Free Arts Minnesota
is a non-profit organization that brings the healing power of artistic expression to the at-risk youth of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding areas.
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Steve King Part 2:
The second lesson King taught the mentors was a neat project called Watercolor Totem. This project’s focus was on symmetry and creativity with stencils. Here is how it works: draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper, line up a stencil on one side, trace, flip stencil over the middle line, and trace again. And ta-daa…a symmetrical totem appears!
King then chatted with the mentors about how to change up the project to fit different age groups. Younger kids could fill in the totem with crayon or marker while the older kids could break out the watercolors. He even tied in one-point perspective!
As the workshop came to a close, the room was full of excitement as the mentors discussed bringing these great projects to their sites!
We can’t wait to see what the kids design!
Last Saturday Free Arts mentors had the wonderful opportunity to take a workshop from the talented artist Steve King! He taught the mentors about one-point perspective (flashbacks to elementary school art class, anyone??) and how to use the technique to make an awesome project using names and initials. Using just a pencil, a ruler, and some color, the mentors made some fantastic designs!
Part 2—Watercolor totems coming soon!!
Last weekend marked the beginning of our collaboration with Northern Clay Center, a regionally based national organization dedicated to the advancement of the ceramic arts. Through this partnership we will bring the therapeutic and creative benefits of clay to tweens and teens in residential treatment centers.
The workshop was hosted at Northern Clay Center, where mentors and Free Arts staff were taught basic techniques in clay by our teaching artists Angie Renee and Chris Singewald. We were also given the chance to make a dream box, one of the projects that our youth will be creating in the next few weeks.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
More pics from Joe Strummer (from The Clash) Tribute at First Ave!
Friday night was rockin’ at First Avenue for the Joe Strummer (from The Clash) Tribute! We had a great opportunity to meet with the extremely talented musicians, learn what art meant to the awesome audience, and share Free Arts’ powerful mission of healing through artistic expression. And not only was art created through music onstage, but audience members were also invited to show their artistic sides by making postcards at our table. We asked them to draw what ART IS…and we were thrilled so many people stopped by to let us know what art is to them. It was also great to meet and chat with potential (and current) mentors, donors, investors and community supporters. We couldn’t do what we do without your support!
A special thanks needs to go out to all the bands who donated merch for our cause. RuDe GiRl!, Halloween Alaska, Astronaut Wife, Dylan Hicks, Guante, Blue Sky Blackout and others— that means you!! And a super special thanks needs to go out to Adam Levy, Ali Lozoff and James Diers for choosing to highlight and support our organization. Because of your generosity, we are able to continue to bring art to many more youth in our community! Thank you and ART ROCKS! We hope this can become a yearly event, and if so, see you next year!
We have some wire art from teens at the Headway Day Treatment Program. The wire art is meant to bear significance to Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month. The youth in this program were asked to not just create art out of wire, but art out of wire that either reflected Martin Luther King Jr. or important black historical figures. In addition, this was the first time using wire art for many of the kids, and they were still able to create very realistic and inspiring pieces of art.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - MLK
Hi readers, I’ll quickly introduce myself. My name is Roni, and I’m a spring intern for Free Arts. As of recently, the preschoolers at St. Anne’s weekly mentorship program have been hard at work creating winter masterpieces. The preschoolers have used their imaginations and a variety of interesting materials to create snowmen, penguins, and other fascinating creatures! Personally, I am a fan of eclectic art, and all of these art-pieces are imaginative and eclectic. They really capture the eye’s attention and they use a very interesting combination of materials.
November was our second month of Weekly Mentorship and that means it is time to provide our mentors with a workshop!
Free Arts was fortunate to have the talents of Steve King. Since 1977, Steve taught art to students in Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, California, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In that period of time he was honored as a teacher-of-the-year in Spain and again while working in Virginia. Most of his art teaching experience has been with adolescents, though he has taught younger kids. Steve has had 8 articles about my art projects published in Arts and Activities Magazine, as well as an ”honorable mention” in the January 2000 issue of National Geographic. Steve has gradually developed ways to limit the intimidating factors that constrict the confidence and creativity inherent in all kids . “It is always pure pleasure to see children create artwork that is unique, satisfying and damn interesting.”
Not only was Steve very adept at teaching students, but he brought a renewed energy and drive to the mentors! Check out some of the responses from mentors about this workshop:
“It was VERY fun and also informative. I’d never worked with pastels before and enjoyed the experience. I liked how he showed us how to make a cartoon first. As he indicated, it gave everyone a “boost” b4 trying something new. I will use this with the youth!” Sharon (Mentor at People Inc)
“His presentation was strong, as it related to making the teaching of painting accessible to various age groups of kids, de-emphasizing the competitive achievement aspect of it in favor of promotion of and valuing participation. I thought he did well in showing some of the more common motifs of painting and distinguishing them from some beginner/intermediate stuff, which was not hard to do.” Chris (Mentor at Boys and Girls Club Eastside)
“I walked into that workshop knowing it would be good and help me in my volunteering capacity. I walked out of the workshop amazed, enlightened and for once, feeling proud of the art I created! I am so thankful for these workshop opportunities and to be honest, for me, this was one of the best yet. Steve was absolutely amazing and provided great perspectives and ideas. THANK YOU!” Ruth (Mentor at St Joseph’s Home for Abused Children)
There was even a mentor who blogged about the workshop. Check out her blog here: http://www.bucolicdreaming.com/2012/12/inspiration.html
Get to know Steve better and support his work. Check out his website: http://www.artists-cove.com/
The Art Heals! Breakfast recently provided by Free Arts Minnesota was a memorable and meaningful occasion on many levels. As volunteer service specialist for Catholic Charities Children’s Services Division, I am also an art major and an advocate for the healing power of partnered creativity for children at risk. I am also very passionate about Free Arts!
I was not prepared, however, for the emotionally uplifting impact that I felt listening to the words of a young teen whose outlook on life and whose personal survival have been a result of her valued connection to Free Arts Minnesota.
Art truly heals! It has for Tia. Her story of having overcome egregiously horrific childhood abuse to find help and hope in the company of the caring volunteers of Free Arts Minnesota, moved me to tears. Her history of having been labeled a failure and her ultimate triumph as a straight A student, gave me renewed optimism for today’s children being served by Free Arts. Tia is a beautiful and accomplished young woman, and so much more. She is an amazing inspiration to those of us who work with children who are most in need. We need Free Arts Minnesota. I am grateful for the opportunity of attending your wonderful breakfast.
Volunteer Services Specialist
Art Incognito 2012
Two weeks ago Free Arts Minnesota held their 3rd annual fundraiser, Art Incognito, at the Ford Centre. This event, combining all the fun of an auction with all the mystery of an Agatha Christie novel, is one of our biggest fundraisers and 100% of the proceeds go towards helping the children who participate in our program. Over 150 guests came to enjoy food, drinks, and, most importantly, art! Our silent auction had guests bidding on pieces without knowing who had created them; once the bidding was over we took down each piece to reveal the artists name.
As a still semi-new intern here at Free Arts, I was impressed to see our community pull together to make this wonderful event happen.
We started receiving artwork several weeks beforehand and by the day of the event we had 93 pieces, all donated by generous local and national artists. Click here to check out each piece that was donated and to learn more about the artists. I’ll admit I had been eyeing some of those pieces, wishing I could take them home.
We are so grateful to our wonderful hosts for the evening, HGA Architects and Engineers, who not only donated the space but also provided several representatives who went above and beyond in making sure everything went smoothly.
Volunteers helped staff the event, doing everything from collecting tickets when guests first arrived to wrapping artwork at the end of the night. I was given the honor of leading a group of volunteers in serving food, so I know firsthand how crucial they were to making the night a success.
Speaking of food, Saffron catered our event, serving a tasty array of hors d’oeuvres including beef and lamb kofta in a spicy tomato sauce and spanakopita (Greek spinach pies). My personal favorite was the red and golden beets with feta. Phillips Distilling Company of Minneapolis donated the Revel Stoke Canadian Whisky that was used in our signature drink of the night, the “Whisky Warhol.” I personally did not get to try as I was working but I heard it was delicious.
Behind the scenes, yet still vital in supporting our organization and our fundraiser, many people stand. Our sponsors RBC Wealth Management and Barnes & Thornburg made this night possible through their support. Also a big thank you goes to our wonderful committee members who helped plan and organize Art Incognito.
As I said before, our entire community came together to make this event possible. Personally, I am proud to live in a city with so many people put their time, money, and care into helping their neighbors, whether they be across the street or across the city. Thank you to all who donated, volunteered, and attended and we hope to see you all again next year.
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