Community health and safety amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been a predominant focus of our lives recently, and Downtown Pittsburgh has been challenged to retain its typical vibrancy and energy.
As the city begins to reactivate, one thing that can significantly uplift and inform Downtown is artwork. The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has teamed up with local artist Janel Young to curate social distance designs from four additional Pittsburgh artists for New Space Spheres, a project expressive of physical distancing and the new societal space we are in, bringing attention to the new normal of how we interact, experience, and define “safety” with a colorful twist.
Click on each image below for a closer look. You can also download the program guide (PDF) here.
Janel Young, Project Curator & Visual Artist
Janel Young (also known as JY Originals) is a Pittsburgh native, painter and traveling muralist who focuses on expressionist and landscape works. Janel’s style of bright colors, masterful blending and geometric inspiration has been recognized locally and internationally, from Pittsburgh to NYC to the coast of Sydney, Australia.
Ebtehal Badawi, Artist & Photographer
Ebtehal Badawi is an international artist who completed a mastery program at the Malian Art Institute in pursuing her goal to become an art therapist. Her art is noticeable for being colorful and uplifting. She is also a writer and photographer. She designed and led an anti-bullying and anti-racism movement which started with a poster “Pittsburgh Builds Bridges.”
Juliandra Jones, Visual Artist
Juliandra Jones is a self-taught artist from Las Vegas, NV. After obtaining her degree in Criminal Justice and Pre-Law from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2014, she moved to Pittsburgh, PA where she began to explore social justice through her artwork. She soon shifted my focus to empowering women of color and documenting her own life experiences, drawing inspiration from her surroundings to create works of mixed media.
Higu Rose, Illustrator & Cartoonist
Higu Rose is an illustrator, cartoonist, and local terror living in Pittsburgh, PA based in fiction and autobiography, Higu’s work focuses on experiences of being black, trans, and a little bonkers. Their narratives are a constant endeavor to understand the self and society, with a snarling desire to love and live. A real keystone state bad catboy.
Kamara Townes, Visual Artist
Kamara Townes is a Pittsburgh-based artist known professionally as Wavy Wednesday. Her artwork is an interplay of fun, femininity, and black culture. It represents the more playful aspects of her experience as a black female artist and the responsibilities that come with it.
New Space Spheres, 2020
curated by Janel Young, featuring Juliandra Jones, Ebtehal Badawi, Higu Rose, and Kamara Townes
Coming soon to various locations around Downtown.
Developed in 2013, the Downtown Activation and Public Art initiative is a multi-year effort to enhance the Downtown neighborhood through public art events, creating thoughtful and innovative programming that enlivens unique areas throughout Downtown Pittsburgh. Our efforts employ object-, programming-, and community-based strategies to create a more sustainable neighborhood.