How we celebrate female friendships – and create them too

Trinity Brown met De’Shaia Ventour in Mint’s Learn and Earn program, when they were around 14 years old. Their artistic friendship continues even as their career paths diverge. Trinity is working toward a career as a jeweler and an entrepreneur, while De’Shaia focuses on one in criminal justice.

And Mint Artists’ Alexis Bagley and Oluwaseyi Akintoroye met through Mint’s Summer Creative Jobs and have remained close friends and occasional study buddies, though they attend different universities. 

These friendships represent two of the many female friendships planted and grown at Mint Artists Guild. Many creative youth connect around their love of art and their enthusiasm and nervousness about promoting their art.

Artists De’Shaia Ventour and Trinity Brown at a Mint workshop in 2019. (Photo: Vickie Elmer)

This year, we celebrate love, friendship, and sisterhood in Detroit – and also Galentine’s Day. More on that in a minute.

Mint has cultivated an environment where creative partnerships and friendships flourish. Youth artists are not the only ones to grow friendships. Mint co-founder Vickie Elmer and Mint art coach Jacqueline Edwards Lane formed a firm friendship while working together to provide young artists guidance and opportunities.

Parks and Rec’s Leslie Knope celebrates Galentine’s Day with girlfrields. (NBC photo)

So just what Is Galentine’s Day? Galentine’s Day originated in the popular television show Parks and Recreation as the chipper star Leslie Knope threw her annual “Galentine’s Day” party for female friends. The episode aired in 2010, and this holiday has grown greatly. It allows every woman to cherish the connections and love of our female friendships.

Women are likely to have mostly female friends. More than seven in 10 women say their friends are mostly or entirely other women, and Pew Research found that those with more friends are more satisfied with their friendships.

As Mint Artists Guild is a female-led non-profit, we strongly value female friendships, especially the ones within our creative circles. We see so many creative women supporting and encouraging each other around Metro Detroit, and hope they take time for a Galentine’s Day party or art-making afternoon.

Gifts For the Girls

If you need Galentine’s Day ideas, we suggest brunch or a painting party. So make plans, call your female friends, and choose a gift to show your appreciation. Mint has wonderful gifts for all of your female friends: Our Valentine’s and Galentine’s Day cards, including Love that Girl by Alexis Bagley (shown at left). They are great to write about friendship and mail – or place one in a frame as an affordable gift.

Pick them up at The Congregation, 27th Letter Books & , Next Chapter Books, Germack Cafe or WSG Gallery – most are women-owned or women-led shops. Or if you live outside the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas, buy our cards – including our Girlfriends card pack – on the Mint Shop online.

And to show you how much we adore female friendships, we are giving away three-card packs to three women (or men or nonbinary individuals) who donate $3 or more to Mint by Feb. 13. These cards gifted by Mint will not arrive in time for Galentine’s Day, but they will give you a sweet way to celebrate your girlfriends as spring starts to bloom.

– Mint intern Lalitha Akella contributed to this post. Main image: Detail from Sisterhood card, painting by Eleanor Aro; © Mint Artists Guild