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! 
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: Namir Fearce 

JXTA Lab/Studio: Public Art and Contemporary Art

How did you first hear about JXTA?

I first heard about JXTA by coming to the building with my mom and signing up to do a comics class when I was seven.

How long have you been apart of JXTA?

I’ve been involved with JXTA for six years now.

What’s the best thing about your studio?

I do Contemporary and Public Art. It allows room for exploration and gives you room to explore your voice and artistic practice.

Which JXTA experience are you most proud of?

I am mostly proud of the portfolio that I’ve built here and the projects that we’ve done over the summer in Public Art. My favorite is the work that we did with Jamel Shabazz.

What was your biggest challenge here?

My biggest challenge here has been staying inspired.

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

Just come in and find out the information, get the cards, do the VALT class if your interested in art. Definitely come and do it!

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

I plan on going to school, college, at Columbia School of Fine Art in Chicago where I will be pursuing fine art.

What has been your experience with North Mpls?

My experience with North Minneapolis has been beautiful. Its been really good getting to know the community and the people and having a heart and love for it.

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

I had a lot of social awareness coming in but JXTA has taught me something about thinking twice and improving my critical thinking skills. Also, JXTA has taught me to think about how my art can speak to the times.

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

Kara Walker, David Hammons and Jamel Shabazz.

In one sentence, describe your experience.

JXTA has given me the tools to better find myself and better see the impact that I want to make on the world.

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

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.36.20 AMOn July 7, 2016, upon hearing of the police killing of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, students in the Visual Arts Literacy Train Program (VALT) at JXTA produced a large scale collaborative artwork which reads:

“My melanin is not your target practice. They kill our fathers, then mock us for being fatherless. They say we have freedom but I don’t think we do. I don’t like this feeling. I always start crying. I must be so weak. I feel the racism. History repeats itself. We’re raised to trust them. They can’t be trusted, with anyone. They’re inhumane. When you walk around with a hoodie on you could get shot. They’re still killing kids. I’m staying positive. I’m trying to stay positive. All these black people they killed for no reason. The word that comes to mind is ‘Accountability’. The system is rigged, but still we rise, we will have compassion, we’re still here!”

News // July 25, 2016
BY: JXTA

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.47.33 AMThe pocket park next to 2007 Emerson Avenue will debut a new pedal-powered bike carousel, during FLOW: Northside Arts Crawl on Saturday, July 30th, 12-7pm.

Christopher Lutter-Gardella and North resident  Brandon Brown were commissioned to design and fabricate the metal structure of the carousel. They will work with youth from JXTA on artifying the bikes which will power the piece.

The project is the result of a two year collaboration between JXTA’s Environmental Design and Tactical Urbanism teams, Trust for Public Land and Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota.  In that time, we conducted community engagement activities where we talked to hundreds of North Minneapolis residents and stakeholders and asked for their ideas about how art and design could help to promote good health and increased social connections.

The carousel is a pilot, that will help the partners to test the appeal of free outdoor fitness opportunities among different types of people.  It will temporarily live in the park next to JXTA before making its way to different locations around the Northside.

 

News // July 25, 2016
BY: JXTA

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It’s time again to celebrate our high school graduates!

We could not be more proud of the seven JXTA apprentices who are 2016 high school graduates!

Click on their photos to get to know a little about these talented individuals as they reflect on their own artistic development, what artists inspire them and how their time at JXTA has shaped who they are, and what they want to do in the future.  Congrats graduates!

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News // July 25, 2016
BY: JXTA

image110 year-old Ciojwé Davis has been commissioned by Target Corp to illustrate the artwork for its fall back-to-school campaign!

Ciojwé overcame the 14 year-old age requirement for being hired as a paid apprentice at JXTA by taking two consecutive Visual Arts Literacy Training (VALT) courses. It was in this past spring’s VALT course that the young resident of North Minneapolis connected with our partner, the creative agency KNOCK INC to develop concepts to be considered for their Target campaign.  Ciojwé’s work was singled-out by KNOCK and Target from a dozen submissions put forward by JXTA most of which were created by our teen-age apprentices!

In payment for her designs, Ciojwé  received a one-time artists fee of more than what an apprentice would make in an entire year at JXTA, and Target has expressed interest in future collaborations with Ciojwé!  Look for Ciojwé’s designs at Target Stores across the country now through the back to school shopping season.

A big congratulations to one of the youngest JXTA team members!

News // July 25, 2016
BY: JXTA

Juxtaposition Arts attracts people with bright minds, deep talents and sincere hearts.

Much of our work could not be accomplished without the help of the team of full-time summer interns. We are thankful to Ilyana Duby and Jane Hornsby  from Macalester College, and to Hawa Adula, who joined us from Yale University. The trio’s energy and get-it-done attitude buoyed our team this summer. We’re grateful!

IMG_9021Youth at JXTA who are nearing high school graduation now have someone in-house who is focused on helping them achieve their next steps.  Tanika Reese joined us this summer to work on our Pathways to College and Careers program as a family achievement coach employed by the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ).  Tanika spends half her time with youth at Juxtaposition and the other half across the street supporting youth from Cookie Cart.  Tanika studied Organizational Administration at Metropolitan State University and has over 15 years of professional experience in public welfare, human services, employment training and administration. She is a native of Chicago, who moved to Minnesota 24 years ago, and raised three children here. Tanika has a “passion to eradicate generational poverty” and views college-readiness as a strategy in that fight.  Our team is grateful to Tanika and NAZ for our deepened partnership which will ensure that youth at JXTA have a leg-up as they move into adulthood.

Our new Communications team is eager to help us stay in touch.

davuDavu Seru our new Communications and Marketing Manager has returned to Juxtaposition 20 years after being among the first class of JXTA participants when he was a student at North High in 1995. With eight years of PhD work and a pre-graduate school stint in academic publishing, Davu has strong research, communication and administrative skills. In addition to his work at JXTA he is active in the Twin Cities literary and performing arts communities and is a part-time adjunct professor of African American literature and culture at Metropolitan State and University of Minnesota. Davu is particularly excited about working with JXTA’s Youth Media Team apprentices and activating the JXTA alumni network.

Onward!  JXTA team members exploring exciting opportunities!

Adjoa Akofio-Sowah, our former Communications and Marketing Manager, is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture at George Washington University in D.C. following a residency in her ancestral hometown in Ghana this past fall.

Selah Obinrin (fna Shelly Martin), left her 2-year post as Outreach and Engagement Manager and Jared Hanks was promoted to the position she vacated.  Selah is currently working in spaces where she can support sustainable food systems and holistic, integrated lifestyles with community. She’s back at JXTA temporarily this summer as the manager and an artistic contributor to Wild Seed which will be unveiled at FLOW on July 30!

We celebrated Nate Young’s 10 year anniversary with JXTA last summer.   This fall we wish him well on his next journey, as he has accepted a tenure track faculty position at the University of Chicago.

Caroline Kent spent four years as an instructor at JXTA before leaving to focus on her career as an independent artist and teacher. Caroline is a 2016 McKnight Visual Arts Fellow and will move her career and family to Chicago once her fellowship is completed.

Betsy Altheimer has served as head of Development & Strategic Communication since 2012 and this summer has transitioned to a consultancy role.  Betsy will support the JXTA team’s search for a new full-time Director of Development to begin in the fall. Betsy says that in her 4 years at JXTA she has witnessed the organization move “from JXTA the after school program to JXTA the social enterprise.” When asked about what she liked most about serving here, Betsy says JXTA is composed of “some of the most beautiful, incredible and resourceful people,” to which we reply: it takes one to know one!

Finally, a shout goes out to our Chief Executive Officer, DeAnna Cummings, who has just returned from a month long fellowship at the University of Maryland in Washington D.C. as a distinguished DeVos Fellow. The DeVos Institute Fellowship allows DeAnna to spend a month each summer for three years (2016 – 2018) focusing on big picture strategic planning with an international cohort of colleagues and experts in the field.  DeAnna views her fellowship period as a “special opportunity to gain new tools and connections, so that Juxtaposition can continue to be the best at what we do for decades to come.”