“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”
The Westmoreland and BOOM‘s upcoming 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.
Young will start her 7-month residency at the Westmoreland in March 2022. She will create an
installation within the Museum while also working on a public art piece in the community.
“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 and BOOM Concepts’ Artist-in-Residency program features 4-6 artists annually and 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.