Sydney Mech’s masterpieces — the artist behind the athlete


Collegian | Karsyn Lane

Colorado State University student-athlete Sydney Mech with her three favorite works of art in the painting studio of the Visual Arts Building Feb. 26.

Karsyn Lane, Sports Director

Editor’s Note: Read the Spanish version of this article here.

Behind this athlete who practices three to four times a week, travels on the road, competes weekly and is currently preparing for the Mountain West Tournament, there is an artist.


Syndey Mech, a Colorado State University student-athlete, balances the life of a star basketball player while perfecting her iconic Mech masterpieces.

Mech became a Ram in 2019 when she transferred to Colorado State as a sophomore from the University of Denver.

“I needed a better fit academically and for a basketball program,” Mech said. “I loved CSU instantly the campus and Fort Collins in general really drew me in.”

She was seeking a place where she could both follow her passion to paint and defend the paint on the court. During her time at DU, Mech was an engineering major.

“I enjoyed it, but I always had a dream of pursuing art,” Mech said.

Following her basketball career and art dreams, Mech wants to graduate and pursue teaching art education. To her, “there was no better place to be recognized as both an athlete, an artist and a student-athlete” than Colorado State.

When she can find the time to begin the process of creating an art piece, Mech turns to her roots and starts in her sketchbook. She reflects on her life and who she is to create a piece of work that’s a reflection of herself.

As a female student-athlete, Mech takes any opportunity to express her busy life on canvas. Drawing from her experiences, she lets the message bleed from her sketchbook to the canvas and take off. Following a handful of hours and much attention to detail, Mech has made a masterpiece.

“Reflecting on everything that goes on in my life, I reflect that through art,” Mech said. “I think sports have been a lot of topics in my art pieces. Even the mental health aspect, females in sports and what that’s like. It’s kind of cool and powerful to take something you care about and put that in a message through art.”


Being a senior student-athlete, there is quite a bit for her to reflect on. Her lifestyle can often be chaotic and very busy, which doesn’t leave much time for creative expression.

“As a player, expressing yourself is a big part of it,” Mech said. “I know we’re not allowed to wear a bunch of crazy colors or anything, but any way I can express myself is really cool.”

Many of Mech’s masterpieces show the unspoken struggles and joys that come along while navigating her immersive lifestyle. Allowing her emotions to flow, the canvas becomes her spokesperson and spreads the message loud and proud that she is a powerful female athlete who deals with mental health struggles and the pressure of being a student-athlete every day.

In 2017 Mech decided to take her message and promote her artistic process on Instagram through her creative account @mech_art. On this account, Mech shares her experiences in the art gallery during the beginning stages of creating a piece with sketchbook doodles, rough drafts, final works and a dash of her other creative hobbies.

One piece in particular represents the anxiety and pressure Mech feels as a Division I athlete and the constant high expectations of her. You can see the emotion through the painting from the dark blue hands pulling at her, the weight of the medal holding her head down despite winning and the overwhelming grasp for her efforts.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sydney (@mech_art_)

Outside of painting, Mech does “a lot of side hobbies with art as well. All of my classes right now are painting, but I love to crochet. I love embroidery and DIY-ing my clothes,” Mech said.

Aside from assisting and sharing the ball, Mech has connected with her team even more by sharing her passion for art. Passing on her creative wisdom, occasionally Mech and her friends will host painting and crafting nights together.

“My friends really like it too; I get them involved,” Mech said. “We have painting nights, and it’s kind of fun to have your thing reflect on others.”

Above it all, Mech is much more than a student-athlete and wants to spread her message that she understands and resonates with others dealing with a similar lifestyle.

“When people look at my art, I don’t want them to just see me and think, ‘Oh, she’s a basketball player, just an athlete,'” Mech said. “I want them to respect my art and me as an artist.”

Reach Karsyn Lane at or on Twitter @karsynlane1