Ideas, News // November 8, 2016
BY: JXTA

Our new Reflections series brings Juxtaposition Arts alums together with our current Pathways to Colleges and Careers (PaCC) fellows for conversations on careers and creative aspirations.

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Houston White by Chris McDuffie and Giant Steps

The first guest was local entrepreneur Houston White (JXTA class of 1995), proprietor of H|W Men’s Room, an upscale barbershop, cafe, boutique and community meeting space in the Webber-Camden neighborhood of North Minneapolis. Houston is also the designer of the Black Excellence line of clothing and apparel. With his shop and increasingly visible Black Excellence brand Houston is attempting to spark a resurgence of creative energy and outstanding achievement in the Black community while also supplying others with a sustainable means of employment.

The long-time trendsetter recalled how in his early days at Juxtaposition Arts he benefited from the hard critique he received from his instructors as well as from the competitiveness of his peers: “we were all trying to outdo one another.”

“Nobody can beat me at being me.”

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Houston White with PaCC Fellow Shelique Combs

Returning to JXTA 21 years later, Houston says that his engagement with the PaCC Fellows was as inspiring for him as it might have been for them. The Fellows took particular interest as Houston recalled operating a barbershop from his aunt’s basement and designing and selling t-shirts while a student at North High School. Likewise, they welcomed his wisdom that they prepare themselves for the occasional failure as they pursue their creative futures.

Stay tuned as we continue to reflect!

Ideas, News // November 8, 2016
BY: JXTA

Members of the Singapore-based ArtsWok Collaborative riding our People Powered Carousel. Photo by ArtsWok Collaborative.

Hosting and exchanging ideas with visitors is essential to our making the impact that we envision.

This year we have had the pleasure of hosting guests from places near and far, including members of the Singapore-based ArtsWok Collaborative, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Exchange, a group of artists from Tunisia, and representatives from the Cincinnati-based philanthropic lab People’s Liberty.

All of us on the trip work with young people as one of the communities we develop programs with, and so it’s eye-opening to see the different approaches different organizations take when it comes to youth development. JXTA has a wonderful space located within community, and we very impressed with how entrepreneurial the organization is. From land acquisition and development of buildings as a community investment, to providing tangible career opportunities for the youth served… It has provided us food for thought on how arts-based community development can be designed. –Su-Lin Ngaim of ArtsWok Collaborative

DeAnna and Roger [JXTA’s CEO and Chief Cultural Producer] know what it means to invest in a place (North Minneapolis) by investing in that place’s people. People’s Liberty shares the same values. We too have a physical place/hub situated intentionally within one of Cincinnati’s distinct urban neighborhoods. Like DeAnna and Roger, we believe that the shape (and future) of a city is determined by who gets involved. While our work isn’t focused exclusively on youth, there is a lot of crossover. By providing funding, connections, design/storytelling support and mentoring to our grantees, we believe we can play a role in powering the next cadre of leadership in Cincinnati. Moreover, DeAnna and Roger are two individuals that exude the qualities of our Haile Fellows. We wish they lived in Cincinnati! –Megan Trischler, People’s Liberty

What an honor it is for us to attract the world to our community!

Ideas, News // November 8, 2016
BY: JXTA
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Plans showing Bubble Rooftops’ component parts

 

Juxtaposition Arts is a proud winner of the KaBOOM Play Everywhere Challenge.

Get ready for Bubble Rooftops, a project of our Tactical Urbanism team meant to promote everyday play by developing a large-scale, solar-powered bubble maker.

Past visitors of Juxtaposition Arts might be familiar with the bubbles that have cascaded from our rooftop at 2007 Emerson Ave N. since 2006. Now we go big!

Bubble Rooftops supports our social enterprise efforts by developing a prototype which will eventually be replicated and available for purchase. That way you’ll be able to join in the play.

Expect the launch of the first bubble maker in the summer of 2017.

 

News // October 3, 2016
BY: JXTA
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Mellon Mays Fellows Andrea Kvietok and Ayaan Natala

Six Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows from Macalester College participated in JXTA’s Free Wall: Intro to Aerosol Painting 3-week workshop this summer!

Professor Duchess Harris (a Mellon Mays Fellow in 1991) says that “the purpose of the program is to mentor undergraduates to become graduate students, and eventually faculty.  We are interested in enhancing the numbers of faculty who come from under-represented backgrounds.

She applied for the current fellows to participate in JXTA’s Free Wall class because she felt the course would help to foster discipline, study, practice and cohesiveness as the new cohort began their two-year fellowship program.

Without a doubt, the community at JXTA taught me about the importance of establishing bonds with your community and being present, despite your current job(s). Being in the ivory tower of academia, scholars sometimes forget that the real world exists and tend to isolate themselves under the ‘protective’ blanket of books, theories, and writing. Nevertheless, academics have the implicit task of being public intellectuals and striving to be an active member of the community.

–Andrea Kvietok, a junior at Macalester College from Lima, Peru

I was thrilled when Duchess called to sign the fellows up for FreeWall.  It was an out-of-the-box way for her to help the students bond to each other, and to establish a connection to the North Minneapolis community, a neighborhood that most of them wouldn’t otherwise have a reason get to know.  This is the latest partnership spanning more than a decade of collaboration between Juxtaposition Arts and faculty and students at Macalester College.  Our work is better for it and I think there’s is too.

–DeAnna Cummings, CEO, Juxtaposition Arts

The fellows were Malik Earle (New Hampshire), Ayaan Natala (Saint Paul, MN), Andrea Kvietok (Lima, Peru), Tracy Pham (Bloomington, MN) Jordana Palmer (Kingston, Jamaica) and Ryan Harris (Philadelphia, PA).

News // September 9, 2016
BY: JXTA

Through relentless effort, former apprentice Akhil Miller has landed a full-time job as the sole graphic designer for the international HVAC and lighting design firm 75F!

“This is what I wanted.”akhil

While completing his time as a STEP-UP student located at Asian Media Access (a JXTA community partner), Akhil was eager to hone his graphic design skills and says that JXTA was “the obvious next step” toward a career that he began cultivating in 3rd grade. At JXTA, and while Junior Director of the Graphic Design Lab, Akhil was chosen for a summer internship with the creative design firm KNOCK where, as the youngest intern, he worked on client projects such as marketing materials for the latest Star Wars and Avengers films. JXTA’s network put out a call for exceptional apprentices seeking employment and Akhil answered! The 18-year old Akhil was selected to design 75F’s entire marketing campaign!

Congrats to Akhil on his new venture!

News // August 22, 2016
BY: JXTA

This year’s FLOW: Northside Arts Crawl was a hit! We put out a call to come honor the ancestors and many of you answered. We are so grateful!

The annual art crawl originally started out as a small but burgeoning showcase of Northside creatives, initiated by the Northside Achievement Zone. Now, tipping the scale at over 300 featured visual and performing artists at 25 different locations, FLOW continues to grow in community attendance and participation since its 2006 debut. We are thrilled to share 10 highlights from the main event at JXTA!

1. In The Groove With The “Who We Are” Mural

Dancing by Angelique Kingsbury FlOW 2016

Photo by Angelique Kingsbury

This new mural was unveiled especially for FLOW. Inspired by the work artist Emory Douglas, the image of mother and child radiating images of ancestors, was produced by our Public Art apprentices to honor black motherhood as a revolutionary act and cause for celebration!

 

2. Pedal-powered Bike Carousel

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What a fun way to combine art, wellness and community in North Minneapolis. Children and adults joyously rode the lion, horse and antelope adorned carousel designed by artists Christopher Lutter-Gardella and Brandon Brown in partnership with our sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and Trust for Public Land.

3. The Black House Installation

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The Black House was a packed house! Attendees lounged in the transformed Emerson gallery amid art pieces designed for healing, reflection and reverence for black excellence in everyday life. The installation is part of an on-going series that will continue through Black August at JXTA. You can follow the progress and hear about more events at The Black House Facebook page.

4. The Spirit of Youth

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All FLOW attendees come to demonstrate pride in community, but especially young folks!

5. Wild Seed Puppet Workshops & Parade

Wild Seed

The unofficial color of the event was purple and the ancestral spirit of Prince was the guest of honor. A special shout goes out to the community artists that helped produce Wild Seed. At FLOW an inter-generational bunch of costumed and puppet wielding paraders made their way down Broadway Avenue attracting the cheers of passers-by before landing at the new Freedom Square Demonstration Plaza.

6. The New Line of Prince T-shirts and Accessories

Prince

The recent passing of our most beloved Prince was also paid tribute in a new line of limited edition t-shirts, buttons and earrings. Luckily, attendees had the opportunity to preorder print-on-demand shirts once our supply in the Textile Studio began to run out.

7. Ancestors Watched Over the Breezeway


Watchers

The staging area for the community parade was watched over in style! The Environmental Design team stretched these beautiful banners across the breezeway joining two of our buildings. The banners feature images of some of our most prized ancestors. At FLOW they were set against a divine backdrop of blue and sunny sky.

8. Collaborative Drawing with the VALT Studio

VALT Drawing

The Visual Art Literacy Training (VALT) program invited FLOW attendees to created a drawing modeled on a surrealist collaborative art experiment called “exquisite corpse.” Over the course of the day the community of artists traced text projected onto the canvas, at times they drew freely.  The result? A vibrant and playful art piece that demonstrated the brilliant collective mind at this year’s FLOW!

 9. Reunions

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FLOW brings the JXTA alumni and other community back together in the spirit of positivity and communion.

10. Our Team

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All-team photo by Bill Cottman, 2016.

Way to go team JXTA! FLOW is the only time of the year that we have all apprentices, students, instructors and staff on campus at once. At FLOW we turn out to represent with enthusiasm the creative genius of the Northside as demonstrated in the work of our apprentices. We always look forward to this unique opportunity to show off life at JXTA.

Don’t miss us next year!

 

News // July 25, 2016
BY: JXTA

We’re celebrating seven apprentices who have accomplished High School graduation this year! #JXTAGraduates

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Full name: Tiara Cortez

JXTA Lab/Studio: Textile Lab 

How did you first hear about JXTA?

I heard about JXTA from Jahliah, an older  JXTA apprentice. We went to South West together and that’s where I met her. I graduated from St. Louis Park High School.

How long have you been apart of JXTA?

I’ve been involved in JXTA since summer 2015.  I’ve been working here since January 4th.  I remember this because it was the day before my birthday.

What’s the best thing about your studio?

I am in Textile Lab. The best thing about Textile is that I feel like I earn my money. I can see the work that I am doing and it is fulfilling to see an immediate result from my work.

Which JXTA experience are you most proud of?

One day, JXTA went to the Women’s Club for an art show. JXTA was selling apprentice art and I was able to go and take pictures. It was a cool experience for me. I think some of them are on Instagram and Facebook.

What was your biggest challenge here?

My biggest challenge is that when I began VALT, I used to live far away. It was a hard for me to go back and forth between home and JXTA. I stopped coming but JXTA gave me a second chance to complete the program. I later moved closer to JXTA.

What advice would you give to a young person interested in JXTA?

I would say GO FOR IT and don’t be scared to let your artistic side out.

You’re a high school graduate! Where do you want to go or do next?

I will be taking a gap year and then attending Dunwoody Trade School or MCTC, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, to become an ultrasound technician through the Radiology Program.

What has been your experience with North Mpls?

My experience has been good and bad. The bad is that there is a lot of violence around where I live. Recently, a woman was killed about six or seven blocks away from my house. There is always a lot of shootings that happen and that is scary because I have to cautious of that. Coming to JXTA feels safe and that has been the good.

What greater social awareness have you gained while being at JXTA?

I learned about gentrification here. Before I came to JXTA, I didn’t know what it was. I learned about it through a conversation that I had in Textiles with the other apprentices. Someone brought it up and I asked more questions about it.

Which artist has influenced your work the most, or is just a personal favorite?

I don’t know that many artists. I would say Lindsay, one of my lab leads in Textile.

In one sentence, describe your experience.

I wasn’t really expecting to feel at home like I do now. It is really just a big family. I love it here.

Read about another graduate!
News // July 25, 2016
BY: JXTA

We’re celebrating seven apprentices who have accomplished High School graduation this year! #JXTAGraduates

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Full name: Natalie Bur

JXTA Lab/Studio: Textiles

How did you first hear about JXTA?

It was an art trip for school in Chicago and Drew was there to talk about JXTA. I thought, that is really cool and I need to do something with my life. Then I took VALT in the summer.

How long have you been apart of JXTA?

It’s been almost a year. I did the summer session last summer.

What’s the best thing about your studio?

I like screen-printing. There’s a cool process with screen-printing and I like that. I just like being able to work with people there.

Which JXTA experience are you most proud of?

I was able to make my own shirt a while a go. I got feedback on it and worked with Graphics to produce the shirt. That was a lot of fun.

What was your biggest challenge here?

Getting here. I bus like an hour. It’s like two hours out of my day.

What advice would you give to a young person interested in JXTA?

GO FOR IT! I don’t think there’s any other place like this. It’s good for people who want to get into the arts but can’t afford it. There is so many resources and people here that you can talk to. I think VALT is a really cool class. I was able to go to NYC.

You’re a high school graduate! Where do you want to go or do next?

I’m going to Chicago for school. It’s The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.

What has been your experience with North Mpls?

Before doing the VALT class, I’d never been to North Minneapolis. I really like it. I’ve just learned so much through JXTA about North Minneapolis that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. It has broadened by experience and knowledge and I now understand so much more about the North. It’s been really good.

What greater social awareness have you gained while being at JXTA?

I’ve learned about the North Side and its history. I learned who Tupac is.

Which artist has influenced your work the most, or is just a personal favorite?

Doris Salcedo. I like her a lot. I cried when I saw her art.

In one sentence, describe your experience.

My life wouldn’t have been the same without JXTA.

Read about another graduate!
News // July 25, 2016
BY: JXTA

We’re celebrating seven apprentices who have accomplished High School graduation this year! #JXTAGraduates

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Full name: Rochelle Lund

JXTA Lab/Studio: Contemporary Art and Public Art

How did you first hear about JXTA?

I first heard about JXTA from my friend Namir Fearce who I met in a summer program. He told me about a place where he got paid to make art. And I thought, “oh I want to work there”. My mom and I searched it online and we figured out how to get me into the VALT program and by the next session I was in it.

How long have you been apart of JXTA?

I’ve been here since the fall of 2014.

What’s the best thing about your studio?

I am in the Contemporary Arts Lab. The best part is being able to develop my technical skills and conceptual skills to become a better artist. I’ve learned to articulate my ideas and talk about art in a way that’s intellectual and thought provoking.

Which JXTA experience are you most proud of?

I am most proud of applying to go on the New York trip and getting accepted. That was one of my best experiences.

What was your biggest challenge here?

My biggest challenge is stepping out of my comfort zone and being confident in my ideas.

What advice would you give to a young person interested in JXTA?

You should join VALT because it’s free and they teach you how to draw. Then you can get hired and paid to make art. You will make a lot of connections and it can help you in the art world if art is something you want to pursue.

You’re a high school graduate! Where do you want to go or do next?

I am trying to get an internship and I am taking a gap year to work and build up my portfolio.

What has been your experience with North Mpls?

For the most part it’s been pretty good. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about it but there’s always people who help and have good intentions here. I don’t feel unsafe. I feel like I can walk around and get coffee and food and it’s chill. I try to remember that everyone’s a person at the end of the day.

What greater social awareness have you gained while being at JXTA?

A lot. I’ve become much more of an activist. I just didn’t know how to voice it and do anything about it before. Now I feel like I have the power to change things and I am inspired and motivated to do so. I have learned more about the rights of women, black people, and young people.

Which artist has influenced your work the most, or is just a personal favorite?

Cindy Sherman

In one sentence, describe your experience.

JXTA is probably the best thing that’s happened to me.

Read about another graduate!
News // July 25, 2016
BY: JXTA

We’re celebrating seven apprentices who have accomplished High School graduation this year! #JXTAGraduates

Cedrik McNeal

 

 

Full name: Cedrick McNeal 

JXTA Lab/ Studio: Environmental Lab

How did you first hear about JXTA?

My grandma told me there was a program that can give me a position in doing art. I love doing art. Then I came here.

How long have you been apart of JXTA?

Since I was 15 years old.

What’s the best thing about your studio?

I am in Enviro lab and the best thing about Enviro is the people in it. They’re funny and I enjoy having them around.

Which JXTA experience are you most proud of?

The Wolf and Moose project which was also a recycling project. It was something that I did and it was huge. I never built a statue before and that was cool.

What was your biggest challenge here?

I think just talking to people because I have a really hard time talking to people. Now, that’s gotten a lot easier.

What advice would you give to a young person interested in JXTA?

Just to come. It’s a great place where you can learn a lot of things. It can get you prepared for college.

You’re a high school graduate! Where do you want to go or do next?

I’m going to college now for music and photography. I like taking pictures. It’s just the way it looks; it’s so beautiful. Especially when you capture it at the right time.

What has been your experience with North Mpls?

I love shopping. We have so many stores and stuff that other people don’t wear that I like wearing. I like to look different.

Which artist has influenced your work the most, or is just a personal favorite?

I’m gonna say [Environmental Design Instructor] Coal. She helps me on a lot of projects and likes what I come up with and tells me to keep doing it. She pushes me.

In one sentence, or a few words, describe your experience.

Fun. Beautiful.

Read about another graduate!