ABOUT THE ARTIST
Janelle Washington is a self-taught paper cut artist from Virginia. She graduated from VCU with a BFA in Fashion Design and afterward found interest in paper cutting. Her artwork explores themes of history, identity, and beauty in African American culture.
Through the simplicity of paper, Janelle creates images that showcase African American’s courage, achievements, and grace in difficult situations. Paper reminds her of her ancestors, how from humble beginnings, a transformation can take place, creating something extraordinary. She creates patterns, symbols, and silhouettes that work simultaneously to construct a multifaceted design through positive and negative spaces. Her paper cuts retell a story of the past to current and future generations by adding a present-day perspective of empowerment and reflection.
She has permanent silhouettes housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, DC, and Downing-Gross Community Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia. Janelle is currently illustrating a children’s book, and her silhouette of Breonna Taylor with the #SayHerName campaign was featured in the Oprah magazine, September 2020 issue. She is also a member of The Guild of American Papercutters.
Press & News
Women You Should Know interview: read more
SuperSelected: read more
Downing-Gross: read more
Art Impact: read more
Publick Playhouse: read more
American Craft Council: read more
ArtCentron: read more
Ikouii: read more
Paper Cut Artist around the World: read more
Aphrochic: read more
Sign up to receive monthly updates.