Detroit nonprofit prepares talented young artists for creative careers

Mint Artist’s Guild provides education, guidance to local visual artists

Detroit nonprofit guides talented youth artists
Detroit nonprofit guides talented youth artists

DETROIT – In a popular Detroit neighborhood, one special nonprofit is teaching students how to make art a career.

It’s hard to miss the colorful building that sits in Detroit’s Palmer Park neighborhood, just opposite the Detroit Golf Club. Inside the Mint Artist’s Guild is just as colorful -- in fact, it is the artwork being created inside that’s even more special.

“My husband and I came up with the idea about six years ago,” said nonprofit co-founder Vicki Elmer. “Mint is a small nonprofit that works with talented visual artists, ages 14-21, and helps them learn what they need to learn, experience things that they need to experience and launch a creative career as they give back in the city of Detroit.”

The next generation of paid artists are being groomed right here in Detroit. Elmer helps teach the budding creatives. Their work, as seen in self portraits and more, shows the talent that these students truly have.

Watch the video report above to see some of the art.

“We do a series of workshops on things like how to price your work, how to promote yourself as a visual artist, how to prepare for a big event, what is copyright law, what is contract law,” Elmer explained.

The space is their classroom, canvas and art supply closet. Almost anything you need to bring your creative vision to life can be found inside the building. Almost all of it was donated to the nonprofit.

From here, the students are exposed to the art industry.

“We would meet here and we would also meet in some gallery spaces, because we think it’s important for the youth to get out and experience the galleries and creative spaces,” Elmer added. “Many of them have never been to those spaces.”

The goal is to gives the young artists experience and teach them how to make money being creative. For Elmer, an artist herself, she enjoys what being creative allows her and wants to share that love with others.

“Art takes all of what the world is throwing at you and uses it and puts it to good use,” she said. “Art tells stories. Art helps people see the world differently. Art helps us see ourselves.”

If you’d like to sign up for Mint Artist’s Guild, or support them by donating much needed supplies, visit their website right here.


Related: Street artist David Zinn to ‘hide’ drawings throughout Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair


About the Author:

Evrod Cassimy is the morning anchor for Local 4 News Today. He joined WDIV in August of 2013. He is an award winning journalist and a six-time Emmy Award nominee. Evrod was born in Michigan but grew up in the Chicagoland area.