Discover the Winning Masterpiece

Kayley Jane Dykman

Artist Locale:  California, USA

Subject Matter:  Underrepresented communities, heritage, and culture.

Medium: Oil

About this Hāpai

Hāpai translated from Hawaiian means both “to carry, bear, support” and “pregnant; to conceive”. With this piece, I wanted to honor the beauty of motherhood and Polynesian women as a whole. This piece was my very first experimentation with combining traditionally rendered figurative work alongside abstracted patterns and design. Her skirt, called a pareo, was elongated and flattened to blend into the background. The vibrant colors of the pareo are reminiscent of all Polynesian textiles and the imagery is repeated in the flowers behind her ear. I hope in viewing this painting the audience is simply in awe of the beauty and grace of mothers.


Artist Statement: Kayley, raised in Fountain Valley, California, is a representational artist who largely works in oil. As a Pacific Islander hapa—someone of mixed ancestry—she actively seeks to give authentic recognition (both on the canvas and behind) to underrepresented communities, heritage, and culture. Her current body of work, Pasifika, aims to celebrate and share Polynesian culture, arts, and experiences. At a young age, Kayley began Polynesian dancing, which has since opened her eyes to Pacific island cultures. Because of this and her fascination with the natural environment and traditional arts, her work incorporates portraiture alongside vibrant colors, crafts, flora, fauna, arts, and customs familiar to the Pacific islands. In December 2022, Kayley graduated from Laguna College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting and a minor in Art History. In addition to other recognitions, Kayley was the youngest exhibiting artist at the 2023 Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach. Kayley is also a recipient of the Plotkin Foundation Award and an honorable mention in the National Portrait Society’s 2023 and 2024 Future Generation Competition. Now a graduate, Kayley is transitioning into her studio practice at home in Fountain Valley

Te Hutiraa Aho

Technical Process: The technical process for my paintings is quite simple. I will start with my initial idea and sketch out compositions from which to reference in my photoshoot. Then I will custom-build a cradled birch panel and mount oil-primed linen onto it. I love working on primed linen as it allows for a very wet and glossy technique that gives my work a nice body and malleability throughout my process. Not to mention the weave of the fabric heightens the effect of fabric and texture which I am now exploring. After my panel is built, I will draw out a to-scale sketch and oil transfer the drawing onto my panel. From there I simply work in sections and layers to create the desired effect in my paintings.