This fall, the Cheyenne River Youth Project will be hosting two artists in residence from the South Dakota Arts Council. These artists, Hector Curriel and Jenny Menzel, will provide instruction, mentorship and guidance to local youth enrolled in CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Youth Arts & Culture Institute.
Curriel is already in Eagle Butte, working with the current cohort of Waniyetu Wowapi teen art interns. According to Tyler Read, CRYP’s art director, Curriel has several specialties that he’s bringing to the nonprofit youth organization’s arts programming.
“Hector is working with the kids on basic drawing, basic sketching and watercolors,” Read said. “He’s also able to bring larger concepts to the interns, including the creative process as a whole, and the role art can play in activism. Working with Hector, the interns will familiarize themselves with skills and methods that provide a solid foundation as they pursue their art and their creative lives.”
Born in Lima, Peru, Curriel is a professional artist who now calls Sioux Falls home. As a watercolor expert, cartoonist and book illustrator, he is able to offer art students special opportunities to learn and practice in these areas. One of the books he illustrated, “Saving Up Smiles for a Rainy Day,” is the winner of the 2013 Midwest Book Award.
Graphic and fine artist Jenny Menzel, the next artist in residence, will be arriving Oct. 28 and will remain with CRYP until Dec. 6. A resident of Aberdeen, South Dakota, Menzel will work with the interns on projects of their choice; these can include drawing, painting, photography and graphic design.
“Jenny’s expertise is in branding identity,” Read explained. “She will show the interns how to take their projects from concept and completion, while also teaching basic design principles, clear messaging, and engaging techniques for execution. We’re looking forward to the opportunities our interns will have with Jenny—from logo, business card and T-shirt designs to slideshow and video production.”
CRYP current art internship began on Sept. 16 and will conclude on Oct. 18. Teen art internships are open to young people ages 13-18 who have completed the Arts Basics prerequisite course; once accepted into the program, they can expect to log 50 hours working in various mediums and participating in core job skills trainings.
In addition to working with the art interns, artists in residence also will have the opportunity to work with the teens participating in CRYP’s new Lakota Art Fellowship. The fellowship will officially launch on Oct. 1, giving young people who have completed the internship a valuable opportunity to take their arts education and career preparation to the next level.
To stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@lakotayouth and @waniyetuwowapi).
The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.