Kat Murrell

ArtWorks presents the Upside of Art

By - Aug 20th, 2010 04:00 am
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ArtWorks lives up to its name.

This Milwaukee-based, non-profit organization combines the benefits of creative work with employment skills for youth facing challenges in their academic and employment future.  This Saturday ArtWorks invites the public to see the fruits of their latest labor with a free, family-friendly reception called The Upside of Art: A Community Event.

Located within the Bucketworks facility at 706 S. 5th Street, the results of two workshops will be on view. Developing stories and expressing them through a variety of media, such as chapbooks and audio recordings, was the focus of “Creating & Marketing Poetry/Spoken Word.” Another workshop, “Mosaic Window To Your Community,” produced stained-glass style mosaics based on their maker’s narratives about the communities they live in.

A silent auction will be held for works created in these programs, and pieces from previous ArtWorks workshops will be for sale.

This art represents more than a hobby, as these workshops offer participants (ranging from 14 to 21 years old) paid apprenticeships. The programs last eight weeks and are guided by a lead artist who acts as both teacher and project manager.  For many students, this is their first real job.

ArtWorks executive director Meghan Koven says that the skills learned during the workshops, such as developing professional communication habits, collaborative abilities, and critical thinking skills, are some of the most significant outcomes.  Participants build confidence while expressing themselves creatively, and as Koven notes, they come to know there is “a time to work and a time to play.”

Participants in ArtWorks’ poetry program

Saturday’s event will raise funds for their programs through art sales.  As with many arts organizations, funding is an ongoing concern, and according to Koven, ArtWorks often has between 75 to 100 applications for workshops, which only have eight student positions in each.  She notes, “The biggest expense is paying the kids, but a key factor for success.”

This event makes their art available to the public, and supports ArtWorks’ continued viability for its youth population.

The Upside of Art  is free and open to the public and takes place Saturday, August 21 from 1-4 p.m., located within the Bucketworks facility at 706 S. 5th Street.

Categories: Art, Urban Ideas

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