Since 1996, Young Guns has been an elite portfolio-based competition that takes the profiles of young creative professionals already on the rise and helps elevate them even further. And while the program has made major strides since the days of being jokingly thought of as an award for "extremely talented white designers and illustrators from Williamsburg", there's always room for more diversity.

Enter COLORFUL: A Prelude To Young Guns 19. Ahead of this year's Young Guns competition, we teamed up with acclaimed first-generation Filipinx designer and Young Guns 8 winner Rich Tu to co-found a free portfolio competition and a grant exclusively for young BIPOC creative professionals who qualify for Young Guns — they just haven't entered and won it yet.

After receiving submissions from across the globe, a jury made up of 11 BIPOC creative superstars — all previous Young Guns winners themselves — went over every single entry, grading them not only on the strength of their work but also on how they intend to use the $3000 creative grant, should they win. Afterward, the jury convened to discuss and debate which entrant stood above others as the overall winner of the grant, as well as assemble a class of finalists. The winner and the finalists will all be welcomed to enter YG19 completely free of charge, with the confidence that comes with knowing they've already impressed a jury that knows exactly what it takes to win Young Guns.

COLORFUL: A Prelude to Young Guns 19

Paul Michael Wright

Mixed Media Artist & Storyteller

Paul Michael Wright is a mixed media artist and storyteller that uses figurative portraiture to tell personal narratives connected to childhood memories and coming of age as a black man. With the purpose to liberate and encourage others in the community to share their own stories.

For the last 12 years, Wright has been working with a local nonprofit called YA/YA designing and producing murals and furniture while always representing his community of New Orleans. Concurrently to his membership in the organization, Wright graduated from the acclaimed high school, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts in 2012. Wright has had residencies and exhibited work at the Cow House Studios, Joan Mitchell Center, the Guggenheim Museum, SVA Galleries, Contemporary Art Center-New Orleans, the African American Museum in New Orleans, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center,5 Press Gallery, and SVA Galleries.

Paul Michael Wright received his BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York in spring 2019. Wright is also the recipient of the Gustave Blanche III Scholarship to School of Visual Arts, a two-year award in support of his MFA through the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Wright graduated in 2021 with the passion and purpose to illustrate. He sees himself breathing life into stories for publishers Scholastics, Penguin Random House, and many other art publications.

See Paul Micheal Wright's Work




Share To

Follow Us