Staff & Artists

Coal Dorius

Environmental Design Studio Instructor | started w/JXTA: 2014

Coalcred3M.L.A. – University of Minnesota

Quote3“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

about3Adjunct professor and artist Coal Dorius, was first introduced to JXTA through the U of M ongoing service learning collaboration, Remix/Streetlife while pursuing her M.L.A. Coal’s thesis focused on the relationships between urban planning and cultural imprints, and how they influenced the history, equity and growth of North Minneapolis. She continues to explore placemaking opportunities in Minneapolis city policy. “My intent has always been to be as creative and purposeful as possible and I feel like that is right in line with JXTA – teaching apprentices to look for opportunities and help build an infrastructure to encourage an exchange of ideas in everyday life.”


Adrienne Doyle

Tactical Urbanism and Public Art Lab Assistant | JXTA Alum started w/JXTA: 2014Adrienne - Copy

cred3JXTA Alum

Quote3“A society must assume that it is stable, but the artist must know, and he must let us know, that there is nothing stable under heaven.” – James Baldwin

about3Adrienne entered JXTA 2010 through the STEP Up job training program. Though she initially thought that a creative career would not take her far, Adrienne’s time since joining JXTA combines teaching, arts-based community organizing and publishing the zine Burn Something. But, all-in-all, it’s personal connections that inspire much of Adrienne’s work: “The majority of my work at JXTA requires conversations with apprentices and community members about the systems and processes that shape society. I enjoy witnessing our young people challenge, critique, and re-imagine the world as it is, and providing support and resources as they make moves to build it better.”


Samuel Babatunde Ero-Phillips

Environmental Design Studio Instructor | started w/JXTA: 2007

Samuel Babatunde Ero-Phillipscred3B.S. Architecture – University of Minnesota | M.Arch – University of Illinois | Fulbright Fellow, Nigeria

Quote3“Plan your work and work your plan.”

about3“I love being an architect for many reasons but mainly because design is such a valuable tool to express solutions creatively,” says Sam Ero-Phillips. An architect and educator, he brings his passion for problem-solving to the Environmental Design Studio at Juxtaposition where he works with students on projects that connect directly to the surrounding community. When he’s not at Juxtaposition, you might just find him in Nigeria lecturing at the University of Lagos where he’s also working on a PhD in sustainable development.


Tia-Simone Gardner

Contemporary Arts Lab Instructor| started w/JXTA: 2016 IMG_1999 - Copy

cred3PhD Candidate in Feminist Studies at University of Minnesota

Quote3“The work has to speak strongly enough to stand on its own.” –Terry Adkins

about3Upon her arrival to Minnesota, Tia–a shining academic and subsequent 2016 McKnight Fellow in Visual Arts–had difficulty finding a community and space outside the University that would nurture her creative and intellectual life. Introduced to the organization by fellow artists, Tia was “overwhelmed with excitement to have the chance to join JXTA and such a sharp group of instructors doing work that I love.” She admits that her time as a lab instructor has expanded her idea of teaching, specifically ideas about when and where learning can take place. And she is particularly grateful for the support that the JXTA family shows one another in both lab and office.


Jared Hanks

Outreach and Engagement | started w/JXTA: 2014

cred3B.S. in Youth Development & Education – University of MinnesotaJH Headshot

Quote3“Elegance is simplicity. Elegance is to get rid of all the superfluous things, and focus on the most beautiful one.” – Paulo Coelho

about3 As a mentor, writer, reader and explorer, Jared funnels the energy of his combined experiences – working in Minneapolis Public Schools AVID program, creating an enrichment program for homeless youth and families which he continues to run, board president of a South Minneapolis housing co-op – into his current efforts in youth work. “JXTA allows me to combine my passion for youth development and education in my role,” he says, “while also tapping into my affinity for social enterprise and innovation.”

Basanti Miller

Executive Catalyst | started w/JXTA: 2016

cred3M.A.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from the University of Minnesota

Quote3“Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.” -Jane Addams

about3 It has been hugely rewarding for Basanti to come full circle in this organization – first as a JXTA student and now as a JXTA staff member. She has grown exponentially since she was last involved with JXTA and it is her honor to now be contributing to JXTA, so many years later. Between her years of formal education, Basanti has worked in various nonprofit entities in Providence, Boston and Chicago. She invests in this work for the sake of education, equity, social justice, youth development and the arts. She is most proud of all of the students and educators who have impacted her life up until now.


Justin Kirkeberg

Office & Facilities | started w/JXTA: 2010

Justin Kirkeberg

cred3M.F.A. Acting and Directing – Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

Quote3“There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.” – Irwin Shaw

about3Theater is Justin Kirkeberg’s first love; a passion that has afforded him opportunities to work throughout the United States and internationally. On returning to the Twin Cities following periods of living in New Orleans, New York, and Chicago, Justin wanted to find a way to make a living and make a difference in the community where he grew up. He felt a natural affinity with JXTA and has been playing a role in advancing the organization’s work with his diverse organizational support skills ever since.

Tamala Lacy

Property Maintenance Manager  | started w/JXTA: 2014

cred3Certified Medical Assistant, Crime/Trauma Scene Clean up, Construction Worker and Drywall Finisher


Quote3“Stop asking God to do for you. Ask God what you can do for Him.” –Ike F. Nicholson, Sr. (Tamala’s father)

about3As owner and operator of her own commercial and residential cleaning company, Tamala, is an expert problem solver, especially when it come to property maintenance. Tamala brings with her years of the kind of hands-on professional experience that is required to keep the JXTA campus safe, efficient and operational for the JXTA family. And like in an ideal family, Tamala suggests that the relationship has been mutually beneficial: “as a JXTA team member, I have learned more about the administrative side of the physical work that I have done for years.”

Kristen Murray

Tactical Urbanism & Community Engagement  | started w/JXTA: 2013

IMG_3268cred3Bachelors in Electrical Engineering – Rice University; Masters in Landscape Architecture with Public Policy – University of Minnesota

Quote3“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller

about3For Kristen, JXTA is a place where love of learning and love of art-making come together. Incorporating her backgrounds in youth development, urban design and program development into her role at JXTA, Kristen sees the intersection of design and entrepreneurship as a boost to a youth artist’s impact in their immediate environments. “It is a wonderful thing,” Kristen says, “to be a part of a team of young people, artists, designers and leaders who ask big questions and look at the world with a sense of possibility and a desire to create.”


Ben Peterson

ben.peterson@juxtaposition.org1980-01-01 00.00.10-2 - Copy

Graphic Design and Textile Studio Instructor| Started w/JXTA: 2015

cred3BFA Graphic Design—Minneapolis College of Art & Design

Quote3“Live free & be nice.” –personal mantra

about3Ben was referred to JXTA by other artists in the print and design community and, upon his first visit, knew he’d found a match. For Ben, JXTA is “an organization with a heart beat; real people, all about coming up together.” He says that JXTA has helped him to stay grounded, reminding him that things can always get better. Ever the optimist, Ben brings to JXTA light-heartedness and a model work ethic for his students:  “I started learning how to screen print by volunteering at a print shop, doing the dirty work (taking out the trash, cleaning the toilet…sweeping, mopping) in order to have access to the facilities.” He keeps a daily sketch-booking ritual and, in order to remain flexible enough to maintain his freelance print and design work, the avid skateboarder keeps trying to do the splits!


Drew Peterson

Visual Art Literacy Training | JXTA Alum – started teaching w/JXTA: 2010

drew petersoncred3M.F.A. – School of the Art Institute of Chicago | BFA – University of Minnesota | Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellow, Yale Summer School of Music and Art Anderson Ranch Residency

Quote3“ There are no impossible dreams: there is just limited perception of what is possible.”

about3Drew Peterson began working with Juxtaposition Arts as a 16 year old participant in a summer mural project! He says that summer experience had a tremendous impact on his decision to become a working artist.  In thinking about his work today as both a practicing artist and teaching artist Drew says, “What I enjoy most about my work at JXTA is seeing young people make their own discoveries and gain a sense of understanding and accomplishment. Engaging with young people and the JXTA community helps me escape the individualist mentality that a studio practice can develop. Its meaningful. It feeds my soul.”


Kenneth Rooker

Graphic Design Lab Instructor | started w/JXTA: 2014

Kennethcred3Philadelphia University of the Arts | Art Director and Creative Strategist

Quote3“A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he’ll never crow. I have seen the light and I’m crowing.” -Muhammad Ali

about3Kenneth joins JXTA with over a decade of experience working for Fortune 1000 companies in New York as well as smaller, locally owned businesses and nonprofits. He was lead to this current role by referral, and he maintains the guiding principles of instilling a sense of belief in the possibilities that life has to offer youth. “I love seeing young artists struggle, learn, and experience the joy of breakthroughs that come with creative growth.” In his down time, Kenneth is a competitive volleyball player, coach, and a huge classic and genre film enthusiast.

Melanie Stovall

Communications Manager | started w/JXTA: 2017

cred3Bachelors in Graphic Design, Art Institutes International Minnesota

Quote3“When things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman

about3Melanie came to JXTA with six years experience in art direction and design working in branding, print and interactive. Melanie Stovall is a Minneapolis based designer with 6+ years experience in branding, interactive, social media, packaging, print and illustration. She served on the Board for AIGA Minnesota as the Committee Chair and later the Associate Director of Sustainable Design. Through her board position, she helped implement annual programming using design to educate the community on environmental issues and train designers to integrate sustainable practices into their client work. “My favorite thing about design is its ability to influence change. Because designers understand messaging and target audiences, we can educate people on social issues in a way that resonates with them.”