Pittsburgh's People of the Year 2021: Visual Arts | Pittsburgh’s People of the Year | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh's People of the Year 2021: Visual Arts

Janel Young paints Pittsburgh

click to enlarge Pittsburgh's People of the Year 2021: Visual Arts
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Janel Young
Even if you’ve never heard of Janel Young, chances are you’ve seen her work. Anyone who uses Yahoo likely saw the logo the Pittsburgh artist designed for the web service’s 2021 Black History Month campaign. But while Young has received recognition in the digital world, her work is better known in the real world, including a number of public murals she painted throughout Pittsburgh in the last year. Her work "Pathway to Joy" on Fort Duquesne Boulevard became the centerpiece for the Three Rivers Arts Festival, and she painted her first two 3D murals as the inaugural artist for Walnut Capital of Bakery Square’s Community Public Art Program. She also used her art to address important issues — “Respect the Space,” a mural she painted at a Downtown bus stop, encourages public transit users to social distance from fellow passengers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Plus, she’s encouraging folks to read. Young was one of four artists commissioned to create a special edition library card for the 125th anniversary of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.