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"Safe Streets, Healthy Teens": The Teens of Art Xpress Draft A Slogan

Listen: When making art, self-expression can be a demanding process for an individual. And when a group of sharp young minds are faced with a creative task, the challenges of group-expression come to life. The Milwaukee Art Museums’s Art Xpress program gathers a diverse group of teenagers and they spend four weeks over the summer creating a mural that eventually gets printed on the side of a Milwaukee County Transit System bus. An intensely creative and collaborative process. Pretty cool, eh?

So how does this process work? They start with a jumping off point (this year, they used  Theaster Gates’ current MAM show, To Speculate Darkly), draft a slogan (a message they present to the public), create individual artworks (using the printmaking facilities at Redline), and then fuse it all together into a single work. During each step of the process, they’re consistently incubating and sharing ideas, which can lead to inspiration at times and at others can lead to deadlock. In this piece, we hear about the slogan-drafting process, which eventually divided the group into two opposing camps: see podcast below.

Later this week, check back for another piece on how the mural above came together.

The interns have since returned their high schools and some are headed off to college — however, you can attend their unveiling event on Saturday, September 25th at the Cudahy Gardens/Milwaukee Art Museum — see their work come to life on the side of a MCTS bus! I know I’ll be there.

Produced by: Adam Carr