Class Project 4: Domonique Whitehurst
Domonique Whitehurst, a high school student with a passion for art, began his internship with ArtWorks for Milwaukee this fall. As one of eight interns, he develops creativity skills and produces anti-drug and violence campaigns.
“What I find most rewarding about this program was meeting the people and being able to express yourself properly and send a safe message to others,” Whitehurst said.
ArtWorks for Milwaukee’s mission statement is to “prepare underserved teens to enter Milwaukee’s workforce by utilizing the arts as a method to teach employability skills” and for Whitehurst it does just that.
As a paid intern, Whitehurst and his peers work in partnership to develop skills and build a tolerant and diverse Milwaukee workforce.
ArtWorks strives to teach underperforming high school students that they can achieve employment success. The organization provides interns with mentors, often professional and gallery artists, and other resources.
Whitehurst’s aunt told him about ArtWorks, He thought the program was worthwhile and would provide an outlet for his creativity that he did not receive at his high school, he said.
Whitehurst said he is able to apply personal experience to his artwork and showcase what is really occurring in teenagers’ lives.
One of his latest pieces shows a baby with a peace symbol on his head with alcohol surrounding him and a group of teenagers partying. The child asks the provocative question, “Is this how you really want to live your life?”
“I am from a minority,” Whitehurst said. “And yeah, we really do need these things, so we can see them and wake up just a little bit.”
The Safe Messages graphic design program is one of many programs ArtWorks offers. It also feature programs such as spoken word, printmaking, digital photography, street art and textile arts.
ArtWorks hosts spring and fall sessions that usually run eight weeks. Interns work approximately 10 hours over three days after school. Summer projects of up to 20 hours per week also are available.