UT student selected to sell artwork in the Co-op

Reya Mosby, Life & Arts General Reporter

4-year-old Sienna DelConte sat at the dining room table looking back and forth, up and down, between a picture of Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and her own recreation. Furiously scribbling with her crayons, she mixed colors, shapes and patterns as her dad prepared a work of his own for their daddy-daughter drawing competition. As he moved to show off his stick figures, Sienna showed off her starry masterpiece. 

Both parents looked in awe at the paper in front of them — an intensely detailed drawing of “The Starry Night.” The clear winner, from that moment on, DelConte knew her destiny: to be an artist. 

“Why not make the world a prettier place if you’re given that talent?” said the studio art junior.“I create artwork to bring people joy. That is how it has changed my life. That is why it is so important to me.”

DelConte started her small business, Sienna Olivia Designs, where she sells paintings, stationary, clothing and other works, in seventh grade after classmates continued to ask her for commissions. 

Government sophomore Raylee Darden, one of DelConte’s customers, said DelConte’s pieces stand out because of their color, vibrance and positivity. 

“Her art is amazing. It’s unique,” Darden said. “It’s an exact reflection of herself, and I think she really pours her heart, time and effort into every piece she does.”

DelConte’s success with Sienna Olivia Designs gave her courage to reach out to potential artistic mentors, vendors to sell her work and people that will help further her career. DelConte’s mother, Dr. Robin Ward, said she takes pride in her daughter’s independence and strength to run a student business. 

“She understands the importance of being independent and taking chances,” Ward said. “You’re never going to grow or know what’s ahead if you don’t take some risks along the way. She loves what she does. I think when you are passionate, and you really love what you do, you’re going to be successful.”

Recently, the student government started a student business initiative that gives students the chance to sell their products in the Co-op for a month at a time within a given theme. DelConte was selected to represent October’s theme: art. DelConte’s work will remain in the Co-op for the rest of the month. She said she feels honored to be featured and to receive an abundance of support from the UT community.

“Getting to see that love and encouragement from my community is huge, because when you create art you bring into the world, it is literally your whole heart and soul,” DelConte said. “It is part of you just putting it onto a piece of paper. Seeing this love, encouragement and mutual excitement for my artwork is huge because that’s my passion in life.”