GM celebrates Creative Beginnings Month

Connecting art and design students with college and careers, General Motors is using Creative Beginnings Month in May to avail design-sponsored events to promising art and design students and educators.

Mentorship programs work. That’s why the photo supplied by GM shows top GM designers like Clay Dean, the director of Advanced Design in North America (pictured second from left) with promising art and design students and educators from a variety of Metro Detroit high schools and colleges.

Fact is, every creative organization needs a way to find and develop fresh talent. So, General Motors Design is celebrating Creative Beginnings Month in May.

Institutions include high schools in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer and St. Clair counties; the Detroit Public Schools (DPS); College for Creative Studies (CCS) and Lawrence Technical Institute to encourage higher education art degrees and careers.

The GM Design-sponsored events are part of a larger mentoring effort to help students find and flex their creative muscles and stretch their problem-solving and analytical skills.

Other initiatives range from private weekly advanced sketching classes and internship competitions to workshops for the University of Michigan Solar Car and Lawrence Tech SAE Formula race vehicles.

“Recruiting new and diverse talent is important to developing and maintaining a creative edge,” said Clay Dean, director of GM North America Advanced Design. “Our mentoring programs and partnerships that connect industry and education help talented art and design students get connected to creative design institutions and automotive careers. Supplier partners at HP, Autodesk and RTT, and institutional partners at CCS and Lawrence Tech share our passion for investing in the development of the next generation of designers and invigorating our community’s creative economy.”

Creative Beginnings Month activities include the following:

2nd Annual GM Design Career Day for Scholastic Arts Gold Key Winners 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Design Dome at the GM Technical Center, Warren.

GM designers and the 125 Gold Key-level student winners and their teachers in southeastern Michigan meet at the GM Design Dome for a day of interactive auto design workshops, including Color and Trim Design, Vehicle Speed Shape Development, Vehicle Personality Animation and Industrial Design Graphics, Environments and Merchandising. Students work with the latest digital and tactile tools as well as full-size production and concept vehicles.

The Scholastic Awards program is the nation’s largest and longest-running recognition program for creative young people. Gold Key is the highest level of achievement on the regional level, and all student works are forwarded to New York City for national judging and scholarship competition.

6th Annual GM-CCS You Make a Difference Program for the Detroit Public Schools 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. May 17, CCS Alfred A Taubman Building, Detroit.

Since March, top GM designers and junior automotive design students at CCS, College for Creative Studies, have been visiting classes at Cass Tech, Henry Ford Academy, Renaissance, Northwestern and the Detroit School of Arts to teach and mentor vehicle design and increase awareness of careers in art and design. On May 17, selected students will be invited to attend a weeklong Advanced Sketching Workshop at Cass Tech June 20-24, plus a chance to win one of three scholarships for a summer continuing education art class at CCS.

All YMAD participants are invited to attend a weekly sketching class at GM Design from October to April. Since its inception, this graduated mentor program has resulted in eight DPS students being accepted as full-time students at CCS.

“Mentorship and experiential programs that permit high school art students to network with working creative professionals are crucial,” said Diane Heath, Michigan Youth Arts Educator of the Year and visual art instructor at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester. “It is the best way for kids, parents and guidance counselors to grasp the incredible opportunities available for creative scholarships, degrees and careers.”

About GM Design

General Motors Design is the first and largest global automotive OEM design function with a network of 10 Design Centers in eight countries around the world. Over 1,700 men and women are responsible for the design development of every GM concept and production car and truck globally. The Design Centers are located in the United States, Germany, England, Korea, China, Australia, Brazil and India.

About College for Creative Studies

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) is an integrated learning community located in Detroit. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls 1,400 students pursuing Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. CCS also offers visual art opportunities for learners of all ages through its Community Arts Partnerships and Continuing Education programs. The Advancing the Creative Spirit campaign enables CCS to provide a world-class art and design curriculum and innovative programming. The $55 million campaign has raised more than $45 million to date, and the College is working hard to keep its promise to the community. For more information, visit

About the Author: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now trades stocks and writes articles, books and ebooks via, but may be contacted here by email: [email protected]

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