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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘Draw what you know’: Local artist Delilah Reed centers art on home state

Local artist Delilah Reed has left her mark on various locations in Wichita and surrounding cities – including Wichita State’s campus. Reed’s brightly colored, nature-themed murals can be found along Douglas and on multiple electrical boxes around the Innovation Campus at WSU. 

Located in Revolutsia, Reed titled her storefront “The Loud Cicada” to reflect the wildlife often featured in her art. She typically centers the flora and fauna native to Kansas, a nod to her passion for conserving the local ecosystem, in her artwork. Reed describes her art as bright, vibrant and joyful.

“It’s so much fun to try and capture these kind(s) of simple images,” Reed said. “A Kansas landscape can be so subtle, and it’s really fun to highlight and bring out the vastness of a field and the sky together.”

Being a muralist allows Reed to stay connected to her community, and contributing to the city’s personality with eye-catching pieces is a source of pride for the artist. According to Reed, many artists strive to have their work clearly displayed.

“I get to put a touch of my own on the city,” Reed said. “I think all of us artists envision a world where my art is everywhere, making everything beautiful, or imagine a world where everything’s more colorful and floral.”

A self-taught artist, Reed did not receive a scholastic education in fine arts. She says that this made Wichita State’s request for the electrical box murals more special to her. Without formal art classes, Reed stated that her journey to becoming an established artist was slow – but fulfilling and introspective nonetheless. 

“It took me a long time to get to the point that I am at now,” Reed said. “Artists love problem solving. And so that’s all making art is … and that exploration is a large part of my growth.”

A Wichita native, Reed says that she has found a strong sense of community among local artists and art lovers. 

“There’s such a love and care from one artist to another here in town,” Reed said. “We really are  always cheering each other on and watching each other grow. I feel like we all try to get out and support one another and, you know, encourage and we’re constantly wowed (by each other).”

According to Reed, having a community to fall back on as a creator is vital to her creativity. 

“There’s definitely this collaboration space in which ideas kind of grow and they foster and then they really take off,” Reed said “So if I’m by myself, I’m limited to only my thoughts and my input, but when I’m around other artists who have different style (who) can think in different ways, it really opens us up to new ideas and solutions and growth.”

Reed also offers general advice for current fine arts students that aided in her development as a professional creator. She stresses the importance of being a “good person” and forging connections through strong social media presence.

“You can make the best art, but nobody’s gonna want it if you don’t leave a good impression on people and treat people well,” Reed said. “You don’t want to make anybody feel like they’re not good enough for your work, especially as you battle your ego. You want everyone to feel welcome.”

Reed can be found on social media at @theloudcicada and at her website. Those interested in her work can find her art on various items at her storefront in Revolutsia.

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About the Contributors
Salsabila Attaria
Salsabila Attaria, Arts and Culture Editor
Salsabila Attaria is the arts and culture editor for The Sunflower. Attaria is a health science major.  She previously worked as a reporter and assistant news editor. She uses she/her pronouns.
Maegan Vincent
Maegan Vincent, Former photographer
Maegan Vincent was a reporter and photographer for The Sunflower.

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