Twelve apprentices at JXTA have reached that pivotal milestone in their lives: high school graduation. And we’re here to celebrate each one’s accomplishment. Learn more about Canaan. #JXTAGraduates
Full Name: Canaan Ray-Strong
JXTA Lab/Studio: Contemporary Art Studio
How did you first hear about JXTA?
My art teacher freshman year in high school. Since freshman year, I did VALT in the summer. I was in Textile before, but starting winter of this year I was in Contemporary.
What’s the best thing about your studio?
The freedom. You can actually work on the stuff you want to work on. You can actually do the things that you want to do, and you learn more about the art world.
Experience at JXTA that you’re most proud of?
The show that we had. Cause I don’t think I had any pieces done the week of the show. So I worked at home and at school and here to get it all done. That was the first time my work has ever been displayed, so that was pretty dope. Other than printing my shirts that I designed myself, and then reprinting them and selling them, that was really cool. It was the skull with the headdress design.
Advice for a potential JXTA participant?
Participate in JXTA, but also look at different organizations for artistic teens in the Twin Cities because there are a lot. I know the Walker has some and also Intermedia Arts has some programs too, and just do as many programs as you can. I ended up doing a lot of Native American stuff, so I did the Indian Entrepreneurs and the Minnesota Indigenous Youth Freedom Project. We wrote grants and we did a community mural on Mother Earth Day for the Mother Earth Festival.
You’re a high school graduate now! Where do you want to go or do next?
I want to go to school for entrepreneurship. I want to become a firefighter in the meantime, so I’m going to start taking classes for that. And I also want to be an artist, so we’ll see if it all works out. Hopefully it will.
Which color would you choose to sum up your experience at JXTA and why?
Turquoise. Really cool. It’s a very calm, cool color. Whenever you think of something cool. It’s kinda nice and exciting but it’s really calm.
Which artist inspires you?
I’d say David Cho. I was really into him, we have similar creative processes and he sold a mural for Facebook stock. $100 million, at least.
The most important thing about being an artist/designer/maker/creative is:
Self – exploration. You can use art as a mirror and try to put whatever is inside of you outside. Just take your thoughts, like things that are very funny to you but don’t make sense, and put that out into space.