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
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.