News // July 8, 2015
BY: JXTA

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 Yupha. #JXTAGraduates

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Full Name: Yupha Chang

JXTA Lab/Studio: Graphics Lab

How did you first hear about JXTA?

I hear about JXTA through a summer program called Step Up.

What’s the best thing about your lab?

I like how people communicate with each other and as a group, we discuss what needs to be done and help each other with what needs to be fixed.

What’s one challenge that you’ve overcome recently?

I was kind’ve quiet and shy but then I’ve been here for almost a year and I got to know people and the groups. We are just fun and we bonded together.

Advice for a potential JXTA participant?

My advice is maybe its not about if you are an artist or if you can draw. Its about what you want to make happen and if you want to make it fun. Its not about being good at it.

Which color would you choose to sum up your experience at JXTA and why?

Sky blue because I was thinking of the sky. Blue sky has bright white and blue at the same time. In here, JXTA is like blue sky because we are diverse and we come together, and that makes a bright sky and community. And sometimes you feel blue because so much work is happening here.

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

I plan to go to college, do my generals. I’m not sure about my dream job.  I know that I’m good at arts and I can sing and other stuff. At the same time I might want to try something else.

The most important thing about being an artist/designer/maker/creative is:

Its not what people think or want you to create, its about what you want to create, what you express and what you are feeling through that art.

Read about another graduate!

News // July 8, 2015
BY: JXTA

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 Virdell. #JXTAGraduatesVirdell blog post pic copy

Full name: Virdell Brown

JXTA Lab/Studio: Contemporary Art

How did you first hear about JXTA?

Three years ago my friend told me about it, Canaan. At first I was kind of skeptical about it, but then he actually invited me. They were headed to a museum, and I got to actually be around. I was like, “This is kind of a chill environment, why not?” So then I signed up, I think like a few months after that.

Whats the best thing about your lab?

What I like about Contemporary is that I get to make my own artwork and there is no deadline. I don’t have to get things done in a certain amount of time. I don’t like that pressure, like oh, you have this amount of days or this amount of weeks to get things done, and then it’s like I’ll do it but it won’t be as good. So I can do my best and I can take however long I want, so I like that.

What’s one challenge that you’ve overcome recently?

I would say that my biggest challenge is that I didn’t know how to open up really. Or not necessarily open up, like it’s hard for me to really talk to people. Over time, going to certain events, I learned to  kind’ve get over that so I don’t have so much trouble being able to talk in front of people. I just need to know what I’m about to say [laughs].

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

I want to have my own gallery. Hopefully I’ll have enough artwork, like my own body of work so I can make my own gallery. And also my dream is to become a world-renowned artist. That’d be really nice if I could do that as well.

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

My favorite artist would be Michelangelo. I like Michelangelo because when I was in elementary school, 5th grade, my teacher had this really huge book of Michelangelo’s artwork. There was this picture of God and Adam and I was like, “This is really dope.” And it’s surrealistic kinda, so in between this physical reality and the abstract kind of spiritual reality. I like that stuff cause it embodies me mentally a little bit, like I’m stuck between here and the spiritual, the abstract.

Which color would you choose to sum up your experience at JXTA and why?

Neon green. Neon green is a very bright color, and green is in nature, so it’s just like a very good experience here. It’s just a very light color. I like neon green. I’m surrounded by people who also do artwork. People here are just generally good and nice. They’re here to work and also talk to you, and they actually care, they actually like speaking to you. It’s pretty cool. I like it here.

The most important thing about being an artist/designer/maker/creative is:

Using the knowledge that I’ve gained from reading and incorporating it into my artwork.

Read about another graduate!

News // July 8, 2015
BY: JXTA

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 Akhil. #JXTAGraduatesakahil_BWsm

Full name: Akhil Miller

JXTA Lab/Studio: Graphics Lab

How did you first hear about JXTA?

I started at Step Up. But since I was very young man – I was about 9 in 3rd grade at Harvest Preparatory School – I wanted to get into graphic design. I initially wanted to become a novelist. Because I feel like I have so much to communicate and I like pencil and paper and writing things down.

What’s the best thing about your lab?

My lab is JXTA. So I guess to me, the question really is ‘what’s the best thing about JXTA?’ That of course, are the opportunities. When I got at the end of my role for my first job with Asian Media Access, I didn’t know what the next step was. And if it weren’t for programs like JXTA, there wouldn’t be a next step especially for a 14 or 15 year old. JXTA was the missing link. Even though JXTA is a stepping stone, I don’t plan on totally separating myself. Its such a an immersive stepping stone that I want to build on.

How have you engaged with North Minneapolis through your work?

I work with a lot of clients. One of the most recent clients was the Broadway Family Medicine Clinic across the street. Our main contact there, wanted to [transmit the message of] what health is and how health is inseparable from body, mind and soul, through our creative youth. He felt like that [message] was an integral part of Northside.

Experience at JXTA that you’re most proud of?

3 years ago I had to go through VALT for 12 weeks in the wintertime when I was a sophomore in high school. I was also taking AP classes and I had honors English. So I was up late working on homework. One of my favorite experiences was all of that sweat that I had to pour in to get to the lab, because it taught me time management and to value my time so much.

How has working in this community informed your social awareness?

One of the special things is that JXTA offers these opportunities to the kids within the community. Its like, growing up on the Northside, I’ve always been around the kids in the community, and when I come to JXTA, I see the same kids in the community, people who I thought I understood but I actually didn’t truly understand. Even though JXTA is a spectacularly diverse place, being amongst them and working with them taught me a lot.

Which artist inspires you?

God. The only thing I look to express through any of my work even if its super restricted with what the client wants is always about communicating truth.

The most important thing about being an artist/designer/maker/creative is:

Integrity.

Read about another graduate!

News // July 8, 2015
BY: JXTA

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 Ana. #JXTAGraduates

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Full name: Ana Becquer

JXTA Lab/Studio: Graphics Lab

How did you first hear about JXTA?

I first heard about JXTA at a job fair at the Minneapolis Central Library in downtown. I was curious to try it out and that’s how I got here. I’ve been working with JXTA for a year now.

Whats the best thing about your lab?

The computer and technology. With Photoshop, you can edit things out and make it look good. Its easy and simple for me to use and doing digital art programs like Illustrator is mostly what I prefer.

Experience at JXTA that you’re most proud of?

Probably the self portrait. I was pretty proud of that because I worked hard on giving it a realistic look. My strongest point is visual because I focus on little details I can get in every perspective, even though I might not get them perfect.

Which color would you choose to sum up your experience at JXTA and why?

Black and white. Its like the balance between dark and light, ying and yang, good and evil, all sorts of things. But mostly pink which is my favorite color – I just don’t like seeing it too much.

Advice for a potential VALT participant?

If you happen to be a beginner in the VALT program, just do what you gotta do. I’m pretty sure that’s been heard a lot but it can be pretty difficult when you start as a beginner if you have no experience of drawing.

If you are person who has experience drawing, then you might want to draw on your own. People have different ways of learning of drawing what they see and what they learn. If you find a style that works perfectly then you might as well stick with it and help yourself to improve more with it and find different ways and new challenges to improve your technique.

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

I plan on becoming a cartoonist and a comic book artist because I’ve always dreamed of writing and telling stories of my own. And since comics are my favorite, its my personal thing and its what I want to do.

The most important thing about being an artist/designer/maker/creative is:

To draw a lot.

Read about another graduate!

News // July 8, 2015
BY: JXTA

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 Jahliah. #JXTAGraduates

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Full Name: Jahliah Holloman

JXTA Lab/Studio: Contemporary Art Studio

How did you first hear about JXTA?

I heard about JXTA through a program called Step Up. That was 4 years ago in 2011 I think. I was in the summer program.

Whats the best thing about your studio?

I really like the freedom that we get to express ourselves and our creativity. I think one of best things that we do is the talks: the discussions and critiques that we do. They help us dive into why we do the things we are doing and we learn a lot more about ourselves than we think we know. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and I call [my studio] art therapy. It’s a hard thing, opening up about yourself and your life because your art is like your life.

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

The first artist I learned about was Kara Walker and I do a lot of work about her. I really like her art. It brought a lot of light to my eyes about the world and about real life issues. But I feel like the artists that I look up to now are probably my instructors because I know them and I see the work and effort they put in. They put their hearts and their love and their sweat into everything that they do and then on top of that, they come here and they educate us. So I feel like the artists that I am actually influenced by and aspire to be or do as much of if not more, are my instructors, Nate, Tia, and Caroline, and the artists in this community. The artists in my community are the people I look up to because I know them as real people, I know their art, and I have come to love their art.

Advice for a potential JXTA participant?

I would encourage them not to be too scared to try things because some people come in to Contemporary worried. They’re worried about expressing themselves. I think you should just try new things when they are placed in front of you and just be appreciative of those things because not everyone gets the things that we get here, like the ability to talk to so many influential people, so many intellectual and wise people. It’s always good to try new things and appreciate those new things and the skills that you might gain from them.

Which color would you choose to sum up your experience at JXTA and why?

Maybe green or yellow. And I don’t even like yellow or green, but I just feel that way. Maybe because there’s a lot of green when I look around – I just see green. And a lot of my earlier work was a lot of like muddy, neutral colors, and browns and stuff. And maybe that’s probably why I thought it was green or yellow because that’s when I started here that’s all I was doing, just green muddy groggy, messy things. And I think it evolved into the person that I am today, which is still messy but more colorful.

Where do you want to go or do next?

I’m not sure. I’m going to live life and be happy. Being at JXTA has also brought a lot of things to the light for me, like social justice and social injustice. I feel like I might lean towards that – being some kind of community organizer, or being involved in community engagements which I already am doing, I work in Tactical Urbanism. I just feel for the world.

The most important thing about being an artist/designer/maker/creative is:

I want to make art that I’m proud of and I feel accomplished with.

Read about another graduate!

Ideas, News // June 8, 2015
BY: Coal Dorius
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Artist and instructor Coal Dorius demonstrates measuring and sizing mirrors with teens from Landfall Teen Center. Photo credit: Landfall Teen Center.

The Environmental Design Studio headed to Landfall, Minnesota this past spring to undertake a collaboratively designed public art project with members of the Landfall Teen Center. An initiative of the Stillwater-based non profit FamilyMeans, the center provides gathering space for older teens in the community to host events, participate in art activities and gain and develop leadership skills.

The JXTA/Landfall Teen Center collaboration started in the summer of 2014 with Enviro Studio instructor Coal Dorius and apprentices Chango Cummings and Tenzin Jhangchup. The goal was to create a hangout space on the deck of the center and create two murals that would enhance the area by illustrating the spirit of the community. The team met bi-weekly to ideate and implement a cohesive design that incorporated ample seating, planter boxes, and a custom painted table. The two coinciding murals centered around themes of family and the multicultural richness of the community.

Landfall Mural

One mural was designed by placing mirrors on the roof of the teen center that could reflect over Tanners Lake and could be seen by people driving on 94. Each mirror was cut to mimic a shingle on the roof, custom painted and tiled with messages of unity and ‘family’ placed front and center. Photo credit: Coal Dorius.

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Enviro Studio sat down with Landfall teens and collected a list of the countries people were from. We then printed the flags from those countries and went to work transferring them to a wall. Photo credit: Landfall Teen Center.

This collaboration with the Landfall Teen Center was a tactile representation of using art as a catalyst to spark conversations that identified the features of a community that mattered to the participants most: diverse members that together, created a strong sense of “family” that is now even more visible in the identity of this place.

News // March 24, 2015
BY: JXTA

Last Thursday, our friends, family, co-builders and supporters like you, came out to Part One of the first Contemporary Art Apprentice Exhibition of 2015! We were thrilled to see you and take in good art with good people, in good spirits.

Check out some of the images from the closing reception. Want to see more of the apprentice’s art? Come view it in person at the opening reception for Part Two of the exhibition on April 2, 2015, Thursday night. Find the details on our calendar.

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Big thanks and praise to Contemporary Art apprentice Canaan and JXTA Tactical Urbanism co-instructor Adrienne for capturing these images of the evening – stellar shots! #JXTAcpArt

News // March 9, 2015
BY: JXTA

The 2015 Community Impact Awards we were nominated for by Minnesota Business Magazine was a great opportunity to share our story and learn of other organizations, companies and people doing work that creates a lasting effect on our neighborhood, our community, and our Twin Cities.

Watch the video created by the talented Ladd Films of the nominees Cookie Cart,Tech Dump and us in the category of Social Enterprise. We’re so proud to do this work.

News // February 16, 2015
BY: JXTA

We rocked the lantern fest workshop at our 1108 building. Light, color, good music and best of all, good to see all of you.

Remember: on Saturday, February 21, take part in the inaugural MPLS Lantern Fest from 5-8pm. Participants of lantern creation workshops from all over the Twin Cities will come together to Light the Winter Night starting at 6pm at the Marquette Plaza in downtown Minneapolis. Take a lantern home with you afterwards. Find all of the details here.

In the meantime, see snapshots of a fun night with JXTA apprentices, staff and friends and neighbors like you. Thanks for coming and we hope to see you back at JXTA soon!

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We want to give a shout out to the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and the Minneapolis Downtown Council for creating this event and making this workshop possible.

News // December 30, 2014
BY: JXTA
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Youth apprentices laying pavers this past fall at a pocket park designed by JXTA EnviroLab for the Common Bond affordable housing development on West Broadway.

Dear JXTA Supporter,

Thank you so much. We’re grateful for your donations, partnership, go-aheads, and good words. Your investment in Juxtaposition Arts sustains all of us – students, apprentices, instructors, staff and board members alike.

We started the #JXTAGive100 campaign last month, with a goal to inspire 100 people to support 100 youth artists by the end of 2014. You stepped up and we surpassed our goal. To date, 102 of you invested in #JXTAGIVE100. When your contribution joins forces with our mission and a young artist’s ingenuity, this triune produces outstanding accomplishments.

I’m proud of what young artists at JXTA have done this year, from addressing transit and public health issues through placemaking, to designing public artbranding events and spaces and collaborating with government, non-profit partners and local galleries, and more.

So why stop at 102? Let’s keep going, keep sharing and keep giving. Before the end of the year, if you value what we do at JXTA and have not made a financial contribution yet, I hope you’ll take this opportunity to action your beliefs. You can donate here or share this message with someone.

You not only help us make this work possible, but you also help sustain it, everyday. You’ve inspired us to reach higher in the coming year. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate the support you have given us towards our vision and for 2015.

Have a BIGGER and BOLDER New Year,

Roger Cummings, Artistic Director at JXTA