Westmoreland Museum announces residency with Pittsburgh muralist Janel Young | Visual Art | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Westmoreland Museum announces residency with Pittsburgh muralist Janel Young

click to enlarge Westmoreland Museum announces residency with Pittsburgh muralist Janel Young
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Janel Young
Artist and Pittsburgh native Janel Young has made her mark all over the city with a number of public projects. Now she will expand her influence to neighboring Westmoreland County with a new partnership.

It was announced that Young, who produces work under her company JY Originals, will begin a seven-month residency at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pa. During the residency, which begins on March 6, Young will create an installation within the museum while also working on a public art project in the community, according to a press release.

Young will also interact with the community through free public programs to be announced at a later date on the museum’s website.

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

The Westmoreland’s artist-in-residency program hosts two to four artists annually and works to emphasize 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 program is part of an ongoing partnership with the Pittsburgh-based arts incubator and gallery BOOM Concepts.

An active and impressively prolific artist, Young has completed a number of public installations and murals painted throughout Pittsburgh, both individually and in working with other artists. New Space Spheres, a series of pandemic-inspired social distance artworks, appeared throughout the city in 2020. Visitors to the 2021 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival most likely saw "Pathway to Joy," a large asphalt mural Young created for the event's Allegheny Overlook pop-up park experience. Also included is "Heroes on the Horizon," a permanent three-dimensional mural in Larimer’s Bakery Square done with students from local schools Lincoln K-5 and Urban Academy of Greater Pittsburgh.

Young has also made an impact outside of Pittsburgh with "Be Open To…," a work displayed at the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York City. In February 2021, Young became the first artist commissioned to design the Black History Month logo for the online search engine Yahoo.

These, along with other projects like her "Respect the Space" mural still on view at the bus stop located at Smithfield Street and Sixth Avene in Downtown, led to Young being named as one of Pittsburgh City Paper's People of the Year in the category of Visual Arts 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," says Young. "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.”