CherryArts is a nonprofit organization that focuses on arts education and providing art experiences to all. This nonprofit travels and brings their variety of art exhibitions to schools, community centers, and other public venues. Titled the Mobile Art Gallery, it allows for people to admire art brought to their community. The traveling art features a guide developed for educators to give their students a take away from each piece available for viewing.
In addition to the Mobile Art Gallery, CherryArts offers another mobile unit that includes hands-on activities. Shaina and Melissa explained to OUT FRONT that the mobile cart allows for folks to create their own screen printing design, specifically queer youth.
The idea for the screen printing activity stemmed from feedback given by teachers about the lack of funding to give kids an opportunity to learn about art, including a lack of funding for bus transportation. CherryArts decided to combine what was learned from past successes in order to bring the idea of a mobile art making program to life.
“We worked with a fabrication team here in Denver to help us build out what the screen printer will look like. We wanted something that would give the kids a work of art that they could keep after one session with us,” they explained. The activity of screen printing gives participating members their own work of art without an extensive create time.
CherryArts not only gears their work towards schools and community centers, they also reach queer youth. Teaming up with The Center’s youth program, Rainbow Alley, Shaina and Melissa were able to administer this project to the organization. Previously, CherryArts had two designs available to print onto paper. Going for a deeper dive into ingenuity, the youth at Rainbow Alley will be able to brainstorm a design specific to being a part of Rainbow Alley. This print will be used to create tote bags for the youth.
“One of the biggest reasons why we wanted to go in and do a drawing session with them was because their voices are not heard enough,” they explained. “We wanted to give them an opportunity to take their own experiences and work together collaboratively to come up with a design that works for them. I saw this to be a better experience for them.”
CherryArts hosts free events for community centers and other organizations through Ink the City as a way to expand art experiences to the Colorado community.
“We want to be able to go to different places, pop up a cart, and have everyone make art.”