Two Pittsburgh artists chosen to produce new outdoor art in Bakery Square

Janel Young

By Nick Eustis
Current Pittsburgh Contributor
[email protected]

Bakery Square in Larimer is expanding. The mixed-use complex housing the offices of Google Pittsburgh and UPMC, among other tenants, will unveil a new 12,400-square-foot, two-story building that will house the Galley Bakery Square restaurant incubator.

Lori Hepner

As part of this project, a call for artists was launched to create an artist residency through the Larimer Consensus Group, Lincoln PreK-5 School and Urban Academy to create works of art on a large scale to adorn the new structure. No limitations were placed on the call, so artists from all media, all over the world, were invited to submit.

“As a result, we received a very diverse pool of artists, performance, digital, sculptors, painters, filmmakers,” said Morton Brown, project consultant. “We were very happy to see so many amazing artists ready to work with us. “

On March 16, Walnut Capital announced that two artists would be awarded the residency, Janel Young and Lori Hepner, both from Pittsburgh. Young will set up his work in the space, two 10 ‘by 18’ exterior panels, in May and June of this year, and it will be on display for six months. Hepner’s work will be displayed in the fall / winter.

For the residency, each artist will work with school children from Larimer and members of the community to inspire the work and what it will contain.

“The goal is to work with the Larimer Consensus Group, Lincoln [PreK-5 School] and Urban Academy to do a short residency program involving teachers, students, and community members, and then create artwork based on the inspiration from that residency, ”Young said. “They can bring anything from the color palette to an abstract design, to the symbolism, themes and quotes they conjure up in our time together.”

Young works primarily on large-scale public works like murals, and many of his projects emphasize community engagement. In 2019, she returned to her hometown of Beltzhoover and collaborated with several generations of locals to create Pittsburgh’s first artistic basketball court, called “Home Court Advantage”. Young is excited to be working with the community of Larimer and Bakery Square on this project, as she recognizes that community members were displaced during the construction of Bakery Square.

“For Bakery Square to be built, it pushed the people out of the area, the people who had lived there for many years, the people who built this community,” Young said. “I want the artwork and the residence in general to be able to relieve some of this tension that might be there,” Young said.

After Young’s six months of exhibition, artist Lori Hepner will present her own residency work. Associate Professor of Integrative Arts at Penn State’s Greater Allegheny Campus, Hepner specializes in teaching students about artistic creation through a technology-driven process.

“Lori Hepner works in the light. She captures movies and videos from the movement of LED light sticks over a kind of long exposure, creating these wonderful abstract stills and also moving videos of this process which are very unique and breathtaking, ”Brown said.

The light-centric nature of Hepner’s work makes it a natural fit for the low light of the year-end seasons in Pittsburgh. While there are no plans yet for other projects after Hepner, Brown is encouraged and hopes that the success of this first round will lead to more opportunities for local artists to exhibit their craft and tighten up. the ties of their communities.

“Bakery Square has yet to decide if it will continue the program in this iteration in the future, but they are very excited about what we have accomplished so far and are very open to seeing where things go from there. ‘here,’ Brown said.

For more information on the call, site and residence, visit

Christopher S. Washington