Heart of Gold
Minnesota print players pull together to create a vibrant storefront for an artistic nonprofit.
During rush-hour traffic on August 1, 2007, the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis collapsed, changing the lives of hundreds of commuters forever. Survivor Lindsay Walz turned to art therapy to cope with the aftermath of the tragedy and walked away with a new mission in life: to create a safe place for young people to express themselves through art.
Walz founded the nonprofit Courageous Hearts in 2013 with the mission statement: “Create, Connect, Lead.” The youth-led organization enables young people and students to co-create art, build community, and develop into leaders. Walz stresses the importance of creating art to express oneself – there’s no “good” or “bad” artwork at Courageous Hearts. “I’m not painting to put art on my walls; I’m painting to explore the depths of who I am. I think that’s a really profound thing to offer,” Walz adds.
Moved by the organization’s noble cause, local print equipment distributor Standard Dynamics partnered with Courageous Hearts to sponsor a media open house and wide-format equipment. “It’s more important than ever to provide hands-on opportunities for youth to explore creative interests, not only for the purpose of encouraging judgement-free creative expression but also to spark an interest in a potential career path,” says Al Hillmann, president, Standard Dynamics.
In March 2018, Standard Dynamics joined forces with Drytac and Image 360 Apple Valley to craft a storefront that matches the creativity of Courageous Hearts’ young artists. Image 360 printed bright, colorful banners that incorporate collaborative artwork from Creative Hearts members onto Drytac Viziprint Impress Clear with Viziprint Impress White backer using the shop’s OKI ColorPainter M-64s. “The storefront now expresses the same vibrant energy that everyone experiences inside the colorful studio space,” says Walz.