Public Arts discussion comes to The State Theater

The Westcott House and Springfield Public Art have partnered for the next large scale public art project for Springfield.

An open community forum will be hosted on Monday, Nov.6, to discuss Springfield art and hear from Janel Young, a prolific artist based in Chicago, who has been commissioned to create a new piece of art for Springfield.

Celebrate and Discuss Springfield Art begins at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 6, in The State Theater, 19 South Fountain Ave. Registration is encouraged here.

“We want to update the community on the projects that Springfield Public Art has helped bring to life in Downtown,” says Chris Schutte, vice president of destination marketing and communications for The Greater Springfield Partnership. “And we want to introduce them to our next collaborator - Janel Young.”

Schutte says Young has ties to Springfield, and her name came up in a committee meeting.

“After reviewing her qualifications, the committee was fully on board,” says Schutte.

Young is a Pittsburgh native, based in Chicago as of 2022. She is a painter, muralist and community leader on a mission to inspire through creativity and play. 

Young’s work has been recognized locally and internationally, from New York City – where she resided for 6 years – to the coast of Sydney, Australia.

For three years as the Community Artist in Residence at UrbanKind Institute based in Pittsburgh, Young utilized visual arts as a communication tool to connect people to equity and justice values and initiatives in Pittsburgh and Chicago. She continues to lead public art projects, youth workshops and speaking opportunities as she expands her art network in different cities.

In 2021, Young received recognition for her extraordinary work as an artist, painter and muralist. She was named 2021 Person of the Year in Visual Arts by Pittsburgh City Paper, acknowledged as a finalist for the 2021 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award, and selected as the Artist in Residence at Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Pennsylvania from March through September 2022.

The Ohio Arts Council’s ArtNEXT grant and matching funds from Springfield Public Art will fund the the next Springfield project, although the location of the mural has yet to be decided.

“Ultimately that will be decided as part of this process with Janel,” says Schutte. “She will take our input under consideration as she works through it. Janel is equally comfortable working on walls and flat spaces, so either may be a possibility.”

The City of Springfield boasts many vibrant murals, including the Rose City Mural,  Oracle’s Vision, the Greetings Mural, the Hattie Moseley Mural, and so much more.

In the past, mural projects were matched to a wall or building, then permission was sought from the building owner.

“Moving forward we would love for building owners to offer their walls for potential projects so that we may create a wall inventory of sorts,” says Schutte.

Springfield has some amazing public art worth celebrating, and communitiy members are invited to join the discussion about the present and the future of the public art program. The members of Springfield Public Art will be at the gathering to answer questions and share their vision for the future.

“Public art is a key part of creating a vibrant community,” says Schutte. “It signals a
community’s creativity, pride in the arts and sense of place.”
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Darci Jordan.

Lifelong Clark County resident Darci Jordan is a freelance writer and former staff writer/columnist for the Springfield News-Sun. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor of science degree in Agriculture Communications. She currently also serves as a writer for the Clark State Community College marketing department. She enjoys time with her family, horses and Ohio State football. Go Bucks!