"Young people's curiosity and unapologetic nature is what inspires me most."
Artist Melanie Delach on drawing with her nana and the René Magritte book that changed it all.
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CMA's end-of-year artwork sale raises essential funds for free arts education in NYC schools whose arts programs have been decimated by recent budget cuts.
These works – starting at $100 – have been generously donated by celebrated artists who uphold our belief that all children are artists deserving of the materials, access, and encouragement to allow their creativity to soar.
Below, meet contributing artist Melanie Delach.
Melanie as a young artist
Do you have a favorite memory of making art as a child?
One of my favorite memories of making art as a child was with my Nana. We would sit at her kitchen table while having grilled cheese sandwiches and draw roses, basic houses in perspective with lawns and people, and practice our script. We would have a competition and see who's drawing would be better. To my surprise, I'd always seem to win these. (I think maybe Nana just let me take home the W!)
What advice would you give to young artists who wish to pursue an art practice?
If you have the inclination, do it. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't make it as an artist in the world. Be as weird, as unique, and as out of the box as you want to be. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
How does working with children inspire you?
As an educator, working with young people inspires me daily. Young people's curiosity and unapologetic nature is what inspires me most. They look at things with fresh eyes, and that's what's really exciting.
When did you first know you were going to be an artist?
I think I was around 9 years old when I knew I was going to be an artist. I took art classes at Creation Art Center and I remember the owner, who is an incredible artist, Brian Carroll, showed me a René Magritte book. I was always interested in surrealism but didn't know how to articulate that at such a young age. I remember seeing the cover, The Son of Man, and I got chills. Brian told me all about Magritte and how he was pivotal in the surrealist movement and that I could see his work at the MoMA. I knew from that moment forward that I wanted to always make art. That book kept me so inspired for years to come, and still to this day.
On the other side of this
mixed media on panel