Week 2: “I know it’s hard and it’s hard to smile though all the pain and struggle but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger than before.”


“I AM” Self-Love Selfie Relief Printmaking

Intern: Cristian Saez

March 21, 2014

“This week at ARTWORKS we talked about what is peace and what it meant to us as an individual. Also in our conversations we have talked about self-love and how that affects us in our everyday lives. And while talking we have found our inner peace and how we can show our community what peace looks like. Also we are trying to show our community that the youth of Milwaukee isn’t what they label us. That’s what I had gained out of our group discussions.

During the creative process at ARTWORKS we have had to do a self-portrait of ourselves and how we had to show our inner love though the painting. In other words we took selfies and showed ourselves through art to show what our inner peace was. What we did in the creative process we had to really think back on our past and what we thought our future would be and how we felt. The project I did symbolized all the pain I’ve been through and to show the world that no matter what I can get through anything. We made our projects out of Styrofoam so we could paint over our pictures and stamp them on paper to make multiple pictures.

So far my experience at ARTWORKS was really great it really helps me though a lot not only through art but my everyday lifestyle. If there was any type of way anyone wanted to get involved with the struggle of finding peace with either peace within them or beyond that, I would strongly recommend coming here. It is a life changer. Take it from me; an actual intern who has had been though the same things you’ve been though. “


Week 3: Self-Love Selfie

Intern: Steven Daniels

“This week at ArtWorks for Milwaukee we did a self-portrait of ourselves though drawing, then painting and printing. Some of the steps of creating the self portrait were easy, but there where times that I got stuck. Such as creating the words that reflected me in the self-portrait. But when I had to trace out the picture of myself and use paint on my portrait, it was fun and easy to do once I had got the hang of it!

As of now in ArtWorks we are creating a collage piece that reflects on what our utopia of Milwaukee looks like, and how this has impacted our daily lives while living here. While creating this type of piece I learned that I have a lot of inner joy with the type of city that I’m living in. It’s not just all hate and crime like the rumors you might get on a regular day to day basis. I really enjoyed working on this collage it really helped me on how I look upon my surroundings and people I am around.

My experience here was a blast. Every one is nice. They treat you the way that you are supposed be treated. It’s an amazing experience to encounter as a person. But even more amazing work and art experience as the youth of today. If I never came to ArtWorks I wouldn’t have any clue on what to do or where to go to get the type of experience I have gotten here. My goal is to take what I’ve learned as an intern and show it though my next steps on being not only a great artist, but being a great person in life.

A quote that represents Steven’s ArtWorks experience so far, “Happiness is everywhere never let anything turn you down. But if you are there is always a silver lining ahead.”

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Week 4 Ideal Milwaukee Collage

Intern: Destiny Casebeer

On this week’s project: Mixed Media Collage

The interns learned about Tyree Guyton and the Heidelberg Project in Detroit. Heidelberg Project began in 1986 designed as a creative response to blight, decay and violence in the neighborhood he grew up in. Guyton uses discarded objects to create two blocks of an outside art museum. The interns create their own collages using recycled materials of their Utopian Milwaukee, exercising the power that art has in transforming lives and creating peaceful neighborhoods.

Destiny speaks on her collage, “I am making a collage of what I think Milwaukee should be- peaceful parks, clean. It’s Hart Park on St. Paul. It’s where my father would play softball each year and he would bring me and my brother to the playground and we’d watch him play there. It was peaceful because the players would talk and be having fun. It’s a good memory for me.”

And on her ArtWorks experience thus far,

“ArtWorks has been good. I’ve made friends and am learning different kinds of art. I just got a job at Miller Park and I think ArtWorks helped me. I have at least some work experience now and I can work with other people, ArtWorks is helping to teach me that.”

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Inner Peace: “The Beginning of an experience to do more”

Intern: Ralphanna

During the first week of their internships in the “What is Peace” Spring program, ArtWorks teens began exploring the concept of self-love and inner peace and worked to define what that means to them. Researching universal peace symbols, the interns created images that represented their own journey to finding peace. We learned about Tibetan Peace Wheels and talked about the ways in which our own messages of peace can be shared with the world. The individual symbols created by each intern will be used in creating our own ArtWorks Peace Wheel!

Ralphanna James, 11th grader at Washington High School talks about her first workweek in the program and how she came to create her personal symbol of peace:

“My first week at ArtWorks was great! I got to experience different backgrounds of two different artists; they came to speak about what is peace and different ways to express it. I loved to hear the different ways the guest speakers found peace and the different ways they found to put that into our world today. I also got the chance to create my own artwork out of a peace symbol of my choice. This is also known as the Yin Yang symbol. I believe ArtWorks is a great opportunity to learn about peace and I’m looking forward to working with this group.

I chose this symbol because not only it’s a familiar sign but also it has deep sentimental values to the topic we were on. It gave peace during the creative process and had a great opportunity to learn the true meaning of the Yin Yang symbol. So during the creative process I chose to go a whole different direction with the Yin Yang colors. I chose to go with the colors of blue orange and yellow of the symbol instead of the traditional black and white, because I felt the symbol could be expressed in a different way.” -Ralphanna


Introducing our Spring 2014 Interns!

Things are moving right along in our Spring 2014 internship program, “What Does Peace Look Like?” Here’s a little more information about each of the interns in the program. What a great group!

Hobbies: Taking pictures, listening to music.
Favorite subjects: Art and history.
Goals for after high school: Cosmetology degree.
What I hope to accomplish at ArtWorks: Be a well-rounded person. Get my name out there.

Hobbies: I like to play football and swim.
Favorite subject/activities: History. I am involved in Lead to Succeed.
Goals for after high school: I plan to go to college. I would like to be a doctor.
What I hope to accomplish at ArtWorks: I want to be a part of ArtWorks because it will give me a chance to work with others.

Hobbies: Sleeping, sports, and anything fun that catches my eye.
Favorite subjects: Art, lunch, and biology.
Plans for after high school: College
What I hope to accomplish at ArtWorks: To learn to work with groups. To get better at interviewing.

Hobbies: Watching Netflix, sleeping, softball, and writing.
Favorite subjects/activities: Math, history, and art. I’m in a book club for native American youth.
Goals for after high school: I want to attend Alverno.
What I hope to accomplish at ArtWorks: Becoming a better leader.

Hobby: Working out.
Favorite subject: Math.
Goals for after high school: Go to college. Become a police officer.
What I hope to accomplish at ArtWorks: Meet new people and learn something new.

Hobbies: Drawing, painting, singing, reading.
Favorite subject: Art.
Goals for after high school: I want to be an artist and photographer.
What I hope to accomplish at ArtWorks: I hope to gain more work experience and art experience and to make new friends. To gain organization, prioritizing, and mixing color skills.

Hobbies: I like to draw and sing.
Favorite subject/activities: Science and forensics.
Goals for after high school: A four-year art college. I would love to work with art.
What I hope to accomplish at ArtWorks: To learn more about art on top of what I already know.


Hobbies: I enjoy exercise.
Favorite subjects: English, health, and science.
Goals for after high school: I would like to become a vet or a pediatrician.
What I hope to accomplish at ArtWorks: To take things I learn and use them to my benefit in the future.

Anthony–Lead Artist Assistant
Hobbies: Singing, dancing, writing, poetry, piano, drawing, and acting.
Favorite subjects/activities: Math, chemistry, piano, Student Council.
What I hope to accomplish at ArtWorks: To come back to learn and meet new people and explore their art. Also to have another great opportunity at ArtWorks. To gain more skills in 21st Century Skills.

Progress on the “Keep the Peace” Mural

The completion of this fall’s “Keep the Peace” mural is well under way. Three of our Interns were interviewed about the project.  After reading a short bio about each of them, watch their interviews as they discuss their experiences.

Corin, a 17-year-old student at North Division High School, will graduate in 2013.  She enjoys English and Art classes. After graduation, Corin hopes to attend a University of Wisconsin college and study Photojournalism or Theater.  Outside of school, Corin enjoys shopping, writing poetry and volunteering. She has volunteered with and spent time as a youth worker at the Boys and Girls Club. She considers the adults there to be her mentors.

Larry is an 18-year-old student at the Professional Learning Institute and plans on graduating in 2013.  He enjoys playing basketball  listening to rap music, dancing, acting and writing stories or poems. His favorite subjects are math and reading. After he graduates, Larry plans on going to college for business management. He also hopes to play basketball there. He’d eventually like to be a professional basketball player, but if that doesn’t work out, he’d like to own his own business.

Lamar will graduate from Milwaukee High School of the Arts in 2014. He is 15 years old and enjoys Biology, Chemistry and Spanish. When he’s not in school, he likes drawing, painting and listening to music.  Lamar’s past work experience has included a position as a student artist at the Boys and Girls Club. Lamar hopes to be an architect.  After high-school, he plans on attending the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design or the Southern Institute of Architecture.

Interns Describe “Peace of Art” Installation

This fall’s “Peace of Art” program is a first for ArtWorks for Milwaukee.  Our Interns are creating an Art Installation!  The eight Interns have split up into two teams to work on two separate installation projects.  Both projects focus on important issues these teens face as youth in their Milwaukee neighborhoods.

Three of our Interns were interviewed about their Installation project.  After reading a short bio about each of them, watch their interviews as they describe what an Art Installation is and how the two projects are progressing during the first half of the program.  

Cashe is a senior at Pulaski High School.  After high school she plans on attending college to earn a degree in fine arts and ichthyology (study of fish).  She is currently involved in an after school Art Club and enjoys writing, poetry, singing, drawing and learning.  During her time at ArtWorks, she hopes to develop her job skills and to add to past work experience as a volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas and her previous job at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Jylin is a sophmore at Wauwatosa East High School.  His favorite subjects are math and gym.  He applied to the ArtWorks program because he wanted to learn new art techniques.  He enjoys working on art projects, gaming and designing new games.  He plans on working towards a Graphic Design degree after High School.

Steve is a senior at South Division High School.  He enjoys creating new music and wants to be a successful artist/producer.  He applied for the Intern position to get more experince in an art related field.  He plans on going to college to major in Music and Business.  He enjoys giving people a helping hand which led him to becoming a volunteer at the Don & Sallie Davis Boys & Girls Club.  There he teaches other youth how to create new and positive music.

The “Soft” Side of Success

Last Friday, I was in my car on my way to meet former lead artist and Community Arts and Funk Festival  founder Brad Anthony Bernard and was riveted by an interview on Veronica Ruekert’s show on WPR with writer Paul Tough, author of “How Children Succeed.”   Touch challenges today’s focus in schools on testing and cognitive intelligence with the common sense notion that developing noncognitive skills like resiliency, curiosity, persistence, and conscientiousness are more important indicators in determining a child’s success in life. 

I was struck by how what Tough was describing speaks so directly to what we do at ArtWorks  – the language might be a bit different – Tough’s use of “noncognitive” and “character” versus our “soft” skills — but isn’t the intent and the value in impacting the lives of the interns we serve the same?

As we start the fall programs, I thank Paul Tough, for putting the spotlight on this critical side of a child’s development.  It gives even more credence to the work we do.  I also thank Safe & Sound and the Jerome and Dorothy Holz Foundation for their generous support which is making the Fall programs possible. 

Both fall programs will focus on anti-violence themes: Peace of Art led by veteran lead artist, Katie Van Velzer and Keep the Peace, overseen by Natalie Akins, whom we welcome as a new lead artist.   We also welcome Jaleel King, an intern in the summer program, whom we’ve invited back to be our first Lead Artist Assistant. 

We have seventeen interns this fall who come from high schools all over the city.  They have already demonstrated their character strengths by making it through a competitive application and interviewing process.  We applaud them, as well as the 90 or so students who applied to the program.  The interns spent the first week of the program getting an orientation to the job and to the 21st Century Skills, starting to map out their  projects, and getting to know each other. 

Over the next eight weeks, you’ll have a chance to get know each of our interns through our video blog.  You can also meet them and see the artwork produced in the fall program unveiled at Night by the River on Friday, November 2.


A Job Well Done!

ArtWorks for Milwaukee likes to acknowledge the work that was done during course of the 8-week program. The Intern’s artwork is usually displayed and sometimes made available for purchase. In addition to celebrating their accomplishments, these events are an important part of the program. Giving the Interns the chance to present their ideas and sell their artwork to the public helps them develop the presentation and communication skills needed to succeed in most careers. This summer, the Interns of the “Making your Mark” program were fortunate to have two events to display their work.

ArtWorks organized an Appreciation Event on Thursday, August 23rd. The invitation only event was hosted by Manpower at their headquarters in downtown Milwaukee. The event honored everyone who has helped ArtWorks carry out its mission of “Inspiring local teens to create positive change in their lives and in our community”. During the event, the Interns were introduced and presented with a certificate. The attendees were able to meet the Interns and discuss their work. They also had the opportunity to purchase original artwork and products created during the summer program.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Arts Wisconsin, the Community Arts & Funk Festival, organized a juried exhibition and a reception at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, August 24th. ArtWorks for Milwaukee’s Interns were invited to display and sell their work at the event. This event was attended by several artist and art advocates that took a genuine interest in the Interns and their accomplishments during the program.

During both events, much of the artwork created during the program was sold and each Intern was recognized for a job well done.

The program officially ended on Saturday, August 25th. After completing their performance reviews and finishing up the last of their work, the Interns gathered to say goodbye. Watch this video to witness that last few minutes of the 2012 summer.

What a great bunch of teens! It was a pleasure getting to know each of them. Everyone at ArtWorks for Milwaukee wishes the best of luck to all the Interns as they finish up their final year(s) of high school. We are all looking forward to seeing what career they each will choose and how they will “Make their Mark” after they graduate.

Learn More About Intern Artist Jaleel

Jaleel is a senior at Wauwatosa East High School. He’s 17 years old, and he’ll be graduating in 2013. Jaleel’s favorite school subjects are math and English. After school, he takes part in sports, including football, basketball, track and cross country.

For a future career, Jaleel would like to be a graphic designer. His plan is to attend college after he graduates high school and work toward becoming the CFO at his own gaming and design company. Jaleel got into graphic design through his cousin, whom he considers his mentor.

When he’s not in school or at the ArtWorks studio, Jaleel likes to dance, play sports and do graphic design work. In the past, he volunteered for a CLC program where he taught kids the importance of making healthy choices.

Jaleel wanted to be part of the ArtWorks program to learn more about other areas of art outside graphic design and also to learn skills to help him achieve his future goals. He hopes to learn more about owning his own business and using the skills that the program teaches him for his future career.