Junior Kayra Dayi recognized as rising star in art

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In recognition for artistic talent and a promising future by the Fine Arts Department at the art exhibition, Junior Kayra Dayi was awarded the 2023 to 2024 Rising Star Award May 16th, 2024. 

Kayra Dayi’s art portfolio displayed her experience as a Turkish American. Dayi was born in the U.S. but spent her childhood years in Turkey. She never felt like she belonged to a single country and faced many challenges as an immigrant such as missing out on typical childhood experiences, being isolated, and confronting complex dynamics within her relationships with family, culture, and herself. She seeked to express how her identity has been impacted as a result of immigrating from Turkey and navigating American culture. She asks the questions: how can my art making process be a vehicle for reflecting on my migration and preserving my Turkish culture?

“For me, art is a way of communication. It is a way for me to see beauty in the imperfection of life. As a child, I would see artists sitting on the side of the road, offering sketches for a few dollars apiece. Entranced by the emotions captured in their portraits, I always knew I wanted to be an artist. Through art, I strive to capture and reflect the emotions and stories I want to tell. It is how I connect with people, build life-long friendships, and learn about the stories of people I could have never guessed,” Dayi said.

The faculty looks over a list of underclassmen and analyzes some aspects about a student: how they are in class, their resumes and activities. A student is then awarded the Rising Star award as a recognition for artistic talent and a promising future.

Kayra was chosen as the rising star because of her hard work with art inside and outside of school, as well as her impressive work with different mediums of art. “Out of all the years of teaching, Kayra was one of my only students to have never fallen behind in AP Art. I would say Kayra is an all-rounder. She participates in many art related activities outside of school such as NSU Art Museum teen board, summer art and writing programs, worked with art and writing non-profits and more. I love how Kayra can be vulnerable in her pieces and demonstrate her unique immigration journey to the U.S,” Ms. Preston said. 

Ms. Preston’s favorite piece of Kayra’s artwork is the “golden child,” an artwork of Kayra’s parents and grandma looking over the crib. “I like seeing the artwork done from the point of view of a baby,” Ms. Preston said.

“Getting this award was an unreal experience. It felt like all the hard work I have put into my artworks has been recognized. I was truly proud of myself when I saw my mom crying in the background. I believe for an individual to succeed, they must have that foundation of a supportive system around them. For me, my support system was my mother who has been on this personal and art growth journey with me ever since I moved to the United States from Turkey in late 2019,” Dayi said.

The artwork Kayra takes the most pride in is “the golden child,” a picture of her parents and grandma looking over the crib. (Photo/Irem Dayi)

Cara, a rising sophomore at American Heritage, is excited to be joining the Patriot Post this year. As a listener, communicator, and constant observer, she often expresses herself through writing. Cara is in Speech and Debate, Model UN, Key Club, and SGA. During her free time, Cara enjoys socializing and loves hanging out with friends at the beach or shopping at the mall.