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Our talented intern, Jae Mawby, just wrapped up the development of Riverside’s pottery programming. As a special opportunity for the young men she worked with in this endeavor, she arrange for four of her students to visit her college, St. Olaf.

The boys reflect on the experience below.

My day at St. Olaf, by Andy – “My day at St. Olaf was a memorable one. It started off at 7:00 in the morning with a 2 hour drive to Minnesota. When we arrived, Jae took us on a tour of the college and showed us her classrooms and the spots that she hangs out. She showed us the church, gym, science hall, and my personal favorite the art building. Next we did some awesome spray painting on canvas with some really neat colors. Then finally we finished off the day with lunch and met a really cool former professor named Wendal. He went through his life and showed us an awesome project using pictures out of a magazine. He also gave us some neat supplies to take with us. It was a great day!”

Cooper – “What I enjoyed about going to St. Olaf is visiting with Jae. She was very happy to see me and I was happy as well. Jae showed us her school and the art projects that she is working on. We also made a painting completely out of spray paint.  We then went out to lunch at Hogan Bros and that was really fun. We then ended the day doing some more art projects at Jae’s former professor’s art studio. After that we brought Jae back to St. Olaf and headed back to Passage. I really enjoyed my time at St. Olaf and hope to see Jae again.”

Dylan – “The whole trip was pretty cool. My favorite part was when we went to that guy’s studio. The studio was awesome, the way it was set up, and the view out of the window. We made cool spray paint projects. Mine looked like a picture of the moon, taken from the sun. It is currently hanging up in my room at Passage. I also loved eating the peanut butter bars!”

Mitch – “Our day trip to the campus was crammed full of fun experiences and insight for potential new opportunities. We spray-painted atop a hill overlooking the community while hurrying to avoid the incoming sprinkles of rain. Inside the numerous buildings we witnessed numerous students studying hard and viewed the vast array of art pieces displayed on every wall and hung within every room. Some grabbing your attention for what could be an eternity while simultaneously dismissing others after a quick glance. Everyone here is away from where they grew up yet it feels surprisingly homey. Maybe one day my own signature will be painted amongst the countless others in the art stairwell.

After lunch at a local sub place, we went to an old professor’s art studio. The place seemed surreal, like it belonged in 1800’s Paris, France, or Italy. Before meeting Wendell, I hadn’t really been a fan of or appreciated the more abstract type of art. His paintings and sketches actually seemed like a portrait of something easy to connect to Wendell’s character and demeanor and it undoubtedly helped with sparking creativity through all of us. He sent us home with some supplies and a lot of knowledge and wisdom. Immediately I knew that we could learn so much from him.

Thanks to Reid, Anna, Wendell, Jae, St. Olaf, and NWP for providing an amazing day.”

Before they visited St. Olaf, Jae had worked with the boys to complete a ceramic art piece. This piece was displayed at St. Olaf where the display board read: “Northwest Passage is a residential mental health facility for children and teens that provides innovative mental health services for the residents and their families. Founded in 1978, Northwest Passage serves about 150 children a year. One of the co-founders, Denison Tucker, is a St. Olaf College alumnus.

As an intern I established a ceramics program at Riverside, one of Northwest Passage’s three residential facilities. We created everything from handmade whistles to wheel thrown bowls. At the end of the summer I worked with four boys to create a collaborative conceptual art piece. The boys grappled with how to visually convey emotion and messages such as resilience and change, and I grew a lot as a teacher as well.” – Jae Mawby

They received rave reviews from visitors of the exhibit:

“It all looks embedded in SNOW- cool affect. Love the organic prints in blue.”

“Beautiful work!! I love the combination of texture and color! You are all so talented!” – EJ

“The texture in your ceramic firings is incredible. I’m particularly fond of the leaf detail in the right most panel. The cracked blue is also a strong element.”

“Great contrast between elements and materials both organic and inorganic. Keep up the great work- you boys are going places!”

“I love how your compositions go beyond the borders of the pieces. It’s all cool stuff!!” – JG

“Thank you for showing your work at St. Olaf! I enjoyed the process of discovering textures from nature, and finding treasures embedded in the piece. It’s like a walk along a beautiful beach rich with color and surprises.”

“This piece catches my eye every time I’m in here, not matter how far away I am. Thanks for the beauty!” =)

“Mitchell, Andy, Dylan, and Cooper, this is so beautiful! Never lose your artistic touch. Thank you!” -Thomas

Jae Mawby, Northwest Passage Intern

Reid Van Thomme, Riverside Expressive Arts Instructor


Northwest Passage has many internship opportunities. We aim to give interns a rich experience in whatever field they may be pursuing. Past interns have specialized in a variety of majors including videography, photography, culinary arts, environmental conservation, anthropology, communications, theater, and finance. While working in a professional and innovative environment, interns will have the opportunity to grow within the company while refining their individualized skills. Our innovative programming lends itself to endless possibilities for you to personalize your internship and expand your professional portfolio.

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