Ideas, News // July 21, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 2.38.02 PMA new mural is up at 1100 West Broadway! Join us at FLOW on Saturday, July 30th for the celebration.

“Who We Are” was designed by youth and adult artists in  JXTA’s Public Art Studio. It is inspired by the works of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture to the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, who conducted a workshop at JXTA last year. Apprentices worked for two weeks this June with Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus and JXTA Director Roger Cummings to develop the design.  Then Public Art lead artist, Tia Simone-Gardner, took over to support the youth to bring the mural to completion.  The mural includes photos of ancestors and heroes which were contributed by community members.   In creating this work of public art, the public art team seeks to honor and affirm black life through a celebration of ancestry. Artists from our Public Art studio say this about the project:

We began working in June of 2016, shortly after the passing of Prince and Muhammad Ali. And during the making of this mural we saw the killings of both Philando Castile in St. Paul and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. We also saw Lashae Jones lose her two year-old toddler, Le’Vonte King Jones, just a few blocks from the JXTA campus. […]

We are invoking the Black Madonna as an inherently revolutionary figure because she represents a source of power, which counters the more pervasive images of Black women and children as submissive and helpless. The Black woman is a pillar of the Black community and, so, the mother and child image is also deeply political. She pushes us to think about freedom not as a ballistic series of events but as a space of radical communion.

Corresponding with the mural, FLOW weekend will open an exhibit of the Public Art Studio team’s process drawings and an installation celebrating home and the rituals of everyday Black life at the 2007 Emerson Gallery.


News // July 14, 2016
Wild Seed at Mayday 2016

Wild Seed at Mayday 2016. Photo by Carol Banks Olyphant

Juxtaposition Arts is partnering with community artists for a special presentation at FLOW: Northside Arts Crawl at 2pm on Saturday, July 30th.

Come out and take part in Wild Seed: a production of puppetry, theater and music to pay homage and reverence to ancestors’ labor and contributions to the nation. Special homage will be paid to ancestors who have recently made transition such as Prince, Muhammad Ali, Kirk Washington Jr. and Philando Castile.

Leading up to FLOW, the Wild Seed artists will host free, open to the public, inter-generational workshops where community members are invited to the JXTA campus to make costumes and work collaboratively on puppets and other art pieces. All levels of experience are welcome. Teaching artists will be there to support you!

The free workshops will be at 1108 W. Broadway Avenue  as follows. Drop in anytime.

  • Wednesday July 20th, 4-8pm
  • Thursday July 21st, 4-8pm
  • Saturday July 23rd, 10am-2pm
  • Wednesday July 27th, 4-8 pm
  • Thursday July 28th, 4-8pm

Following the workshops, bring your costumes and creations and join the artists in a procession down West Broadway during FLOW on Saturday July 30th, 2pm.

Also, you can attend FLOW and participate in the parade even if you didn’t attend a workshop. Don’t miss it!

Juxtaposition Arts
1108 West Broadway Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55104

Visit the Facebook event.


JORDAN HAMILTON is a multi-media visual artist. He is known for his work as a painter, muralist and community organizer. Based in Minneapolis, he has done a number of murals and public artworks in the Twin Cities, throughout the United States and internationally. Recently he has been delving into the art of puppetry, sculpture, performance, and interdisciplinary arts. Jordan also works as a freelancer in design and photography. He strives to use art as a tool to build community and a platform to address issues and realize ways to better the world around us.

SELAH OBINRIN is a freelance facilitator, consultant, community organizer and healing justice creative. She has 15 years of experience in facilitation, program management, community organizing, and youth development. Selah is a founding member, trainer, and advisor for SPEAC (Sustainable Progress through Engaging Active Citizens), a ten years strong community organizer and neighborhood leadership training at Hope Community in South Minneapolis. She is a member of the Diaspora Healers Network (A black/African Diaspora healers collective) in Minneapolis, and a trained member of the Soul Medic Community Care Institute providing trauma informed wellness supports during community justice response situations. Selah is a vegan urban gardener whose interests include exploring experiential learning models and popular education as youth development pedagogy, urban agriculture, healing justice and the arts. Her independent practice Selah’s Apothecary provides freelance facilitation, organizational development, and healing justice workshops with a holistic approach & practice.

JUNAUDA PETRUS and ERIN SHARKEY composed the Minneapolis-based artist collective Free Black Dirt. Free Black Dirt seeks to spark and engage in critical conversations. Junauda Petrus is a writer, aerialist, playwright, creative organizer and performance artist. She has received a Givens Foundation fellowship, a Jerome Travel and Study grant and a Many Voices Mentorship with the Playwright’s Center, and a Naked Stages Residency at the Pillsbury House. Erin Sharkey is a poet, essayist, educator, and graphic designer. She was nominated for Best New Poets 2015, was 2015 Givens Foundation for African American Literature fellow and a 2016 VONA/Voices fellow, and has been published in Paper Darts and Walker Untitled. Free Black Dirt is committed to creating original projects for stage and screen performance, hosting innovative events, organizing local artists, and promoting and supporting the emerging artists of color community in Minneapolis and beyond.

News // March 24, 2016

Leah Gilliam - GameLeah Gilliam’s long career of making media continues to expand the horizons of technology-based art in relationship to culture. An accomplished film/videomaker, new media artist, coder, strategist and game designer, Gilliam brings race, gender and sexual orientation into sharp conversation through interactive projects. Her interests range from the obsolescence of technology to the cultural and imaginative implications of human contact with Mars. More recently, her analog board games create a low-tech space for people to have real-world conversations through fantastical scenarios.

Also an educator committed to equity in the tech world, Gilliam held the post of new portfolio strategist at Hive Learning Network NYC and now serves as the newly appointed VP of Strategy & Innovation at Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology.

Following the talk, you’re invited to stay for a playtest of Lesberation, a story­telling game in which players combine personal actions (verb cards) and personal belongings (noun cards) to construct inventive solutions to the fractious problems plaguing a lesbian­-separatist commune. Guided by game facilitators, players work together to repurpose their items and lend their actions to solve the crisis and further advance a p​ro­lesbian agenda.​ Note: Lesberation includes adult themes and is intended for mature audiences.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

2:00 pm

Juxtaposition Arts
1108 West Broadway Ave
Minneapolis MN 55411

Note: This event was rescheduled from April.

Co-presented by Northern and Juxtaposition Arts.

This talk is part of a series called, organized to explore conversations on art, technology and embedded practice. is presented in concert with Art(ists) on the Verge, a year-long, intensive, mentor-based fellowship for emerging artists working experimentally at the intersection of art, technology, and digital culture presented by Northern For more information, visit

News // January 26, 2016
BY: DeAnna Cummings

Kevin Powell Flier

Juxtaposition arts will be hosting a free Community Conversation, and Book signing with Activist, Writer, Public Speaker, and Author of the critically-acclaimed new book “The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood” (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster).

Doors open at 6:00 PM, and Ancestry Books will be selling copies of “The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood” throughout the evening.

Featuring DJ Reggie Mckeever and spoken word artist S’sence Adams.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Juxtaposition Arts
1108 West Broadway Ave
Minneapolis MN 55411
RSVP via our Facebook Page
News // December 15, 2015
BY: DeAnna Cummings

2015-09-22 17.21.53
Dear JXTA Community,

Imagine the future North Minneapolis with us. Imagine this community thriving – recognized as a hub of creative, locally-rooted entrepreneurs and visionaries deeply connected to the people here, and to the region’s art, design and innovation industries. This future is not far. Youth apprentices at JXTA are already growing into the imaginative , wide-awake, and inquisitive leaders we need. This only happens when we BUILD TOGETHER.

Thanks to Artplace America and our other partners we renovated an underused property at 1102 West Broadway, this summer. On Give to the Max Day we launched the #JXTABuild campaign and you stepped up and invested enough money to buy ALL of the tools to convert the new space into a wood shop. But we’re not done. We still need to raise funds for the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system to make the space functional and safe. We only have $12,000 $4000! more to raise  to reach our year end goal. Please make a year end gift today.

Your investment in Juxtaposition Arts sustains us – students, apprentices, artists, staff and board members. Your support also has a ripple effect in our community: This year, more then 100 people were employed at JXTA, including 65 youth, most of whom live in North Minneapolis. JXTA apprentices have beautified our community by creating visual artpublic artparks, providing design services and innovative community engagement around important issues. If properly equipped and supported we know we can do even more.

We’re grateful for you: Building a beautiful and just community together has never been more important.  

Thank you. Let’s Build.

DeAnna Cummings and Roger Cummings
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Cultural Producer

News // November 30, 2015

We’re excited to announce a Request for Qualifications for a project this coming winter/spring.

We’re looking for designers/fabricators (an individual or a team) to prototype a pedal-powered carousel – a fitness prototype to be installed in a public location in North Minneapolis in Summer 2016.

The selected applicant will have up to $16,000 to design and construct the prototype, working in collaboration with JXTA staff and our partners at the Trust for Public Land. North Minneapolis-based people/organizations/companies especially invited to apply.

More info is in the full RFQ available to download here.

The deadline for submission is Dec 22, 2015. Please help us spread the word!

News // August 10, 2015

hawwa4Co-instructor for Visual Art Literacy Training (VALT) Hawwa Youngmark, started with JXTA in the winter of 2013. After a year in the Contemporary and Public Art Studio, she was asked by lead instructor Drew Peterson to co-teach the JXTA introductory program. As the curator for the upcoming ARCHIVE exhibition on August 13, Hawwa takes a moment to describe why still life and self-portraits are important techniques in observational drawing and in art appreciation, how it brings out creative personalities, and why she loves teaching now. 

On still life as a path to self-portraiture

Self-portraits are our favorite assignment in the VALT program. From the start of each session, most of the young people that come into VALT want to learn how to draw realism in terms of the human figure and face. When we build up to self-portraiture, we cover all the basics first, including the fundamentals of how to draw observationally. Still life exercises teach them how to observe line, value and composition. All of those are key components to creating a portrait. The VALTers become really excited at this point in our curriculum. This can be a challenge for them, yet they push through this task and what they produce always turn out great.

On highlighting your identity

Creating a self-portrait isn’t just showing what you look like physically – you could easily take a photograph of yourself if you want to accomplish that. Instead, a self-portrait is a window into who you are. With that in mind, when you’re looking at your blank page, its important to identify and highlight what you want people to see about you, because that’s what is going to show up on paper.

Five things to keep in mind when you draw yourself

  1. hawwafilmroll3Know your intention of how you want to display yourself to the world. Preferably, all portraits are better done with a mirror because you are interacting with yourself live, instead of through photography which is a pre-made barrier.
  2. Add something unique to yourself or your setting that you’ll enjoy drawing.
  3. Be patient with your work. Don’t be afraid to go back and redo a particular element or area of your face.
  4. Be extremely observant. You should get into the habit of measuring everything by marking a feature.
  5. Be observational and critical, but don’t worry if what you draw doesn’t look exactly like you – there’s always stylized self-portraits that go outside of realism.

On appreciating art & culture through the experience of self-portraiture

Self-portraits are also a way to observe and understand all types of art. As VALTers learn, these drawings are so detailed and call for so much attention. That attention makes you appreciate other people’s art. If I could take any class, it’d be an art class about portraiture, specifically an art history class studying different portraiture forms of different geographies. In Morocco for example, I learned of a tradition where when someone passes, they’ll paint a likeness of them on a plank of wood. It is hung in the home where people can view it and a way to keep their spirit around. And that’s a form of portraiture. Overall, I get excited about the history and contemporary forms of portraits in general.

On ARCHIVE: The VALT legacy exhibition

The first day of VALT in the spring, day before, we had to organize all the work so that we could show samples to the class. I was blown away by such good work we had, specifically self-portraits and still life drawings. I started setting aside a pile of ones that I would put in a show. Then I thought, “why not actually have a show?” Its an exhibition to show off hidden VALT. My favorite thing about teaching is watching the participants create work that is so phenomenal. It is above and beyond average. So we’re putting the work and craft of our current students including alumni, in our formal gallery, which I find heightens the importance of the work.

Make plans to attend this exhibit at our Emerson Gallery, on Thursday, August 13, 2015, from 5:30pm-8pm. RSVP on Facebook.

News // July 31, 2015

The energy that emanates from FLOW seems to get greater each year that it takes place on and near West Broadway in North Minneapolis.

The annual art crawl originally started out as a small but burgeoning showcase of Northside creatives, initiated by the Northside Achievement Zone. Now 10 years later and tipping the scale at over 200 featured visual and performing artists this summer, FLOW continues to grow in community attendance and participation since its 2006 debut. As an homage to the 10 year anniversary of FLOW, we’re sharing ten highlights from the 3-days of dynamic artistic exchange and community engagement, including some of the special moments from JXTA.

/ 1 Traditional Hmong performance art

Iny Asian Dance Theater's "Longing for Qeej."

The Koom Siab Block Party, presented by Asian Media Access, showcased Iny Asian Dance Theater‘s dance drama “Longing for Qeej.” On Plymouth Ave, the street became the stage for bright flashes of public contemporary dance and Hip-Hop performances. Neighbors and residents got a front row seat to waves of music and dance outside the doors of their home.

/ 2 JXTA VALT studio’s make-your-own masterpiece workshop


Visitors to the VALT studio participated in a hands-on drawing lesson centered on two foundational drawing techniques all VALTers learn. Instructors Drew and Hawwa conducted the workshop in 1108 space for charcoal self-portrait drawings and Notan paper cut-outs, engaging resident artists from all spectrums and levels.

/ 3 Ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles 


Hands down, Emerge provided the best way to cool down on Emerson avenue, with youth employees scooping out ice cream cones and cups for $1 a pop. The non-profit continues to amp up their efforts to support youth and adults seeking employment – in 2014, 120 young people were placed in jobs.

/ 4 Northside artists show and tell 

Kayla Baribeau

Artist Kayla Baribeau.


The space at Homewood Studios was opened up by director George Roberts in an effort to host a conversation between the FLOW postcard artists. The circle formed by the artists and community members heard the artists’ feedback on how their artistic philosophy has been shaped and continues to shift based on their surroundings, experiences and passion.

/ 5 Barbershop art


We usually connotate the barbershop as being that focal point where men can spark up animated conversations and catch up on the latest news in the community while getting a line-up. What was cool to learn and see about World Class Barbers on Broadway Avenue is that it is woman-owned and featured local artists with work that showcased Black beauty in all of it’s glorious, dual-gendered, multi-facetedness. Plus, we felt right at home swiveling in those seats.

/ 6 Speaking up on equity in the Twin Cities

Photo courtesy of D.A. Bullock.

As participants of the Creative CityMaking: New Artist-City Collaborations, artists D.A. Bullock and Ariah Fine (pictured far right) brought out a podium, recorder and set the camera to record. They asked passersby to speak their mind on issues related to equity and policy in the Twin Cities – issues that affect each individual personally and on a community level. The voices highlighted will feed into the artists’ contribution to the larger work and strategy around the Blueprint for Equitable Engagement project.

/ 7 Pop-up boutiques with photos and musical vibes


We didn’t catch the fashion show, but we did grab some great deals on cute dresses and scarves from the Romantic Bohemian at the NEON pop-up boutique. Their newly acquired space, previously the Hennepin County West Broadway office, was set up for independent sellers, craftsmen and women, and designers for all things fashion and beauty.

/ 8 On the spot screen-printed take-home posters from the Welukea Group artist collective

2015flow2“The Welukea Group does not exclusively aim to draw attention to the vacant and unused spaces along the Broadway business district in North Minneapolis, but additively aspires to interrupt the predetermined narratives that currently surround these spaces.” Enough said, but we’ll add that the JXTA Public Art Studio’s newest exhibit made waves by inspiring critical thought and discourse on social dynamics and taboo topics through photography, artifact and aerosol composition.

 / 9 Ballet plies and Contemporary dance mash-upping


The newly updated Les Jolies Petites School of Dance made real the phrase, “dance is life.” The studio teemed with young people, parents and friends who took part in group dance and basic ballet demos. Directors Danyale Potts and Dr. Sharon Cook bring to their practice, their experience ranging from training in ballet, modern and African dance, plus instruction from the world-renowned Alivin Ailey American Dance Theater. Their goal? That “people from all walks of life would be blessed by what they see, feel and hear.”

/ 10 Elder Naima Richmond


If you haven’t met Naima yet, you’re going to need to – and soon. Set up in the Plymouth Ave Art Studio for the art crawl, poet, author, writer and resident, Richmond’s array of children books and illustrations are as sincere and bright as her smile and aura. Her favorite work, “Beautiful Brown Snowlady,” is a book that you should add to your library. Why? According to Richmond, “Because everyone needs to read the book about the first and only brown snowlady.” Simple, plain and real.

Find more images of the FLOW on our Facebook page, and more press-related links at City Pages, the Star Tribune, & Minnesota Public Radio News

News // July 13, 2015

Construction is currently underway for JXTA’s new Community Design Studio and Fabrication Lab. fablabconstructionoutside copy

Sited on the intersection of West Broadway and Emerson in North Minneapolis, the 1102 space formerly functioned as the offices of the former owners Jim Ronning and Ed Gearty, as well as a woodwork shop for client and in-house projects.  The building renovation was made possible by grants from ArtPlace America and West Broadway Area Coalition. When complete the building will house our Environmental Design Studio and fabrication space where apprentices will work with adult designers and organizers on projects that make public spaces more beautiful, functional, and accessible.

Enviro Design Studio instructor Sam Ero-Phillips served as the lead designer for the 1102 renovation. North Minneapolis-based firm Mobilize Design & Architecture served as the architect of record for this project, and Sam was given the opportunity to use the hours on the project to put towards his hours needed to complete his goal of becoming a registered architect in the state of Minnesota.

Sam explains, “When I first started teaching in the Enviro Lab in 2012 we moved around the campus. There was no permanent space where we could spread out and make work.” Because of the program’s expansion and a growing number of both youth employed through the studio and the demand from clients, Sam’s main concerns included providing seating for up to 12 people and a space to work collaboratively and an area for displaying drawings and blueprints and more.


Future home of the Enviro Design Studio work and learning space.


Additionally, the redesigned 1102 building will be a space for JXTA’s newest collaborative lab, Tactical Urbanism, and also house the Fabrication Lab, an area portioned out for the improved and more functional wood shop. Under the guidance of instructors, apprentices will learn how to produce test models and final products for both lab assignments and client work.

“Two cool things about this project are that there are two labs in one space and it’s a design and build firm run and powered by youth that serves the needs of the community.” Sam says in regards to the community aspects of the renovation project. “We’ve been around for a while and with this project, we’re adding visibility and availability to the neighborhood at large here. Being on the ground floor allows us street presence. As people are walking by or waiting for the bus, they can look in and see our work on the wall and see apprentices working. I think that is going to increase our ability to market and provide our design services for people in the community by being this visible. We want you to come walk in and engage with us. We’re providing accessibility to design.”

The renovation began in February of 2015 and is expected to be completed by mid-July/early August. Come for the soft opening of it at the 2015 FLOW on Saturday, July 25th.

News // July 12, 2015

Imagine building your dream neighborhood or the city you’ve always wanted to live in. What buildings would you create? What would they look like?


“Inspiration comes from things you want to do, what you like to see and what you want to be around,” says Johnneta. From l-r: Dara, Johnneta and Alaja.

That premise was the fuel behind Niko Kubota’s winning project for the 2015 Creative City Challengemini_polis. Dreams and designs were collected and created from neighborhoods around Minneapolis, and the JXTA Environmental Design Studio was commissioned to rep North Minneapolis.

Dara Crawford, Alaja Harris and Johnneta Hughes were among the 12 apprentices assigned different areas of Northside to re-imagine, redesign & recreate, with the guidance of Enviro Studio instructors Sam and Coal. After hand drawing for approximately two weeks, they created scaled models then employed Sketch Up to use exact measurements for the final fabrication. Using a single word to describe the two month design process and Johnneta laughs and starts with the adjective ‘hectic.’

“We all designed our own buildings,” Dara says. “Mine had a restaurant and a movie theater at the bottom. The top part was housing, and I had outdoor seating and stuff like that.”

“And if we didn’t design our own building, we got buildings to redesign for North Minneapolis,” Alaja chimed in. “I did Cub Foods.” She and Johnneta worked together to create a new and improved version of the grocery building, adding unique elements like day-lighting and a sunroof to allow natural light to open up the space. “In Cub, we noticed that there are no windows on the sides or the front doors,” Johnneta explains. (Dara interjects with, “It’s like a big warehouse”). “With our redesign,” Johnnetta continues, “there’s more natural lighting and more windows, so you can see what’s going on outside. There’s a better seating area too.”

“I do like light,” Alaja adds as she describes the personal inspiration she used for the project. “My room is the lightest in my house.”

For Dara, the overarching feature of her design for mini_polis was combining living and recreational activities that made sense when they came together. “I think a unique aspect of mine is how it is mixed-use. My building has an atrium and a courtyard. It has a bunch of stuff and outdoor seating. And my roof is tight too.”


mini_polis launch at the 2015 Northern Spark festival at the Minneapolis Convention Center lawn. Official photo from mini_polis (2015).

mini_polis project manager Niko approached JXTA after becoming more and more interested in working with the Enviro Studio. He would catch glimpses of the campus’ aesthetic while working nearby on West Broadway. “I was really intrigued by all the work going on physically at JXTA – a really exciting collage of color, design, and narrative.” The SocialSculpture team, a conglomeration of artists and Niko himself, hosted community building workshops with schools and non-profits around the city for neighbors to engage in building and making. The final designs of the city debuted at this year’s Northern Spark festival, installed in the front yard of the Minneapolis Convention Center.

As a synergistic whole, the three apprentices agreed that mini_polis was both a unique idea and an important installation to create. Dara started by making the observation that not many people could have come up with a project like this: “I liked the whole thought process and the idea to create a miniature Minneapolis, inside of Minneapolis. I also liked how it’s not just one person working on this but other groups of people too.”

The input factor too, of having a say in how your neighborhood looks and the amenities provided in it, resonated with Alaja and Johnneta.

Alaja: “I felt like I had a voice when I was working on this project.”

Johnneta: “You felt like you were being heard?”

Alaja: “Yeah. Because I’m pretty sure we weren’t the only ones that feel like Cub is just a box. So I feel like we’re putting in input from everybody.”

Johnneta: “I think [this project] taps into everybody’s inner creativity, for them to see what they want their neighborhood to be like. It makes you think about the community in the future. About how you can help change it, and make change happen. Make it happen.”


mini_polis will be up through October 2015 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Make sure to visit it. And find more information about the installation on the official website.