The 2022 Quad City Arts Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program has wrapped up. This year the program provided over fifty area youth ages 15-21 with a five-week paid summer apprenticeship. These apprentices are created art that positively impacts our community. These projects included mural painting, graphic design, film, and poetry. These projects were made possible through generous support from Black Hawk College, Downtown Davenport Partnership, Modern Woodman of America, and Chris and Mary Rayburn.
Two new murals were completed in Davenport at the intersection of 4th and Pershing led by lead artists Sarah Robb and Heidi Sallows. These murals were designed by the apprentices who wanted to highlight the diversity in our communities. One mural depicts an indigenous person from the Sac and Fox tribal nation who once inhabited these lands. Imagery in the mural includes animals and vegetation that was important to the Sac and Fox people. The original design also featured a tattoo on the arm of the indigenous person, but after a conversation with Juaquin Hamilton the Historical Researcher with the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, it was removed. Hamilton appreciated the attention to detail in the mural overall, but explained the tattoo was the tribal symbol for a tribe in Oklahoma. He also explained that selecting another symbol would leave out some of the tribal nations that occupied these lands.
Across the street the other mural group used a different approach to highlight diversity and encourage interactivity. Wings were incorporated to encourage people to stop and interact with the mural, and if you look a little lower, the apprentices even included some for our furry friends. At first glance the mural looks to be made of random patterns, but a closer inspection will show this was well thought out. Each pattern represents a different culture through the fabrics that they wear.
In Rock Island, Modern Woodmen of America has a new mural outside of their Print Shop and Mail Distribution Office that highlights historical aspects of their history, as well as its relationship to Rock Island and the river. Apprentices were given a tour of the printshop including images of one of their oldest printers, the MWA logo, and the axe symbol. At a time when parades were more prevalent and more involved, MWA used to have a marching axe troupe to participate in parades.
The Graphic Design program, in partnership with Black Hawk College, met at the college with lead artist and BHC faculty member, Annie Oldenburg. The program teaches elements of graphic design and created a vinyl window art project. The project is intended to be installed on a building in Downtown RI later.
From the Graphic Design Group for the above image: "For our cityscape, we included buildings that are significant to the quad cities area and make the skyline as distinctive as it is, as well as including fictional buildings to inspire the growth of our cites in the future."
Notable buildings include: Wells Fargo building, the Figge, the botanical center, both the new and old Kone buildings, the skybridge, hotel Blackhawk, Peterson paper building, Quad Cities art building, as well as the John Deere home and Butterworth home.
From the Graphic Design Group for the above image: A link to the significance of all the figures and displays: Ghosts of the Past.
Poetry was led by emcee, poet, author, and educator, Aubrey “Aubs.” Barnes. Barnes most recently published book titled “It is Good, It is Written.” is available now. Apprentices learned how to write poetry and the many mechanisms used to do so, they also learned about poetry’s intersection with music and culture. Apprentices presented their work throughout the program at community sites including coffee shops and libraries.
Film was led by Jonathan Burnett an independent filmmaker and educator. Burnett is also the Creator, Director, and Lead Instructor of the Urban Exposure Independent Film Program through Azubuike African American Council for the Arts. This program taught students the basics of filmmaking culminating with the creation of a short film written and directed by the apprentices titled, Charlie.
Since the summer of 2000, Metro Arts has provided area youth 15-21 years old with paid summer apprenticeships in various arts disciplines.
For five weeks, area youth work together in groups to complete projects that enhance the community through the arts. Participants learn the artistic techniques and applications of their genre while developing personally and professionally.
This program allows young adults to build career and artistic skills, as they work under the supervision and mentorship of professional artists. Their mentors are accomplished, local artists who are passionate about teaching and encouraging creativity.