Michelle Obama Portrait Artist Unveils Huge Mural of Philly Teen

What to Know

  • Artist Amy Sherald is best known for her being the artist behind the official portrait of the former first lady Michelle Obama.
  • Thursday, Sherald debuts her new six-story-tall portrait of Philadelphia teen Najee Spencer-Young.
  • The mural at 1108 Sansom Street in Center City depicts Spencer-Young looking confident and composed.

A mural by the artist who painted the official portrait of Michelle Obama is being dedicated in Philadelphia.

Amy Sherald might be best known for the painting of the former first lady, but her overall body of work represents everyday lives of black Americans.

So it's fitting that the six-story-tall mural being dedicated Thursday portrays Najee Spencer-Young, a Philadelphia teen and participant in the city's Mural Arts education program.

Sherald tells the Philadelphia Inquirer she chose the 19-year-old as the mural subject during the teen's class trip to her studio. She saw it as an opportunity to boost the Spencer-Young's self-esteem and the self-esteem of those who look like her.

The mural depicts Spencer-Young in a black-and-white flower print trench coach and mustard yellow hat, looking confident and composed — and very imposing — against a bright blue background.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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