Janelle Washington is a self-taught papercut artist who discovered her passion for the art form after graduating with a BFA in Fashion Design and working as a children's wear designer for 12 years. Her work explores Black culture and themes related to history, identity, family, and feminine beauty. All her papercuts and silhouettes are created using an Exacto knife and a single piece of paper. She then incorporates colorful tissue paper, thread, and gold leaf to add color and dimension to her designs. West African Adinkra symbols in her artwork convey traditional wisdom.
Janelle’s work has been exhibited at the National Children's Hospital, Martha Spak Gallery in Washington, DC, the National Institute of Health Clinical Center inBethesda, MD, and The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, VA, among many others. She has commissioned silhouettes housed at the SmithsonianNational Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, and created art installations for the historic St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA.Her work has been published in O, The Oprah Magazine, and Country Living magazine. She is a member of The Guild of American Papercutters, where she served on the board, the Book/PrintArtist/Scholar of Color Collective,Art Impact USA, and Ikouii.
Janelle lives and works in Virginia with her husband, where she enjoys reading science fiction books from the library and researching new ideas for papercuts.