ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The public is invited to view the Artlink 2019 Apprenticeship Exhibit, 5:45-8 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Artlink 2019 returned to Creative Clay earlier this year, with 10 teams working in partnership to create museum-quality art in a variety of mediums.
Artlink is a Creative Clay apprenticeship program that pairs artists from the community with Creative Clay member artists for six months. Teams meet weekly to share ideas, experiment with new techniques and collaborate on a body of work. Member artists also benefit from the expertise of their mentors, who teach them important skills of the business of art, and how to create and sustain successful careers as working artists.
Each team also will produce retail items, such as limited-edition posters, prints, greeting cards, and a journal that documents, either visually or with text, the Artlink experience for the team.
“Although Artlink was designed as a program to benefit artists with disabilities, I am always impressed by how much the professional artists get out of it,” said Marcy Miller, Creative Clay Director of Artlink Vocational Services. “Inevitably, they will tell me that working with their partners was more personally meaningful than they anticipated–even transformative–and they overwhelming recommend the program to other professional artists.”
Creative Clay and the Artlink teams also collaborated with local playwright Sheila Cowley to produce “Airlift,” a 10-minute production that tells the story about a girl who is a very law-abiding citizen, except when it comes to the law of gravity. Creative Clay member artists created the set design and will participate in the play as moving scenery.
This unique pairing of professionals and students was birthed in 1999 to give student artists with a disability the opportunity to work one-on-one with professional artists in the community. Participants are chosen based on their medium of concentration, skill level, experience, and demonstrated enthusiasm for the project. Artlink is funded through a grant from National Endowment for the Arts and is one of Creative Clay’s seven programs that create arts accessibility for individuals with neuro-differences. This event is free, and refreshments will be served.
Creative Clay’s mission is to help people with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives through access to the arts by providing expressive, educational, and vocational experiences. Creative Clay’s team of professional artists provide outreach art experiences to people with disabilities, as well as children, veterans and those in shelters. Follow Creative Clay on Facebook; on Instagram at @creativeclaystpete and on Twitter at @creativeclay.