Celebrated painter, muralist Janel Young begins Artist-in-Residency at The Westmoreland

GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania (February 28, 2022) – Artist Janel Young of JY Originals will begin a seven-month residency at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art on March 6. During her residency, she will be creating an installation within the Museum while also working on a public art project in the community. The Westmoreland’s Artist-in-Residency Program is part of an ongoing partnership with BOOM Concepts, which to date has provided residencies for five artists, including Young.

Known for a number of public installations and murals painted throughout Pittsburgh, Young completed three major projects in the past several years: New Space Spheres, Pathway to Joy, and Heroes on the Horizon. In collaboration with four additional artists, she curated New Space Spheres, a series of pandemic-inspired social distance artworks appearing throughout the city in 2020. Her Pathway to Joy, a large brightly-colored geometric asphalt mural, was created for the Allegheny Overlook pop-up park experience that kicked off the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival in the summer of 2021, and Larimer’s Bakery Square features her Heroes on the Horizon, a permanent three-dimensional mural, which she created after working with students from local schools Lincoln K-5 and Urban Academy of Greater Pittsburgh.

Young has also achieved national and international recognition for commissions, including her canvas titled “Be Open To…” which was displayed at the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York City, and for major companies, including Yahoo!, where Young was the first artist ever commissioned to design their Black History Month logo in 2021.

“I am thrilled to be expanding my practice into Westmoreland County and grateful for such a wonderful opportunity that BOOM Concepts and the Museum have put together. There is a lot to be excited about, and I’m looking forward to not just contributing, but learning and experimenting during my time there as well,” commented Janel Young regarding her upcoming residency at The Westmoreland.

“We are delighted to welcome Janel to The Westmoreland. Her work is vibrant and joyful, playful and poignant, and we are so excited to see what she creates during the residency,” said Erica Nuckles, Director of Learning, Engagement and Partnerships.

During the course of her residency, there will be opportunities for the community to meet and interact with Young through free public programs that will be announced at a later date on the Museum’s website: thewestmoreland.org/events.
The Westmoreland’s Artist-in-Residency Program, which features two to four artists annually, emphasizes 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.

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art Artist-in-Residency Program is presented in partnership with BOOM Concepts and made possible by generous support from The Pittsburgh Foundation and The New Sun Rising Arts | Equity | Reimagined program.

Learn more about the program at thewestmoreland.org/programs/artist-in-residency-program.
About Artist Janel Young
Celebrated painter and muralist Janel Young of JY Originals is a Pittsburgh native, now based in Chicago, who is on a mission to inspire through creativity and play. Young’s style of vivid colors and geometric designs have been recognized nationally and internationally, from Pittsburgh to the coast of Sydney, Australia.

Prior to pursuing art full-time, Young attended Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, PA as an International Baccalaureate student athlete and went on to study Business Marketing and International Studies at Penn State University as a Bunton-Waller Fellow. She relocated to NYC in 2013 to work in public relations as a Digital Content Strategist for industries, including healthcare, tech and non-profits for 5 years, before becoming a full-time artist in 2018.
After returning to her hometown in 2019, she completed an installation of Pittsburgh’s first art basketball court at McKinley Park in Beltzhoover. Called The Home Court Advantage Project, the mural was inspired by connecting with local kids and neighbors who participated in the design and painting process. Her community-centered effort had such an impact that the City of Pittsburgh designated October 23rd 2019 “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 response to the pandemic in 2020, Young led a project with four additional Pittsburgh artists to create social distance artwork throughout the city called New Space Spheres. Last year, she created her largest-led mural to date, Pathway to Joy, at the Allegheny Overlook pop-up park experience that kicked off then Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, and her first three-dimensional mural, Heroes on the Horizon at Bakery Square, which was completed alongside a residency program with students from local schools, Lincoln and Urban Academy.

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

Young is also active in the community in Pittsburgh, New York, and Chicago. As the Community Artist in Residence at UrbanKind Institute based in Pittsburgh, Young utilizes visual arts as a communication tool to connect people to equity and justice values and initiatives in Pittsburgh and Chicago. Young has also collaborated with youth-focused organizations to host in-person and virtual coloring events, where New York and Pittsburgh sponsors and non-profits donated her self-illustrated Color Your Crown natural hair coloring book to kids. Lastly, she continues to lead public art projects, youth workshops and speaking opportunities in different cities.

Recently, Young has received accolades for her work being named 2021 Person of the Year in Visual Arts by Pittsburgh City Paper and acknowledged as a finalist for the 2021 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award.

Visit her website at janel-young.com.