The Boy & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota’s Youth Arts Initiative and Schlenner Wenner & Co. have partnered together to provide an artistic entrepreneurial experience for youth visual artists. Schlenner Wenner & Co. commissioned a painting that will be permanently installed at their offices. The artwork was unveiled on February 21, 2018, at 4 p.m. at the offices of Schlenner Wenner & Co.
As part of the creative process, Boys & Girls Club youth toured the business and talked with some of the employees to see what they might like this work of art to feature. They also learned more about how the accounting firm serves Central Minnesota. The youth collaborated to create a sketch and paint a cityscape of St. Cloud that features Schlenner Wenner’s industry specialty and tagline, “Working with people, not just numb3rs.”
Youth also created piggy bank artwork for Schlenner Wenner employees to enjoy around the office and act as reminder to “Feed the Pig.”
“Youth have really learned a lot from the experience,” said Lead Artist Mentor Katie Ruprecht-Wittrock. “We have learned about what accounting firms do and how it affects all of our lives in a positive way.”
Ruprecht-Wittrock said that the youth also learned about the process of commissioning artwork and how artists serve their clients. They had to research the industries Schlenner Wenner serves and think creatively about how to represent the firm in a visual way. About 20 youth worked on the project, ranging in age from 10-18 years old.
This project was created in part to build mutually beneficial relationships to support the Boys & Girls Club’s Youth Arts Initiative, which is part of a pilot program funded by Wallace Foundation to research high quality arts programming in a youth-serving organization. Funding from Wallace is scheduled to end December 31, 2018. To learn more and help sustain this program, please visit the Boys & Girls Club’s website: www.bgcmn.org.