ArtWorks News

Business Courier – ArtWorks to expand mural program into yearlong work for youth apprentices

By   –  Projects editor, Cincinnati Business Courier

A nonprofit that employs Greater Cincinnati youth to produce public art around the region is expanding its program with yearlong opportunities.

ArtWorks, the force behind hundreds of murals throughout the city, has long provided artists ages 14-21 with summer and after-school jobs, as well as a residency program allowing them to sell their work in a gallery. Now with the help of partner groups, the nonprofit is hiring artists ages 18-24 for year-round work in creative studios.

Partnering with ArtWorks is the city of Cincinnati and Procter & Gamble Co., which provide seed funding for the first two years of the program. The city is allocating $500,000 of American Rescue Plan funds to begin the program. Between 2022 and 2023, these funds will support ArtWorks’ launch of three creative studios, 50 year-round jobs for young artists, and five year-round jobs for professional artists, who serve as studio managers.

The creative studios enable young artists to gain professional experience beyond an eight-week job. Studio artists learn skills that can transition into future careers, such as client communication, presentation, design, project and time management, budgeting, and collaboration.

“While continuing to develop the mural production skills learned in the ArtWorks seasonal apprentice program, our mural studio artists are becoming proficient at working directly with clients, completing administrative duties, managing projects, collaborating with peers, and perhaps most excitingly, gaining the opportunity to design the murals they produce,” Jim Tucker, mural studio manager, said in the release.

In addition to the mural studio, ArtWorks launched its first-ever civic studio in December 2022, employing 10 young artists and one artist-in-residence to work on civic and equity projects. ArtWorks plans to offer a graphic design studio this fall, employing 10 more young artists. Applications for the studio will open this summer.

Businesses and communities interested in commissioning art for their spaces or who need creative design services, including brand and logo work, can submit a project commission form.