- DATE: Tue. Jul. 14, 2015
- TIME: 9:00 am
Session #2: July 14 – July 30, 2015 Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays from 9am-12pm.
Session #2: July 14 – July 30, 2015 Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays from 9am-12pm.
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.
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.
That premise was the fuel behind Niko Kubota’s winning project for the 2015 Creative City Challenge, mini_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 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.
Session #1: June 16 – July 10, 2015, meets Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays from 9am-12pm.
*Holiday break starts on June 29 – July 3, 2015.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And we’re here to celebrate that accomplishment by recognizing their contributions with art & design in the community, based on their creativity and work at JXTA. To put it best, these apprentices put our philosophy of ‘learning by doing’ into real action.
Click on the photos to get to know a little about these talented individuals as they share different thoughts that include reflection on their own artistic development, what artists inspire them and what the importance of being an artist/designer/creative/maker is (and more!). Congrats to all of them!
I was in elementary school and JXTA came to my school and did a mural for us. Then a couple of kids were taken here for a fieldtrip. I was really interested in it and started taking classes when I was 10 years old. I have been working with JXTA for 7 years, with 5 years in the Textile Lab.
I love it, its like a second home. It provides a lot of structure and its almost like second nature coming here. In my lab, I like that there is no one way to do anything. It is a technical process but you are expected to adapt it your own way and kind of run with it. There are different procedures and alternative ways to learn.
I think the very first class I took here. It was basically VALT before VALT was a thing. I was the youngest person there, I was 10 and everyone else were seniors and juniors in high school. We had to do a critique of our pieces and stand up, and I remember being really self-conscious about my art. But the teacher I had, Peyton, really pushed me and I was really proud of myself, standing in front of these really advanced students and showing my work.
I’ve attended many more art galleries in the community. Even if I can’t pay for anything, I think it helps for them to know that they have that support. Its good to know that people like what you’re doing and they want you to keep doing it.
Now I’m going to college, study film. Hopefully I can get some projects done and make some films. I want to make films that have a bit more representation of different people – women, people of color, transgender people. I definitely want to come back here in the summertime and instruct. I feel like this place has given me a lot and I want to give that back.
You’re making your art for you because that’s your contribution to society and the world and you should be able to stand behind it and be proud of it.
Through Step Up. I’ve been working with JXTA for about 3 years now and this past school year was my first school year working with JXTA. Before that I only worked during the summers.
I like that even though for the most part each apprentice has their own focus in terms of what do they want to make, but at the end of it in general, we all have a good sense of togetherness and we can help build off of each other and collaborate. Like, we can easily get together and work on a commission piece and it won’t be a problem, no clash.
My biggest challenge in the beginning was I wasn’t really confident in my artwork and I definitely didn’t give it a lot of time. I had to think on conceptually what I wanted to make or what I wanted to convey. That was the hardest thing because not only was it difficult for me to talk about what do I want to make, but to just talk about my work in general, because I never really spent the time developing it until I got here. As time went on, the encouragement and support of the other apprentices and my instructors helped me build off of that, so I’m better now.
I would tell them to really listen to the tips that their instructors give them, and work as much as you can, even though you may feel like you don’t know how to do this or are afraid to try it. Just try it and don’t be afraid to work it out. As long as you take the time to develop a skill it doesn’t matter your skill level is when you start, when you devote time to it you can always grow.
I’d pick purple. It’s just a beautiful color to me and I think that all of the people here, they’re beautiful. It’s like a cool color. Well, it has blue and red, warm, cool, I don’t know why. :)
I was in an art exhibition for the Contemporary Art Studio, and that was pretty cool. I’ve never had that happen before, so I’m just excited about doing more stuff like that, getting my work out there so other people can see it. Currently I’m working with some friends, a few from JXTA and a couple outside of JXTA on making this social artist event for kids our age to just come out and connect with other artists, and try to get everybody to get to know each other and build that sense of artist community. Hopefully this can be an annual thing.
You’re able to create something and no matter what you create, someone can interpret it without you having to say words about it.
Through an internship through Step-Up. I’ve been with JXTA for a year and this is coming to my second summer.
Learning how to build. I don’t like the design work too much, but learning how to build, I love it.
Building a bike shed because it took a lot of hard work. We even worked out in the rain sometimes.
My biggest challenge was working with Sketch Up online, and I hate using the computers. But it’s just something that you have to do and once you learn how to do it, it gets easier over time.
Red and orange. Warm and loving.
I will be going to college. I don’t know what I’m going to major in yet, I’m still undecided. I want to go to Augsburg or Macalester or Concordia.
Being your own person, being you. Bring out your own creativity.
Through Step Up in the summer of 2013.
We do designing online and then we actually build it. I like building, and I like sketching using Sketch-up because you get to use your own ideas.
My instructors Sam and Coal. I’ve been working with Sam for the longest but I also like Coal because she majored in landscape architecture so I look up to her and I ask her stuff and she helps me.
My first year here, I presented about this bike rack, and it got picked. It’s outside the Hennepin County Services Hub building. It was hard at first but I got used to it.
Well I’m in Environmental design and I’m in Tactical, and in Tactical we go outside and we ask people what they want to see more of over Northside, or what they don’t like. So it has helped me with my communication skills with people. Working here has helped me know the real life the real world.
Blue. It’s calm and you feel comfortable.
I’m planning on going to MCTC for two years to take my generals and then I plan on transferring to the University of Minnesota for their art program or something, I don’t know yet. I want something that has to do with landscape architecture.
It’s important to love what you do, because if you’re not interested or if you’re not fully committed to it, you’re not going to present your best.