Artists in Residence

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art established a new Artist-in-Residency Program, made possible by generous support from The Pittsburgh Foundation, in collaboration with BOOM Concepts in September 2020.

The program, which featured 5 artists, emphasized the Museum’s commitment to engaging and supporting Black and marginalized artists, to promoting equity in the arts, and to sharing compelling and meaningful cultural experiences with the regional community.

During their residency, the artist in residence resided in a property owned by The Westmoreland within walking distance of the Museum and downtown Greensburg. The Center for Creative Connections, our interactive hands-on space, was transformed into a flexible, open studio space for the artists to work.

Each residency varied in length depending on the individual needs and availability of the artist. Artists were expected to use the span of the residency to create, study, investigate, and reflect on their artistic practice and were given full access to the collection and the archives, along with support from the curators, educators, conservators, and other staff. Artists were able to use the residency as an opportunity to work on a new body of work or develop a new process and were encouraged to engage with the Museum’s collection and community.

See our past Artists in Residence below.

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art Artist-in-Residency Program was presented in partnership with BOOM Concepts and made possible by generous support from The Pittsburgh Foundation.

Artists in Residence

Photo of Janel Young

Janel Young

Residency: Late March – September 2022

The Westmoreland’s newest Artist-in-Residence is on a mission: inspire through creativity and play. Celebrated painter and muralist Janel Young of JY Originals, LLC is a Pittsburgh native and Penn State graduate who worked as a digital strategist in public relations for a firm in New York City before going full-time as an artist in 2018. Since returning to her hometown in 2019, her art and mission have had such an impact that the City of Pittsburgh designated October 23rd “Janel Young Day.” Inspired by this honor and further putting her mission into action, she established the annual JY Originals Scholarship for Creatives to support young adults pursuing the arts.


In 2019, she completed an installation of Pittsburgh’s first art basketball court at McKinley Park in Beltzhoover, the neighborhood where she grew up. Called The Home Court Advantage Project, the mural was inspired by connecting with local kids and neighbors to get their input into the design. In response to the pandemic in 2020, she led a project with other artists to create social distance artwork throughout the city called New Space Spheres. In the summer of 2021, Young created her largest-led mural to date, Pathway to Joy at the Allegheny Overlook pop-up park experience that kicked off the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.

In addition to her work in Pittsburgh, Young has also achieved national and international recognition for commissions, including one displayed at the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York City and for major companies like Yahoo!, where Young was the first artist ever commissioned to design their Black History Month logo in 2021.



Photo of Christiane Dolores

Christiane Dolores

Residency: Early August 2021 – February 2022

Multi-platform cross-disciplinary artist, Christiane Dolores, a.k.a. Madame Dolores, employs sound, vision, text, and performance as storytelling tools to create radical, sometimes controversial, cultural engagements. At the heart of her work is a humanistic empathy that questions our inability to coexist and reimagines new mythologies of inclusion and belonging. Her practice is rooted in responding to compelling questions about cultural definitions, the root of hatred, cognitive dissonance, binary systems, and the ongoing social conflicts of Us vs Them. She thinks of what she does as social-cultural anthropology, employing the ethnographic technique by culling audio, text and images to create a record of our struggle to be human. Her textual, visual, musical work responds to burgeoning questions about human behavior and inhuman cruelty. How are these confounding, at times, disturbing actions seen through the lens of justice, compassion and understanding and how will that propel us to evolve?

Madame Dolores has earned many accolades and opportunities for her work. In 2017, she received the Pittsburgh Business Times Women First award, and in 2014, was commissioned by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to create a song and lead Pittsburgh’s inaugural Complaints Choir during the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. She has also been recognized as the winner of an 2010 August Wilson Center Fellowship; an awardee of a 2011 and 2020 grant from Advancing the Black Arts in support of solo musical releases; a 2007 honoree at the New Hazlett Theatre “Celebrating Women in the Arts; a 2003 winner of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship for World/Jazz/Blues musical composition; and a 2002 Pittsburgh Magazine “40 under 40” award winner. She received funding from Sprout for two MiniM Music Festivals for the Blues and Jazz genres and for “Listen to This, featuring poetess, Ursula Rucker; a commission from Pittsburgh Foundation to write her first play, Saffronia; funding from Multi-Cultural Arts Initiative to produce Saffronia: the Mulatto Slave, which came in 2nd place at the Trinidad Theater Festival, in 2016.

Madame Dolores is the founding member of the #notwhite collective, a group of 13 femme artists who use their art to make their stories visible as they excavate histories, expose realities, and exorcise oppression. She has also been very dedicated to the arts community as the artist relations manager at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, where she worked for 15 years leading several landmark programs and increasing engagement and support of typically underserved artists, especially people of color and women, and is now currently working at the Pittsburgh International Airport’s Art as their technical assistant of arts and culture.

Photo of Gavin Benjamin

Gavin Benjamin

Residency: Late March – July 2021

Benjamin combines original analog photography and appropriated images with collage, paint and varnish to create rich works, which he says, “call back to baroque traditions, but use elements of current culture to provoke, critique and explore.”

Benjamin’s work investigates the intersection of culture, media, politics, fashion, and design, addressing questions that confront a man of color in America today. He states that, “My work reflects everything that I’m thinking – it includes everything that I love and everything that I’m challenged by. It’s honest and curious and bright and thoughtful. And sometimes a little dark. It’s all of the things that made me want to be a professional artist in the first place.”

Benjamin was born in Guyana, South America and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. During this time, he interned with legendary portrait photographer Arnold Newman. After school, he worked at agencies representing commercial and advertising photographers, prop stylists, and hair and makeup artists, and then went on to work as a freelance production coordinator/photo editor with stints at Kenneth Cole productions, Esquire Magazine, Hachette Filipacchi Media, and Good Housekeeping magazine.

Photo of Anqwenique


Residency: Late September 2020 – March 2021

Pittsburgh native, Anqwenique, is an extremely versatile vocalist and educator specializing in opera, classical music, jazz, and soul. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Voice Performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Anqwenique is the founder and director of Groove Aesthetic, a Pittsburgh based multidisciplinary artist collective experimenting with contemporary performance and collaborative processes. She has performed and collaborated with Staycee Pearl Dance Project, Attack Theater, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, David Bernard Romain, Luna Loba Collective/Shey Rivera-Rios and many others.

Anqwenique has been recognized with many awards and opportunities for her creative work. In 2017 she was named “Best Singer” by the Pittsburgh Magazine readers poll, listed among  Who’s Next in Music by The Incline and 40 Under 40 by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP. She is on the faculty of the Clazz International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy.

Anqwenique has been very active in the arts and education community as a teaching artist, consultant, program manager and advisor. Currently she serves as Director of Programs for Arts Education Collaborative. She is also the Studio Manager of BOOM Concepts, working to provide affordable studio space and resources to artists and creative entrepreneurs.

Photo of D.S. Kinsel

D.S. Kinsel

Residency: Late September 2020 – March 2021

D.S. Kinsel is an award winning creative entrepreneur and cultural agitator. He expresses his creativity through the mediums of painting, installation, curating, non-traditional performance and public art. Kinsel’s work puts focus on themes of space keeping, urban tradition, hip-hop, informalism, and cultural re-appropriation. D.S. has served creative residencies at Most Wanted Fine Art, Artist Image Resource, The Homewood Residency Program, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburgh Public Schools Carnegie Mellon University Digital Arts Studio, AS220, the Pittsburgh Glass Center and the Sedona Summer Artist Colony. He also served as the curator of #ACTIVISTprint, a collaborative public art program of The Andy Warhol Museum and Artist Image Resource and as Senior Producer at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

D.S. is the co-founder of BOOM Concepts, founded in 2014. BOOM Concepts is a creative hub dedicated to the advancement of black and brown artists representing marginalized communities. BOOM Concepts is located in Pittsburgh and over the course of time has curated 50 exhibitions on-site, paid out over $45k in artists’ and contract fees, and produced 200+ events across the country. BOOM serves as a space for field building, knowledge sharing, mentorship, and storytelling. In its 6th year, BOOM Concepts consistently challenges artists and communities to find new and innovative ways to write their own narratives.

D.S. has served as a board member of Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse and serves on the advisory board for Shady Lane School and the Black Transformative Arts Network. A former AmeriCorps Public Ally member, D.S. has also been recognized as an Awardee of the Pittsburgh Courier Fab 40, Pittsburgh Magazine PUMP 40 Under 40, Pittsburgh Tech Council Creative of The Year, the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette’s “Top Ten People To Meet in 2016,” and the Incline’s “Who’s Next” for 2018. Kinsel recently participated in the “The Art of Leadership” program through Rockwood Leadership Institute and Leadership Pittsburgh.

Anqwenique and D.S., who happen to be married, have developed an exciting line up of free public programs, including a live chess match, singing workshops, and an engaging in conversation! To attend one of their upcoming virtual public programs, click here.