CLEVELAND — Art is an expression and way for people to connect. NEWS 5 talked to an artist and entrepreneur committed to making sure kids have an outlet to express themselves artistically— while teaching them how to turn their ideas into cash—all while making Cleveland A Better Land.
There is beauty all around us, and it’s not always Mother Nature showing off. Sometimes, it flows from the minds and hands of artists.
From Detroit-Shoreway to the Fairfax neighborhood, you can see creative expressions on the sides of buildings and overpasses throughout Cleveland. Vibrant colors mix to form eye-catching murals.
One of the city’s latest murals is going up on East 39th Street, near Payne Avenue.
Teens are taking notes from a refined artist, while trying their hand at it. It’s part of the Deep Roots Experience, four week summer program. Teens with an interest in art, are taught how to refine their skills, in order to make a profit.
Teens like 14 year-old Anthony Castleberry who said, “I feel smarter, like when I look at a mural. I understand it better than I did before.”
“We walk through our young people the artistic process as well as the paperwork, as well as the information you need to submit to the city to make sure that you’re compensated properly for your work,” said David Ramsey.
Ramsey not only launched the program, he’s also the founder of Deep Roots Experience Art Gallery in the city’s Fairfax neighborhood.
The gallery showcases the work of Black and brown artists, while his summer program works to encourage budding young talent.
The free program, offers students a stipend and $200 in art supplies to sketch and create.
“They leave this program with a skill set and tools that allow them to go to a business and say, 'I do artwork, I have my portfolio, so you have may sketchbook, so you can see what my work looks like,'” says Ramsey.
Student, Maurice Castleberry said he loves drawing and sharing his work.
“I would go back to my community and put stuff up. It just makes me feel good in the heart,” says Maurice.
Ramsey said seeing schools cut art programs made him realize how badly children of color needed an outlet to express themselves artistically. He says, eventually programs like this, lead to diversity in this space.
Right now Deep Roots Experience Art Gallery is running an exhibit called “She Art.” To find out more about the gallery or its arts programs, click here.
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