Updated: Jul 10
By: Pat Eby Special to the Post-Dispatch
The gallery and studio artist Vesna Delevska maintains in Chesterfield Mall fills with music, mostly jazz, when she paints. Her large paintings, bright with color and light dot the walls. She doesn’t limit herself to stretched canvases painted on easels, however. She paints on anything she has a mind to — wood panels, brick walls, ceramic mugs and even musicians’ guitars when asked. She’s painted on buildings far outside her studio.
Her style can’t be pigeonholed into one genre. Art in all its magic forms has always called to her. When she lived half a world away, she answered. She moved from Skopje, Macedonia, where she was born and raised. She came to the United States to study art and painting at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Artist in the making • Delevska grew up with a talented father who painted, played in a band, and loved to share music and art with his daughter, even though he worked full time as an audiologist. Her talents landed her in an art-focused high school. The school expanded her view of the arts.
“I visited centuries-old monasteries and churches all over Macedonia on school trips in high school. I was moved with how artists devoted their lives to creating the art within. They also lived in those places, working on mosaics, frescoes and iconography. It was really inspiring for me growing up,” she says. She’s incorporated the arts that moved her as a teen into her work today.
Ever-forward • In Macedonia’s highly structured education system, Delevska knew she wouldn’t have the freedom to explore the arts as she would have liked. With her parent’s encouragement, she enrolled at University of Central Oklahoma to study fine art.
After graduation, she moved to Kansas City to work. She soon discovered St. Louis and moved across the state 15 years ago. “I love the art, the architecture and the culture of St. Louis,” she says. One of Delevska’s great pleasures is painting nature. “The light in trees is always so different, and I like to observe their character. Flowers are really a never-ending source of inspiration for me.
“There is so much nature in the St. Louis urban environment, and also in the nearby more rural areas. It’s a beautiful mix of things, with a lot of diversity and, and ways to experience both the city and also enjoy the countryside.”
Larger than life • She painted several murals when she first arrived in St. Louis. “I saw a large potential for art here, which made me want to stay. I continued painting and opened the art gallery,” she says. “I added live painting events with music, and things progressed. I enjoy St. Louis, and I can work full-time as an artist here.” Painting live and in color • Delevska moved outside the walls of her gallery and into the public sphere with her special live painting sessions paired with music. She is often hired to bring her artwork directly to people at benefits and parties.
She thinks the experience adds excitement to her painting process. She creates a large-scale painting in under two hours. “I think the music helps me to accomplish the higher contrast and drama in these paintings. It’s fun to watch, and it all unfolds pretty quickly,” she says, adding excitement to watching paint dry.
The sum of its parts • Delevska’s move from Macedonia to St. Louis proved to be a good one for her. She honors her Macedonian past in her paintings, murals and frescoes. She builds on new experiences to imbue her art with energy.
“My art, the subjects, the categories I paint, and the type of techniques I use flow with my personality and life experiences. My art is a reflection of what I am. It changes over time. My colors have changed from the earthy tones of a few years ago the vibrant and colorful paintings I do now,” she says.
Her next free live painting event will be 6 to 8 p.m. July 28 at Carol House Furniture in Valley Park.
Age • 43
Family • Delevska’s father, Blagoja Delevski, is also a painter and music lover who lives in Macedonia. Her brother, Dino Delevski, lives in the United States.
Home • University City
What she makes • Delevska works in multiple mediums and on different surfaces. She makes paintings on canvas, plans and participates in live painting performances with music. She also does murals and has even painted large utility boxes to beautify urban neighborhoods.
Where to buy • Original paintings are available at Vesna Art Gallery in Chesterfield Mall. You may also visit Art-Inspired Rooms by Carol House Furniture at both the Maryland Heights and the Valley Park locations to purchase originals or to commission an original artwork. She sells her prints through Pixels.com. See her website at vesna-art.com
How much • Original paintings range from $500 to $8,000. Prints start at $115 and go up to $800. Her commissions and murals are priced individually, according to the project’s requirements.
Vesna painting at a Live Music Event in St. Louis. - Asthma & Allergy Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri.