News // October 3, 2016

Macalester @JXTA


Mellon Mays Fellows Andrea Kvietok and Ayaan Natala

Six Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows from Macalester College participated in JXTA’s Free Wall: Intro to Aerosol Painting 3-week workshop this summer!

Professor Duchess Harris (a Mellon Mays Fellow in 1991) says that “the purpose of the program is to mentor undergraduates to become graduate students, and eventually faculty.  We are interested in enhancing the numbers of faculty who come from under-represented backgrounds.

She applied for the current fellows to participate in JXTA’s Free Wall class because she felt the course would help to foster discipline, study, practice and cohesiveness as the new cohort began their two-year fellowship program.

Without a doubt, the community at JXTA taught me about the importance of establishing bonds with your community and being present, despite your current job(s). Being in the ivory tower of academia, scholars sometimes forget that the real world exists and tend to isolate themselves under the ‘protective’ blanket of books, theories, and writing. Nevertheless, academics have the implicit task of being public intellectuals and striving to be an active member of the community.

–Andrea Kvietok, a junior at Macalester College from Lima, Peru

I was thrilled when Duchess called to sign the fellows up for FreeWall.  It was an out-of-the-box way for her to help the students bond to each other, and to establish a connection to the North Minneapolis community, a neighborhood that most of them wouldn’t otherwise have a reason get to know.  This is the latest partnership spanning more than a decade of collaboration between Juxtaposition Arts and faculty and students at Macalester College.  Our work is better for it and I think there’s is too.

–DeAnna Cummings, CEO, Juxtaposition Arts

The fellows were Malik Earle (New Hampshire), Ayaan Natala (Saint Paul, MN), Andrea Kvietok (Lima, Peru), Tracy Pham (Bloomington, MN) Jordana Palmer (Kingston, Jamaica) and Ryan Harris (Philadelphia, PA).