Mariah Jeffrey is a defender on the East Union High soccer team.
She’s also a talented artist.
Her Advance Art teacher Jeff Moring calls Jeffrey “one of his best students ever” during the eight years at the school.
At Thursday’s annual Visual and Performing Arts Show in the Black Box Theater, Jeffrey earned Best in Show for the event with her “Elephant” oil painting.
“I just finished last night,” she said of the piece that will be exhibited at the Manteca Unified District Art Show on Tuesday, April 26.
The top five places in each category – Digital Art, Intro Art, Advance Art, 3D Art, Advance Ceramics, Intro Ceramics, and Computer Animation – will also be featured there, according to Kim Ray, who is the Ceramics teacher not to mention organizer of the East Union art show.
For Jeffrey, the oil on her painting hadn’t quite dried. “It takes a couple of days (to dry),” she said.
She credits her brother Brennan Jeffrey, who is also an artist, for inspiring her to do the elephant painting. He introduced Mariah to works of an artist who does paintings of elephants.
Mariah Jeffrey mentioned that she usually takes her time when he tackles a project. In the case of her Best-in-Show painting, she started that project earlier in the school year.
“I’m slow – that’s not normal,” said Jeffrey, who will be attending Dixie State in St. George, Utah to play soccer in the fall.
She’s leaning towards doing her studies in a health career field, with hopes of continuing on with art but only as a hobby.
Jeffrey will have four pieces featured in the District Art Show.
Her stamp project and the multiple faces paintings took first place while her strawberry jar piece placed second.
She took time out from her elephant painting, resuming work not too long ago. The break paid off as Jeffrey was able to “change it up a bit” on the award-winning piece.
“Her work is phenomenal,” said Moring. “She does her time on every project but, as it turns out, is well worth the wait.”