This Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 18-19), a pop up art show will be held, featuring a New York City artist who, deep down, bleeds Black and Gold.
Janel Young was born and raised on the South Side, attending Beltzhoover Elementary School, then Rogers CAPA middle school and Schenley High School.
It was Ms. MaryAnn Miller, Young’s elementary school art teacher, who recognized the talent in Young and “encouraged me to pursue visual arts more purposefully. Ms. Miller took me under her wing and showed me different drawing and painting techniques,” Young recalled in an exclusive interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier.
That led to her acceptance into CAPA as a visual arts major for grades 6-8. Her love for painting, Young said, “developed in seventh grade when I was selected to be part of Rogers’ mural painting team.”
The love for arts only grew as she entered Schenley High School through PPS’ magnet program. She took on the International Baccalaureate art program under Ms. Karen Price, and had her first art exhibit of her work in 2009. “From there, I held art, especially painting, dear to my heart and never looked back,” Young said.
Upon graduating from Schenley—as class president, no less—in 2009, Young embarked and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and International Studies from Penn State University in 2013.
These days, Young is a resident of the Big Apple, moving there five years ago for a job opportunity as a digital strategist in Manhattan. “New York City’s diversity, culture and inspiring creative community have kept me in the city and allowed me to showcase my talent, as well as connect with other like-minded creatives,” Young told the Courier.
Her art has been on display as far away as Australia, but this weekend, it will be her first solo art exhibition in Pittsburgh since high school. Aptly-titled, “HOME is Where the HE(ART) is,” there will be new canvas and wood pieces and fine art prints for sale, live painting by Young, “JY Originals” merchandise such as T-shirts, hats, etc., a DJ (Twelve45) and free refreshments. The art show will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. each day (Aug. 18-19) at the Glitter Box Theater, 460 Melwood Ave.
“Every artist pulls from a different source of inspiration during their creative process, but I believe the common thread is internalizing personal experiences,” Young told the Courier. “Many people talk about ‘creative juices’ as if they can be bought off the shelf in a carton on demand, but the reality is that creativity is a real process, and it’s not always a pretty or exciting one. There are, of course, moments of magic that happen and propel an idea, but other times it may take a lot of digging and looking at the world from multiple angles/through multiple lenses before a noteworthy idea comes into play. The key is to enjoy the process in its entirety, which, for artists like myself, means taking in everything around me (from nature, to politics, to relationships) and finding the beauty in expressing it.”
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