse for not doing everything you can.” – artist, cartoonist and author Ashleigh Brilliant

This year, as the world shut down, slowed down and took stock, Mint Artists Guild embraced the strength and beauty of generosity.

We knew it would be a tough year for children and youth in Detroit, with covid-19 raging, schools closed or figuring out how to go online and families stressed about health, money and more.  We knew we had to dig deep and go big and give as if we had deep pockets and plenty of resources. (That seems like Mint making stone soup, a tale of hunger and coming together to benefit everyone.)

Quite simply, we wanted to do everything we could to support, encourage and engage children and youth through art and entrepreneurship.

Mint has always given back through our programs with and for youth artists and our Paint Detroit with Generosity initiative. Yet during a pandemic we knew we needed to add more – many more ways to support creative children and youth and our community.

So in this season of giving, we want to share some of the ways Mint Artists Guild has given this year – as we ask you to complete the circle and give to us.  We are celebrating Generosity All Around us, and that serves as our theme for the next few weeks.

Here are five of the ways Mint is creating generosity all around Detroit:

Our fifth Paint Detroit with Generosity show is up at Durfee Innovation Society on the first and second floors main hallway. (Photo: Vickie Elmer for Mint)

Inspiration in challenging times. Our fifth annual Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit is up and free to see at Durfee Innovation Society in Detroit. This exhibit in Detroit gives you a place to go, safely, to walk around and be inspired before Dec. 27.  Please call ahead – 313-437-1549 for an appointment – and wear your mask.

Creativity at home for children.   Early in the pandemic, an artist-friend suggested the need for creativity kits for Detroit children. Mint immediately saw the value and connected with our stellar partners Arts & Scraps and Brilliant Detroit.  We found a sponsor MCCI to help us pay for 10,000 coloring pages – an astounding number for us to print! And thanks to the generosity of foundations and individuals and amazing work of our partners, since late March, we have given away 4,500 of them to families with children and teachers.   

Beautify Detroit. Two of our youth workers chose as their personal paid project for the summer to paint the Little Free Library in Palmer Park. Mint encouraged this as a project because our executive director always fills this Little Free Library with books. Hear about how and why they did it in this wonderful volunteer-created video.

Inspire and share:  Mint launched the first Metro Detroit Youth Arts Competition to engage, inspire and connect creative youth, with lots of support from Mint board member Will “The Poet” Langford. Our prompts encouraged them to share art based on resilience, Detroit’s beauty and art as a unifying force. And with support of our community and the W.K.Kellogg Foundation, we were able to give our 11 winners some $2,400 in cash plus many prizes to young artists and poets and more.  Please listen to Ife Martins’ beautiful winning poem Silence in this post.  These artists and poets created so much beautiful art that we hope to share all of it here over the winter.

Children loved creating with Mint and some came back week after week. (Photo: Vickie Elmer for Mint)

Joy and creativity for children: Mint produced seven youth led arts and crafts in Palmer Park this summer and early fall, thanks to the Detroit Pistons and two foundations. We sent home almost 100 art supply kits and books and more.

This Generosity All Around list sounds ambitious, yet it represents less than half of the projects we have completed since mid-March.  We will share more in a couple of weeks – and we hope you will share some dollars  in a year-end gift. Please give generously.

Posted on

How we are adapting our holiday shopping this year

Your holidays are going to be different this year, and so are ours.  Yet we hope you still will celebrate and give creative gifts, some from Mint’s creative Detroit youth.

We know you’re buying more of them online. This move to online purchases has accelerated since the pandemic started in the U.S. and also in Brazil, South Africa, Turkey and elsewhere.  Covid-19 took 10 years of change to online buying and brought it to Americans’ lives in three months, consulting firm McKinsey concluded. Half of Americans expect to spend more online than in stores during the holiday season.

So because of this trend and because of growing covid-19 cases, we are playing it safe and selling most of our art and artisan gifts online this year. Instead of preparing for pop ups at Eastern Market or Small Business Saturday, Mint is stocking up our online Shop with beautiful handmade artisan gifts and art.

Most of these beautiful pieces were created in the Mint Creative Summer Jobs program, which hired a record 13 youth artists during the pandemic.  Your purchases will assist us to hire even more in the summer of 2021.  Here’s two ways you may buy from Mint online this year:

Michigan Holiday Art Fair: This online art fair brings together artists who would have been part of a half dozen fairs produced by Integrity Shows.  The Michigan Holiday Art Fair previews on Nov. 29 and 30 and opens with live and recorded artist studio tours, craft making, music and Santa Claus from Dec. 1 to 6.  Mint is one of six nonprofit beneficiaries of this, and some of our Learn & Earn artists will sell original paintings, photography and more to guests.

Mint Shop online: All our merchandise is available through our website, and we continue to add new items. Look for new lithographs created in

This limited edition lithograph comes from the Mint Summer Jobs team.

the Mint Creative Summer Jobs program to be added soon – some are Detroit focused and one features a nurse. We also expect to add a beautiful new greeting card that is all Detroit. (Mint also is sending more cards this year – thank you cards and holiday cards.  Connecting with our friends and partners never felt so important or good.)

Yet we know some people will want to shop local, so Mint has merchandise in several local establishments that we adore:

  •  Akoma:   Buy our Mint cards and calendars as well as some limited edition art at this beautiful women’s art and maker cooperative at 19359 Livernois.
    Choose this beautiful assortment of Mint holiday cards.
  • Art in Motion:  Mint greeting cards and posters are available at this ceramics and clay studio and artisan gift shop at 19452 Livernois.
  • Detroit Artists Market:  Buy our holiday card packages or pick up a calendar at DAM in Midtown Detroit. Buy a piece from Mint Learn & Earn artist Prince Matthews or one of our Mint Prints.
  • Detroit Institute of Arts: The DIA has a variety of Mint cards for sale, but not our holiday cards.
  • Literati:  This bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor has Mint calendars and is available for curbside pickup only. Sorry no browsing its books and coffee because of covid.
  • Michigan Artists Exchange:  This shop in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills is co-owned by an artist friend and located near the Nordstrom Rack. It carries holiday and regular cards and our calendars.

We may add more outlets to pick up our cards or our beautiful new Paint Detroit with Generosity calendars and when we do, we will share them here – and on Twitter and other social media.

Certainly, we will miss seeing you in person this holiday season, but we know it’s  temporary to protect everyone. Instead, we hope you will stop by the Michigan Holiday Art Fair, where Mint will lead a free craft online and where a virtual chat will connect us every day. See you Dec. 1 through 6!

Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit

Our fifth annual Paint Detroit with Generosity exhibit will take place from Nov. 11 through Dec. 27 at the Durfee Innovation Society.

Durfee is a small business and nonprofit incubator space that offers many activities for children and youth. Guests must wear masks and have their temperatures taken before coming in to see the Mint art on the first and second floors.

Hours are Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 7 pm and Saturday 11 to 5.

Guests may nominate a local child-serving nonprofit to receive two of the Paint Detroit with Generosity paintings.

Painting shown was created by Mint Summer Worker Eleanor Aro, and is © Mint Artists Guild, 2020.

Mint Showcase opening weekend

This photograph by Sydney Lenn is one of the Metro Detroit Youth Arts Competition winners on display.

Join us for our first Mint Showcase on Livernois, highlighting youth art and artists from metro Detroit. It takes place throughout October, with the opening weekend of Oct. 3 and 4.

We will feature winning art from our Metro Detroit Youth Arts Competition as well as lithographs and art created by the Mint Summer Jobs workers.

A few artists will have art available for sale at Akoma, Art in Motion and Jo’s Gallery Cafe. Sherwood Forest Art Gallery also will have art on display.

Hours are Saturday, Oct. 3 12-6 pm and Sunday, Oct. 4 1-4 pm

Parking is available along Livernois, or on streets nearby.

The Youth Arts Competition was underwritten by the W.K.Kellogg Foundation and developed by Mint and Will “The Poet” Langford.