ST. LOUIS – The Spring 2018 Apprentice Program at St. Louis ArtWorks has begun with more than 60 paid Apprenticeships in the arts employing young creatives between the ages of 14 and 18 who live in the St. Louis region. The program runs through the end of April with a public celebration and Spring Sale on Saturday, April 28th from 11:00am-2:00pm.

Five different arts disciplines are offered this Spring: Robotics, Tapestry/Textiles, Painted Rain Barrels, Monoprinting, and Video. The Robotics Apprentices will work Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and will be led by Amos Curlee and Matthew Stevens. Amos is the founder of the New City School Make-It Workshop and a mentor to students in their robotics club. He assisted St. Louis ArtWorks with the Robotics pilot program last Fall and was instrumental in helping ArtWorks continue to offer this innovative opportunity for young creatives. Matthew Stevens is the Program Coordinator for Saint Louis University’s STEM Learning Through Infographics program. He has a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.S. in Science Education from Southwest Baptist University, and he has worked at the St. Louis Science Center and the D. Danforth Plant Science Center for the last decade. Funding for the Robotics program is provided in part by the Burgess Family Foundation.

Teaching Artists Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen and Stajah Curry will lead the Tapestry/Textiles discipline which will also take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Kelsey holds a BFA in Studio Art and Fibers from Truman State University and an MFA from the Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts at Arizona State University. She returns to St. Louis ArtWorks after teaching in 2013, 2014, and 2017. Stajah started her professional career as an ArtWorks Apprentice in 2008, and later graduated with a BA in Fine Art from The Art Institute of St. Louis. She now leads the youth in painting and other visual art disciplines. Kelsey and Stajah will once again team up to teach the Spring Textile discipline which will be focused on a wide variety of textile techniques, including batik dyeing, indigo shibori, hand embroidery, sewing machine construction, and textile collage. Apprentices will work on a series of collaborative wall tapestries, will develop a catalog documenting their collection of pattern designs, and will continue the line of home goods created in the Fall Program.

Each Spring, MSD helps to fund the Painted Rain Barrels discipline at St. Louis ArtWorks. Apprentices will learn basic color theory, design fundamentals, and techniques such as stenciling, sanding, and priming as they create their own unique painted rain barrel design. Teaching Artists Stajah Curry (mentioned above) and Mark Clark will lead this group on Saturdays. As an award-winning educator with St. Louis Public Schools and a veteran Teaching Artists at St. Louis ArtWorks, Mark will collaborate in this discipline, helping Apprentices hone their personal styles and techniques. The Rain Barrels will be available for purchase at the Spring Sale.

The Monoprinting discipline will be taught by Gina Alvarez and Clayton Petras on Saturdays. Apprentices in this discipline will learn the fundamentals of printmaking and painting as they incorporate new concepts into their individual designs. Gina Alvarez is the Executive Director at VSA Missouri, a state-wide organization on Arts and Disability, and she received her MFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Washington University. Clayton Petras also received an MFA from Washington University, and has recently worked as a Teaching Assistant and as a substitute teaching artist for St. Louis ArtWorks last summer.

After leading the Video Documentary group last Fall in creating their incredible piece about Social Change Through Art, Mike Pagano will return this Spring to lead the Video discipline once again. Mike is an artist, designer, and facilitator based in St. Louis City focusing on video and music production, multi-media art, and performance. Since 2000, he has worked with many of the leading arts institutions in the St. Louis area including COCA, Craft Alliance, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum, Regional Arts Commission, and most recently the Nine Network of Public Media. This Spring, the Apprentices in the Video discipline will be creating a piece called “This Is Our Story” - showcasing highlights of the organization and stories about the youth who work in the St. Louis ArtWorks Program.

The 2018 Spring Apprentice Program will conclude with a celebration and Sale on Saturday, April 28th from 11:00am-2:00pm at St. Louis ArtWorks on 5959 Delmar Blvd. in the Loop East. Friends, family, and the general public are invited to attend the event to view the incredible work the Apprentices have created throughout the Spring Program and to purchase individual works of art including painted rain barrels, prints, tapestries, and textile home goods.

For those looking to apply for the Summer Apprentice Program, the application is available online at Applicants are required to provide a letter of recommendation from a non-family member. In-person interviews will be conducted in May.

St. Louis ArtWorks was founded in 1995 as a collaborative partnership with Grand Center Inc., the City of St. Louis, and the Regional Arts Commission. Since that time, ArtWorks has provided opportunities for thousands of young people, successfully helping to prepare them for future education and employment opportunities. ArtWorks bridges economic, racial and social divisions by providing underserved youth with arts education, workforce development training, and 21st century life skills, including fiscal literacy and professional communication. St. Louis ArtWorks is funded in part by the Arts and Education Council with support from the Regional Arts Commission and Artmart. Funding for the Spring Program has been provided in part by St. Louis ReCAST, St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund, Wells Fargo Advisors, Emerson, the Trio Foundation, the Berges Family Foundation, MSD, and St. Louis Community Development Association (CDBG).

For more information on St. Louis ArtWorks and its community partners, please visit ArtWorks online at, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. #MakeArtWorkSTL