• DATE: Friday, September 12, 2014
  • TIME: 7pm
  • LOCATION: Juxtaposition Arts, 1108 West Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, MN, 55411

Sparked by recent news coverage on Mike Brown and Ferguson, MO, join us on our campus this Friday for a viewing of the news documentary, “Hands Up: Don’t Shoot Our Youth Movement.” Presented by Freedom Radio and TV, the event will begin at 7pm with beats and an artist/community lounge conversation, followed by the viewing at 7:30pm and a Q&A discussion with filmmaker Ralph Crowder at 8:15pm. View the event flyer here.


News // September 3, 2014
BY: Drew Peterson

Drew Peterson SmallA youth artist’s first venture into the world of JXTA begins with the Visual Art Literacy Training course, also known as VALT. For 8 to 12 weeks beginning in the fall, winter/spring, and summer, participants develop the technical drawing skills necessary to be hired and succeed as apprentices in a JXTALab Studio. When it comes to VALT, its all about how you start. Youth artists between the ages of 10-21 are encouraged to apply for this free course, here

Portfolio progression + collaborative exercises + individual development through technical drawing skills. Drawing is the infrastructure for an array of artistic and professional disciplines – think painting, sculpture, graphic design, and architecture. That’s why the beginning stages of VALT are rudimentary drawing lessons that guide participants through the learning of the materials, the pencil, the paper and physicality. Still life and portraiture both fall under representational art making and cover the object-based and figurative drawing styles that we teach in VALT.

As the instructor, the still life pieces I design for the students to draw consist of simple forms and objects. Take for instance a drawing of a coffee mug. The mug is geometric and void of complex textures and weird shapes. As the students become more comfortable with rendering the objects like the mug, we then introduce other technical variables, such as value studies. Simply put, a value we use can be the spectrum between light and dark. With practice, you will be able to identify the value spectrum of the still life and figure out how to use various levels of shading within the drawing to give the piece dimension.

The type of figurative drawing that we focus on is from-the-shoulders-up portraiture, which provides a straightforward perspective of the face. Each student works from a clear black and white photograph of a classmate.  We also do perspective drawings, defined as either an exterior landscape or an interior space. In the winter, we’ll set up in the classroom from a vantage point that gives us a dynamic view of the room. A variety of angles, range and depth gives you the most interesting experience when learning how to draw perspective. In addition, we will spend time developing strategies for measuring and for understanding proportions.

“VALT is unique in the sense that you are in a studio classroom environment where you are provided space and ample time to get into a process. This involves a lot of personal time management. You have to figure out a new relationship to that amount of time. It is an important skill to have.” 

You are going to be in an environment where you’re with other young people who are at similar stages of their artistic development. Although we have such a diverse range of ages in the classroom, there is a type of camaraderie that happens and a collective development that I find to be important. Depending on your age, you’ll have an opportunity to be a mentor and potentially influence the people that you are working around, which strengthens leadership values.

We’re not only teaching the technical act of drawing which is applying a material to a piece of paper. We use a classic approach in each lesson because it is our desire as instructors for each individual to understand how to look differently at the world and use the power of observation to refine your personal style & technique.

EXTRA: Drew Peterson is a practicing artist and instructor who is also a JXTA alum. In addition to his work at JXTA you can find him at Highpoint Center for Printmaking as one of three recipients of the Jerome Emerging Printmakers Residency for 2014-2015.

News // September 3, 2014
BY: Roger Cummings

Rogers CummingsThis past summer, our version of tactical urbanism used a collaborative approach. We worked with partners from the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, the West Broadway Business & Area Coalition, and Trust for Public Land with a goal to engage people through small to medium-scale, visual & interactive interventions in select public spaces in our city.

Our Tactical Urbanism team and Mobile JXTA traveled to neighborhood blocks and highly-frequented public spaces around the Twin Cities, seeking to create interventions to activate spaces and spark engagement with art making and energy. Our team, made up of myself, Kristen, Trey, Roxanne, Jahliah, Dean, Cedrick, Hawa, Cameron and Chango – a combination of youth apprentices and artists, community organizers and activists – was designed to deploy intentional “tactics” to amp-up community engagement.

Known as Mobile JXTA, we built pedal-powered engagement units by repurposing bikes and illuminated them with LEDs and fold-out surfaces that functioned as gaming units, art project units or rolling musical spectacles, complete with bubble machines. Then we hit six Northside areas, including Broadway, Emerson and Penn, Plymouth, Lyndale, 26th and Lowry. We also set up at 4th and 7th on Nicollet Mall during the Farmer’s Market on Thursdays as well as some evenings and weekends.

Interventions are non-traditional strategies or tactics, physical or figurative devices, that break up fallow social grounds to find out what’s going on in the community, and if things are not functioning well, to come in between what’s not working and bridge that to what could work or be better.”

Our team interacted with hundreds of people this summer by being in places where pedestrians could literally bump into us. We conversed with a variety of community members – elders, youth, business people, homeless people, the police – about social and community issues over a game of dominoes or spades. Our team was diverse enough that each of us had something to contribute to the engagement. In other words, certain topics or perspectives I could relate to people about, whereas other times JXTA staff member Kristen or youth artist Chango could.

What we found during our explorations was that tactical urbanism provides opportunity for interaction and learning between people who don’t often connect in public space. Our charge was simple and intentional: it was to engage with people who use the space. It was to observe how people interact with one another, friends and strangers. It was to identify what works and what doesn’t and how it could work better in the areas of functionality, fostering neighborhood safety, art appreciation, and cultural enhancement, all through a non-traditional, youth-centered approach.

MORE: Our plan for next season is to be even more intentional with our engagement tactics, but we want to hold onto the spontaneity and serendipity we experienced this summer. What would you like to see Mobile JXTA and the Tactical Urbanism team do next year? Roving dj parties? Workshops? Let us know your thoughts and ideas by tweeting us at @JXTA_Arts and use the hashtag #mobileJXTA.

Roger Cummings is an artist and maker and the artistic director of Juxtaposition Arts.

News // September 3, 2014

The last weekend in July, Northside’s largest organized art crawl FLOW welcomes neighbors and art collectors from around the Twin Cities. See in pictures the event’s brightest moments on our campus.

Juxtaposition Arts Gallery space

Our first-in-a-long time Contemporary Arts Sale featured pieces from JXTA apprentices and youth artists. Using artwork spanning from the past 10 years of programming, 2D pieces were showcased and sold.

Textile Lab

Apprentices Justice and Edward show off new summer t-shirts designed and printed by the Graphics and Textile labs respectively.


Starting early for VALT. A FLOW attendee tries her hand at still life.

Enviro Design studio’s site model was displayed for attendees to look closer at the concepts for the newly redesigned Saint Satoko pocket park in the lot between JXTA and Urban Homeworks.

Parklet Preview

The City of Minneapolis’ Parklet  was installed for the day.  It’ll make a reappearance this September through October alongside our newly designed pocket park.

Public art

Hawwa and Camila from Public Art Lab show the design for a mural they painted on the JXTA building.


Fresh summer t-shirts in the Textile Lab retail shop. The shop is open year-round to design and print custom orders and sell original & limited  edition pieces.

More images from the day’s events…


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Photo credit: Julia Henry, JXTA Yale summer associate and Christopher Rogers, Textile Lab apprentice.

News // September 3, 2014

Local youth from Juxtaposition Arts’ Environmental Design studio were commissioned to create designs for bike racks and a large-scale public sculpture for the new Hennepin County Services Hub Building.

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Apprentices Demetra, Chango and Cedric +  Enviro Design Lab instructor Sam  with break dancing bike racks

Located on Plymouth Avenue at 7th Street in North Minneapolis, the building was redeveloped by The Ackerberg Group to provide neighborhood residents with financial, social and public health services. The grand opening at the end of August brought out community members and leaders, including Congressman Keith Ellison and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges.

JXTA’s primary goal for the project was to provide local youth a paid experience working on a real project from conceptual sketches to the final construction document sets. This entire process happened over the 2013/2014 school year. Enviro apprentices worked alongside the instructors to create the art concepts, then shared their designs and received feedback from community members at several open houses. Out of this process, the two pieces that were most popular and most feasible to build were selected to be fabricated and installed. Congratulations to Dean (18 years old) who designed the b-boy bike racks and Chango (17 years old) who designed the “North Arrow” sculpture.

“We want to continue to build relationships with developers and city officials in order to involve local youth in significant ways in shaping new construction projects throughout the Twin Cities, ” says Samuel Ero-Phillips, Enviro Design lead instructor. This is real work experience that not many designers have access to while they are still in high school. It will build a foundation for the young artists’ futures.

UPDATE: The “North Arrow” sculpture is now installed! Also, view more pictures of the opening event on our Facebook page.

“North Arrow,” the public art piece designed by JXTA’s Enviro Design studio.

News // July 23, 2014

Just days away from the event, our team is pumping up our lineup for the Northside art crawl FLOW. Artist and Gallery & Contemporary Art director Nate Young, co-instructor Caroline Kent, and youth apprentices are organizing an compilation exhibition and art sale featuring work from youth artists spanning 10 years.

Namir at JXTA

Youth artist Namir holds up one of his earliest JXTA paintings that will be on sale.

Pieces from over the years of past and present apprentices and youth artists are on exhibition and available for purchase at our opening reception this Friday, July 25 from 4-7pm and on Saturday, July 26 from 11am-7pm in the gallery of our main building. The exhibit consists of 2D pieces from Contemporary Arts Lab, Freewall, Textile Lab and drawings from VALT which will mainly come unframed.

“The proceeds of all the sales go to make our lab run.” Nate’s talking about the Contemporary Arts Lab at JXTA, housed in the 1108 building. It’s an environment and space, Nate says, where youth have the ability to explore their own creative ideas, in whatever way they choose – through drawing, painting, sculpture, even installation. “Because we don’t necessarily do [alot of] client-based work, we [can’t] support the Lab [solely] through commissions. This is the way that people from parts of the community and all over can support this particular Lab and get some really good artwork out of the deal too – at affordable prices.”

Not only creators of the work, the apprentices will be able to brush up on their entrepreneurial skills as well. “The sale of your work is part of being an artist,” Nate asserts. The apprentices will be present, and they will be able to talk to people about their work and interact with potential collectors. Even more, the youth artists get a hands on experience of pricing their work and how art sale transactions take place.

“It feels good when someone buys your work, ” Nate says. “The buyer wants to live with it, eat with it if they hang it in their kitchen, sleep with it if they put it in their bedroom or shower with it if they put it in their bathroom. It’s a good feeling when someone wants to love and be around your work.”

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News // June 26, 2014
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Instructor Caroline Kent was surrounded by students during a drawing class earlier this month at Juxtaposition Arts in north Minneapolis. (Caption from the Star Tribune; image by Monica Herndon).

Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation Grants in the Headlines

The Bush Foundation‘s new shift in giving was the cover story in the Star Tribune, which included our Bush Prize mention and visual highlights of JXTA. Bush’s new Community Innovation Grants are targeting initiatives that focus on “innovation and collaboration” – and that includes some of the work we do here at JXTA.  You can read the article at the Star Tribune.



Public Art studio artist Azlyn creates a rendering of the JXTA alleyway that includes ideas for the remodel of the space.

ArtPlace Grant Spurs on Creative Placemaking Projects

Organizations with initiatives steeped in creative placemaking are at the forefront of ArtPlace America‘s giving. ArtPlace has doled out grants – a grand total of $14.7 million – to 79 communities across the U.S. (Find the full press release and list of grantees here.) We’re proud to be one of the recipients of a grant geared towards projects that “play an explicit and intentional role in helping to shape communities’ social, physical, and economic futures.”

News // June 6, 2014

Ancestry Books’ Grand Opening

Ancestry books flyer

When: Saturday, June 7, 2014
Time: 12-2pm for celebration; doors open officially at 2pm
Where: 2205 Lowry Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411

Details: Located on Lowry and Penn in Northside, Ancestry Books will have its grand opening this weekend. A new North Minneapolis book store defined by co-founder Chaun Webster as a third place, Ancestry commissioned the JXTA Graphics Lab to design their logo and the Enviro Design studio to design, cut and build custom bookshelves for the new store. Join the owners, supporters and friends on Saturday to celebrate.


Northern Spark 2014

Northern Spark 2014

When: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Time: 9pm
Where: All over Minneapolis

Details: JXTA is going “mobile” this year at Northern Spark, the dusk-to-dawn Minneapolis arts festival. Among works of hundreds of artists, our bike-powered carts will carry along interactive games & activities, and will project live tweets that will reveal our location throughout the night. So challenge us to an intense match of dominos – if you’re up for it!


“Formations, Sediments, Cover-ups and Remnants”

Art by Christopher E. Harrison.

When: Opening reception on Saturday,
June 28, 2014
Time: 6-8pm
Where: Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts

Details: 1108 Co-op artists Christopher E. Harrison and Daniel Kerkhoff will be exhibiting their work in a dual showcase this June. The event description is as follows: “The work in this show explores the integration of natural materials and layers to examine the relationship between time, memory and the world we inhabit.”


FLOW: Northside Arts Crawl 2014

 Friday, July 25 –  Saturday, 26, 2014
Time: Friday evening, Saturday afternoon & evening
Where: Along West Broadway

Details: Next month, be sure to join Juxtaposition Arts, as well as other Northside artists and organizations, for FLOW! This annual arts crawl celebrates the Northside community by shining a light on the creative efforts of its residents. On the 25th, JXTA will be holding an evening arts sale of youth artwork. JXTA will also be open throughout the afternoon and evening of the 26th. Don’t miss it!


Lindsay Splichal’s Exhibit at Highpoint 

Now showing through July 3, 2014Lindsay Splichal Time: Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm, Sat, noon–4pm* and by appointment
Where: Highpoint Center for Printmaking

Details: Textile Lab instructor Lindsay Splichal is the recipient of the 2013-2014 Jerome residency with Highpoint Center for Printmaking. Utilizing a variety of surfaces to create her prints including reclaimed materials, Lindsay focuses on print itself
as an object. Her work is currently exhibited in the Main gallery at Highpoint.

Open Gallery at JXTA

Now showing through July 3Contemporary Arts at JXTA
Time: Mon-Thurs, 10am-3pm
Where: JXTA Gallery

Details: Curious about what the Contemporary Arts Lab apprentices have been working on? Come through! Now installed in the gallery space, the youth artists display a variety of 2D, 3D and mixed-media pieces in their first exhibit this year. For purchasing information or related inquiries, contact Nate Young at


News // May 27, 2014

Summer at JXTA brings new opportunities for young artists to both develop artistic skills and be producers in the Northside creative community.


VALT in session. Photo by Phillip Hussong.


Enrollment is currently open for the JXTA introductory programs Visual Art Literacy Training (VALT) and Free Wall. This summer, youth ages 8-21 will have the opportunity to work alongside professional artists who assist program participants in developing and expanding their drawing technique and creative skill set. *Youth artists who are also interested in becoming a JXTA apprentice are required to enroll in VALT.


VALT: June 23 – August 14, 2014.
VALT takes place Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 9am-12pm. Program participants must be able to attend every session day. For more information on VALT, go here.

Free Wall – Introduction to Aerosol:

  • Session #1 begins June 17 – July 10, 2014
  • Session #2 begins July 15 – July 31, 2014

Free Wall takes places Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 9am to 12 pm. Program participants must be able to attend every session day. For more information on Free Wall, go here.


When:  Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 5:30pm.
Where: Juxtaposition Arts, 2007 Emerson Ave. N, Minneapolis, MN 55411, in the gallery.

Note: orientation is required to confirm enrollment and only available to  those who have been pre-registered to attend. Orientation includes an interview, an introduction to artist teachers and to other class participants, and an overview of course objectives. Participants are asked to bring personal art creations to orientation.

  • If you have questions about applying, please contact Shelley at or give us a call at (612) 588-1158.
News // May 23, 2014

JXTA says you have what you need and we are here to help you develop those talents. Innovation is really iteration. Its developing an idea and continuing to stay with it, and push it over and over and over again…to make it better.” – DeAnna Cummings, Executive Director at JXTA

As recipients of the 2013 Bush Community Innovation Grant, the entire staff at JXTA wishes to express thanks to the Bush Foundation and Passenger Productions for capturing the heart of our work and mission so flawlessly in this piece!