Maxwell Peacock, 14, is a member of CRYP’s second cohort of Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Interns. He started coming to our campus regularly about a year ago, drawn to the environment and learning opportunities he saw at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center — in particular, he says he was interested in our arts programming.
CRYP began its innovative teen arts internship program last winter. During each four-month internship cycle, teens participate in training opportunities, engage in open studio time, attend leadership development workshops, explore career opportunities for artists, plan community events to promote our groundbreaking Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, and unveil their own work within that free public space when it’s ready.
The art interns must complete 80 hours of instruction to complete the program. Upon successful completion, each intern receives a $500 award for his or her time and commitment. Starting with this second cohort of interns, CRYP also started offering a special weekend arts retreat in Minneapolis. Max attended the first arts retreat on November 13-15, and with his fellow interns, he visited the Minneapolis Institute of Art, lead instructor Peyton Scott Russell’s art studio, some of the cities most famous murals, and the Walker Sculpture Garden.
While the trip was exciting, Max says the most appealing aspect of the arts internship was learning character design with guest instructor Wundr, who is based in the Twin Cities, attended CRYP’s RedCan graffiti jam this past July, and recently returned to our campus to teach classes.
Max says opportunities like this are vital for the Cheyenne River community.
“If CRYP weren’t here, I don’t think there would be as many creative outlets,” he explains. And that is important, he continues, because the people on the Cheyenne River reservation have so many unique talents and abilities, and they always are willing to support one another.
“I love the people,” he says.
When he’s not creating art at Cokata Wiconi, Max enjoys studying history at school, gaming, and following “speed art” creator AxeMax Graphics on YouTube. He’d like to travel to New York, and he’s considering a career in graphic design or tech support, although he’s not quite sure where he’d like to go to college just yet.
One thing is certain. Through CRYP and the arts internship program, he’s discovered a passion for graffiti art, particularly for characters and number options. Someday, Max says, he’d like to make a career with it.
And, just maybe, “change the world.”