The Arts Commission Presents the 2019 Young Artists At Work Program

Eye On Art  |  07/17/2019 11:00 am

Forty-four teens from the greater Toledo region are working as paid artists for six weeks this summer as apprentices in The Arts Commission’s Young Artists at Work (YAAW) program with three major creative projects. The basketball courts at Savage Park will receive a splash of color, Lucas County Canine Care & Control will receive colorful art for their facility, and a building at 1301 Adams Street will receive enhancements to prevent vandalization.

The public is invited to attend the Young Artists At Work 25th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, July 31st, at 5 p.m., at Handmade Toledo located at 1717 Adams Street. Guests will be able to preview visual artworks created during the 2019 program. At 5:30 p.m. the 2019 apprentices will share remarks. Visual art work will be available for sale at 6:30 p.m. and accompanied by light refreshments. The event is free. Complimentary parking is available in the Manos lot at Madison & 17th Street as well as street parking along Adams Street.

Additionally, the media is invited to send photographers to join us at the Young Artists At Work worksite to see the apprentices in action on Monday July 30th, 9:30-11:30 a.m. or 1:30-3:30 p.m. or by appointment. The YAAW Worksite is located at the University of Toledo’s Center for the Visual Arts, 620 Grove Place, Toledo Ohio 43620. Please contact Natalie Gray to confirm. [email protected], 419-254-2787 x 1021.

The Arts Commission has presented the award-winning YAAW program since 1994. Student apprentices between the ages of 14 and 18 are selected in a competitive process for six weeks of employment as working artists. The objective is to provide an intensive arts experience to foster artistic selfexpression and a quality work ethic that will impact youth and shape their adulthood. The program encourages cross-cultural sharing and the exchange of ideas.

The opportunity provides exposure to the concept of art as a business, as well as the creation of public art for the greater Toledo community. The Arts Commission is proud of the talented staff hired to lead our teams of apprentices this summer. Project Manager Ken Dushane and Assistant Instructor Merce Culp are leading one team of apprentices who will create a mural for the basketball courts at Savage Park with design guidance from Phil Kaplan. Inspired by Project Backboard and the City Park League, apprentices will transform the landscape of this popular park.

1301 Adams street is a blighted building that is repeatedly vandalized. This summer, led by Nikka Wolfenbarger, assisted by YAAW alum Emily Mata, apprentices will work to design a mural that hides the blight while adding color to the otherwise dark, empty block along this entertainment corridor.

The YAAW team lead by Stephanie Smith and assisted by alum Cora Talkington will make artwork for Lucas County Canine Care & Control (LC4). LC4 requested colorful pieces to enhance their facility. This will add life and warmth and make the site more friendly for people to visit and adopt dogs.

Youth apprentices have been hired from 30 different junior high schools or high schools including private, parochial, charter and public. Hired apprentices attend public schools including: Aerospace and Natural Science Academy, Arlington Elementary School, Bowsher High School, Byrnedale Elementary, Central Catholic High School, Clay High School, Elmhurst Elementary, Jones Leadership Academy, Northview High School, Oak Harbor High School, Perrysburg High School, Rogers High School, Springfield High School, Roy C. Start High School, Southview High School, Toledo Early College High School, Toledo Technology Academy, Washington Middle School, Whitmer High School and Whittier Elementary School; parochial schools including: St. Ursula, Emmanuel Christian and St. Francis de Sales; charter schools including: Horizon Science Academy, Maritime Academy and Toledo School for the Arts.

The Arts Commission extends a heartfelt thank you to the University of Toledo College of Art & Letters, School of Visual & Performing Arts and the Department of Art for hosting our program in their Center for Visual Arts facility for a tenth year. We are also grateful to the Toledo Museum of Art for their continued partnership with our organization in support of the Young Artists At Work program.

YAAW 2019 is made possible with support from these generous sponsors and others: The LaValley Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, Lucas County Jobs and Family Services, the Edith Franklin and Tom & Pat McGlaughlin Youth Endowment Funds of the Toledo Community Foundation, City of Toledo Department of Neighborhoods and Economic Development and the Community Development Block Grant Program, The Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, Owens-Illinois, Fifth Third Foundation, ProMedica, University of Toledo’s College of Arts and Letters, the School of Visual and Performing Arts & the Department of Art, Toledo Museum of Art, Sara Jane and William DeHoff, Jim Moore and Tim Valko, the Kasper Family, Jeff Jaffe, Mary Sawers, Glenwood Lutheran Church, Connecting Kids to Meals, Directions Credit Union, City of Toledo Parks, Recreation, & Forestry, Brooks Welker, Kristin Kiser and Andrew Newby, and Lucas County Canine Care and Control, and Jon and Arleen Levine.

To learn more about the YAAW program, please visit