Hero Works Visual Storytelling Workshop for Teens
The Bottle Works is looking to give young artists with an interest in visual storytelling the opportunity to work with their peers on a graphic novel and have their work published!
We are looking for several high school age students to collaborate on a 5 page story written by Ditko playwright, Lenny Schwartz, featuring the origin story of Captain Bottle Works, a character created by Creative Director, Matt Lamb. The fictional story takes place in Johnstown and features several Johnstown landmarks. Students will have the opportunity to bring their own creative style to the story while working with the books’ professional artists, Glenn Klimeck, Matt Lamb, and K. Brandon Wilt. Klimeck has worked for both DC & Marvel Comics and has been involved in multiple indie projects. Lamb most recently designed and executed the Spider-Man and Doctor Strange mural honoring Johnstown native Steve Ditko and is working on his own creator-owned book. K. Brandon Wilt is the proprietor of Bent Wookee Comix in the West End of Johnstown, and his current creator-owned independent project is Six In the Mourning.
Students will submit examples of their work to be reviewed by the book’s artists. Selected students will participate in six class sessions with our instructors covering the various aspects of visual storytelling. Classes will be held in the Steve Ditko Young Innovators Studio at the Bottle Works, and the studio will be available for selected students to use throughout the process of completing the book. Students will be given specific parts of the story to work on and will be expected to collaborate with fellow students and our professional artists to complete the 5 page story. All supplies will be included.
Each participating student will have their art bio included in the finished publication, and will receive a hardcover copy of the book.
Deadline for submission is April 21, 2023. Students may submit 5-10 pieces of their work at
All students will be notified by April 28, 2023. Upon selection, the workshop fee of $150 will be due. Scholarships are available. Please submit a request at
Saturdays, May 6 – June 10, 2023 from 1-3 PM
Session 1: Introduction to our artists – students introduced to script – overview of project- character design
Session 2: overview of visual storytelling – storyboard/thumbnails – Draw your own version of Captain Bottle Works
Session 3: Specific panels/pages assigned to students – students will begin layouts of their work
Session 4: Group review/critique – approval of layouts – finishing/inking demo
Session 5: Page work – collaboration
Session 6: Finalize pages and submit for publication.
BW Bus Trip – Petalpalooza Washington DC
Saturday April 8, 2023
The Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center is on the GO, and we are inviting you for the ride! Join us on Saturday, April 8, 2023, as we travel to our nation’s capital for Petalpalooza – Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.
“This one-day bus trip is not your ordinary excursion,” says Melody Tisinger Director of Advancement and Operations, “ Artists can tote their tools to capture the civic scenes and the budding blossoms for a unique plein air painting/ drawing experience. For those who just want to tour the National Mall and enjoy the flowers, you are welcome to do that too.”
The bus trip is part of the Bottle Works’ 30th anniversary celebration activities. All year-long, the organization aims to provide fun special events and programs that highlight its mission: inspiring artistic passion, creating community connectivity, and honoring heritage and cultures. The tradition of celebrating the blooming of cherry trees in Japan is centuries old. According to the National Park Service, the planting of cherry trees in Washington DC originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or “Sakura,” is an important flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a symbol with rich meaning in Japanese culture. For more than a hundred years, visitors have celebrated cherry trees blooming in solidarity.
Ticket includes transportation, Petalpalooza festivities, and bus ride snacks. During the bus ride, the Bottle Works will provide light refreshments, but all are welcome to bring their own snacks. Once in DC, guests can engage in a plein air experience and/or partake in the National Mall festivities. The bus will stop at Golden Corral Buffet & Grill (5621 Spectrum Dr, Frederick, MD 21703) on our way back to Johnstown, PA. All meals are on your own. Seats are limited.. Payment is due upon registration. Registration deadline is Friday, March 24, 2023.
Cost per Person:
General Artist or Non Artist Ticket: $100
BW Member Artist or Non Artist Ticket: $95
Student artist or non artist (age 16 and under) $75
*Students participants must be accompanied by a paying adult over the age of 21
Tips for the trip: This is an outdoor experience. Please dress accordingly– walking shoes, jackets and comfortable clothing. Bookbags and tote bags are permitted on the Mall, but if you plan to tour the museums or other attractions, bookbags or totes may be restricted. The Mall is going to be filled with tourists, please limit your painting/ drawing area to a 5 x 5 space per person.
Trip Times: Description
6:45 AM Arrive/ park at the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center’s FNB Pop Plaza
7:00 AM Departure from the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center’s FNB Pop Plaza
11:00 AM Arrive at Washington, DC National Mall – Set up art area
4:00 PM Teardown art areas – return to bus for load up
4:30 PM Depart from Washington, DC
5:30 PM Arrive at Golden Corral Buffet & Grill (purchase on your own)
6:30 PM Depart Golden Corral for Johnstown, PA
11:00 PM Arrive at Johnstown, PA
Please note that the Bottle Works engages in photography and recording of programs and events for its own print and online publication/promotional purposes. Staff and volunteers will make every effort to notify members of the public when filming and/or photography is taking place. Please notify a staff member/volunteer if you do not want to be photographed or filmed.