For the fourth year in a row, the Riverwest Co-op Grocery & Café, 733 E. Clarke St., hosts the Budding Artists’ Show. The collection features the art work of 15 neighborhood children and runs through the entire month of May in the café section of the co-op.
Curator Clare Lewis and assistant Melanie Hupfer see this event as more than a kids’ art show.
"It's another opportunity to build community," says Lewis. "The children are excited and proud to have their work up in the café. It gives the adults in the community a chance to give positive attention to the children they might not even know personally."
The Budding Artists' Show features about 15 art pieces. Lewis says many of this year's artists have shown their work before, and some even set their favorite pieces aside throughout the year to save for the show.
"I have seen it be a huge self-esteem building experience for the kids," says Lewis.
There is only one rule for the Budding Artists’ show: submissions must be finished. Lewis says it’s up to the artist to determine what "finished" means, but they don’t want to hang any works-in-progress.
The co-op features rotating art shows through the year, but the Budding Artists' Show traditionally takes place in the month of May so that the work is up for Mother’s Day.
"On Mother's Day we have a steady stream of kids with their mothers and grandmothers coming through to see the work and maybe have brunch surrounded by kids’ art," says Lewis.
The Riverwest Co-op and Café is a natural foods grocery store and café that opened in 2001. The co-op is community-based, member-owned and volunteer-run.
"In true co-operative spirit, everyone participates and everyone voices their ideas," says Lewis.
The store carries organic produce, a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan groceries and bulk foods. Pet food, child care, gifts and health / beauty supplies are available, as well as locally produced paper goods, body care, publications, wool goods and more.
The co-op offers a 10 percent discount on El Rey products every Tuesday, a 10 percent discount off fresh produce on Wednesdays and a 10 percent discount off bulk items on Thursdays.
The café, which is connected to the grocery store, opened in October 2004. The eatery was transformed from an adjacent garage space into a cozy spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The menu features soups, sandwiches, bakery items, smoothies, coffee drinks and more. Brunch is served daily, and Tuesday nights are Taco Tuesdays.
Currently, the Riverwest Co-op has more than 1,300 members and 60 active volunteers, who are often referred to as the heart and soul of the co-op.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.