Artists For Humanity

City of Boston

Overview: AFH’s studios feature a small group structure of 8-20 teen employees working under the supervision of professional artist/designer mentors. Teen artists/designers work on individual projects that feed our fine art leasing program and collaborate with mentors and other teen employees on creative projects commissioned by clients. All teen employees participate in regular one-on-one and group critiques, to assess progress. In the process, they learn from each other in a supportive environment.

Participating teen employees are assigned a studio and work in one or more of the following areas: Painting, Photography, 3D Design, Graphic Design, Creative Technology, and Video & Event Production. Assignments are based on the organization’s studio needs, with efforts made to match teen interests and prior experience as possible. Commissioned projects are an inherent part of the AFH business model and our studio work. Projects can be short-term or long-term, taking up to a year or more from concept development to final product.

Teens engage in the creative process together with their mentors, from the discovery process to installation. As part of this process, teens participate in client meetings to learn about their needs, pitch and refine ideas, and install / launch finished projects. Experienced teen employees may be asked to become a leader by joining AFH’s teen recruitment team, helping to interview and acclimatize new AFH teen employees. Studio-Specific Activities PAINTING – Painting provides a solid foundation for all other artistic media, allowing teen to explore their identity and the larger societal role of the artist in ways most have not previously experienced.

Teens create work for exhibition and sale, client commissions, and collaborative murals. Once foundational skills are grasped, they are guided or self-direct to pursue independent projects and participate in themed exhibitions or collaborative projects. One-on- one mentorship and group critique are ongoing. The Painting Studio offers opportunities for teens to participate in large-scale paintings, public art and mural production.

Using a blueprint, reading an architect’s scale ruler, and interpreting a designer’s drawing are some of the skills learned in order to transfer designs from paper to walls, backdrops, banners and other architectural settings. PHOTOGRAPHY – Teen employees learn fine art, documentary and commercial photography in both traditional (film) and digital platforms. Through portraiture, land and cityscape, abstractions, interiors, product photography and computer-aided design projects, teens learn to express their vision and market their talents. Teens learn camera controls, create specialized lighting environments and backdrops, process black and white prints, create digital images for design clients, mount prints for exhibitions, train on the technical and artistic aspects of preparing photographs for the web, contribute all images to the website and larger digital graphic initiatives, and catalog AFH’s vast library of paintings.

3D DESIGN – Teen employees have the opportunity to explore three-dimensional construction arts. Concepts are taken from sketch to drawing to model to full execution. Participants are trained on computer-aided drafting programs, learn concepts of engineering and conduct hands-on trials with materials to understand their properties and applicability to the finished project. Through demonstrations, innovation, model-making, experimentation, and finished production, teens learn to work with a variety of fine art and industrial design tools and materials and gain a sophisticated understanding of sculptural art and design.

AFH’s 3D Design Studio is renowned for fabricating unique bike racks, outdoor signage, sculptural awnings, large-scale public artworks, eco-friendly furniture and more—infusing the zest and unpredictability inherent in young people “making things. GRAPHIC DESIGN – Teen employees learn the fundamentals of design, typography, layout, color systems, pre-press production for offset-, digital-, large-format- and screen-printing, and new media/electronic imaging. They develop free-hand illustration skills and use the full range of software in the Adobe Suite. With these skills, they create expressive signage, graphic wallpaper/murals, logos, graphics for apparel, brand identity systems, way finding, vehicle/bike wraps, and book design and illustration.

Teen employees work with supervising artists on custom design commissions for business clients and develop their own design trademarks. CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY – AFH’s newest studio launched last fall. Teen’s initial focus in the studio include web design and development, incorporating coding as well as programs like TouchDesigner that bypass the coding process. Teens will also improve AFH’s own virtual interface.

Over time we anticipate the studio will allow our young people to branch out into in-demand creative tech fields like app design, projection mapping, and virtual or augmented reality. VIDEO & EVENT PRODUCTION – Teens train in scripting and storyboarding, camera work, sound recording and engineering, graphic design, digital editing, web-readiness, and video production. Teen employees produce personal, documentary, and entrepreneurial pieces, and tackle projects for clients looking to capture an inherently teen perspective through their video commissions. Shorts are available through the AFH website and our YouTube channel (

Teens will design lighting for clients who rent our event space, introducing them to new skills and to career paths in lighting design. Key Duties and Responsibilities: Teen employees will develop appropriate skill-sets within their chosen media, however typical beginner tasks may include: *Entry-level drawing, painting, composition, design and color theory *Drawing to scale, three-dimensional rendering on a two-dimensional surface *Creating work for exhibition, client commissions and collaborative murals *Creation of perspective using vanishing points *Applying basic mathematical concepts to solve design problems Teen employees will learn design, technical, fabrication and communication skills in the process of producing client work. Skills vary depending on studio placement. The Ideal Candidate for this Job: *AFH teen employees must be Boston residents aged 15-18 and enrolled in a Boston public or charter high school or a GED/Alternative Education program.

  • No previous art and design experience is necessary. *Teens must be available to work at AFH during regular studio hours. Demonstrate good attendance *Treat peers and mentors with respect