JXTA's Contemporary Arts Studio is one of five different labs that give space for teen artists to work on their craft. The other labs include graphic design, screen-printing, public art and murals, and environmental design. Teens are paid an hourly wage to work in these different labs, which in turn create commissioned pieces for local businesses and organizations.
So far, the program hasn't made a huge push for selling the artworks in the gallery, but as an organization they are looking at different models that might bring more income for the program and the artists. "Mostly we like them to be thinking about their own work," says Nate Young, a teaching artist at JXTA.
As with the other labs, the Contemporary Art Studio prepares students for careers as artists. The staff talk to the apprentices about colleges they might want to attend, and the business of being an artist.
The works in the current show include paintings, drawing, collage, and one piece that is a sculptural work informed by drawing.
That piece, Picks and Crowns by Aislinn Mayfield, uses wire to create a line drawing-type image. Another work, Whatcha Say??? by Hawa Youngmark, is a lifelike drawing responding to a Lorraine O'Grady piece that was part of the Walker Art Center's "Radical Presence" show. Youngmark incorporated elements of O'Grady's framing in the new work.
The show also includes a number of collages, a pastel and acrylic drawing by Maisy Anderson-Murre, and paintings by Virdel Brown that incorporate realistic and abstract elements.
The closing reception
featuring the four artists, who make up about half of the total number of apprentices in the Contemporary Art Studio program, takes place Thursday, March 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be a brief talk at 6 p.m. The Emerson Gallery is located at 2007 Emerson Ave. N. in Minneapolis.