A Cambria artist has already made her mark on the California art scene, and she’s only 14 years old.
During Youth Art Month earlier this year, Skyla Delekta was selected as the state’s Middle School Artist of the Year. Now a freshman at Coast Unified School District, she is contemplating how to use her art talents in her future career.
That honor makes Delekta “feel very special. It’s a pretty big award,” she said during a recent phone interview. “There are so many middle schools in California, and to know so many people who have more knowledge than I do chose my painting is amazing.”
Suzette Morrow, who taught Delekta in middle school and continues to do so at Coast, suggests that art enthusiasts should “look out for what Delekta wins next because she is one talented lady.”
The winning, untitled painting hangs in Morrow’s Coast classroom, Delekta said, but the image also is posted as part of the opening scroll on the www.caea-arteducation.org homepage, and at www.caea- arteducation.org/yam, where it’s further down on the page.
The painting’s concept was based on “my feelings,” Delekta said in a phone interview. “The two females are supposed to portray me. One in the background in cooler tones (blue) portray more like sad feelings. The female in warmer colors in the front is supposed to express how I was able to come back from feeling down.” She hopes the painting will convince observers that “just because you feel sad, you can do things to make yourself feel better, to step up your game, even if you haven’t been yourself lately.”
Her down time came in the middle of her eight-grade year, she said, and were triggered by “friend problems and my social life … things happening at school or in my head,” and the sense that “people were acting differently toward me.
“The painting was supposed to be my realization that no matter how down I was feeling, I was able to come back and be happy again,” she said, concluding that “It turned out all right.”
Delekta has turned her attention to an online portfolio that she continually updates, so that as she progresses through high school, “I’ll have an idea where I want to use my art,” and how. She said, “Mrs. Morrow has been really, really helpful in my art journey,” and that the portfolio was the teacher’s idea.
The freshman soon will start dabbling with the prize she received in the CSEA contest: An assortment of paints and supplies, most of which are kinds she’s never used before. “I’m excited to work with them,” and those who know her work are excited to see the results of those experiments.