Arts Council Menifee
Special to Valley News
Since being the youngest recipient of an Alliance for California Traditional Arts grant at the age of eight, Krysta Wright has continued to make art a large part of her life. The self-taught artist, now 23 years old, has tried her hand at drawing, painting, sculpting and working side by side with her aunt to make traditional African-American storytelling quilts.
For her contributions to Menifee’s local art scene, Wright has been recognized as December’s Artist of the Month by Arts Council Menifee.
She said art gives her the freedom to make anything she can imagine and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. She has explored many types of art including realism, traditional, charcoal, graphite, digital and most recently, paint.
“Growing up, I’ve always had an active imagination, and I would always just start drawing small things here and there but I wouldn’t think much of them,” Wright said. “It wasn’t until I got a little older that I started drawing portraits that I thought others would like and they told me I should try joining art groups.”
Home-schooled in San Jacinto since seventh grade due to health issues, Wright graduated as valedictorian of the class of 2011. English was her favorite subject.
“I love reading books and then drawing out scenes of what I think the characters would look like,” she said. She recently completed illustrations for a children’s book a friend wrote.
Wright was taught quilting by her aunt Allyson Allen, who has made a living making and exhibiting African-American folk art quilts.
“My aunt and I received the master/apprentice artist grant three times through ACTA and have displayed quilts together all over the country at different quilt shows and guilds,” she said. “Our projects usually are one master quilt that she makes based on a particular story and then a smaller wall hanging that I’ve made based on the same story.”
Wright recently hosted an anime art exhibit at the Sun City Library to display and to sell her works.
“My sister Madison, who is also an artist, and I presented and we loved it,” she said. “I wanted to be able to do more shows like that. My aunt is a member of Arts Council Menifee and introduced me to other members, and I joined.”
She regularly displays her work at the Kay Ceniceros Senior Center’s gallery space in Menifee.
“I love using graphite pencils. All of my favorite portraits have been black and gray; I think it gives a little more of a traditional look,” Wright said. “However, I have been doing bright and vibrant digital portraits, which have a more modern feel that I really enjoy as well.”
Even though she has been commissioned to draw other objects, animals and so forth, human faces have always been her favorite subject because of the eyes.