Native American student’s artwork to be displayed at the United States Capitol

Chennai, India-born student’s self-portrait created with intricacy and precision addresses perception versus reality

Sraddha Karthik, a Native American student at Sickles High School in Florida, won the Congressional Top Pick award in the annual Congressional Art Competition at the Tampa Museum of Art.

U.S. Representative Kathy Castor announced the winners of her annual competition on Tuesday where high school students from across Hillsborough County competed for a spot to showcase their work at the United States Capitol.

Karthik will travel to Washington, D.C. for the first time to attend the National Awards Ceremony in June 2022. His “Pensive Gaze” graphite drawing created with intricacy and precision will then be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for a year alongside winners of congressional art contests across the United States.

Read: Indian kolam art at the United States Capitol celebrates healing power (April 30, 2021)

Her self-portrait addresses perception versus reality: “I wanted to see if I could draw myself as I am and not as I think I am. She used different shades of graphite to create depth and dimension for her works.

Karthik has been drawing since the age of seven when her parents enrolled her in an art class. “I don’t have as much time as before high school, but I try to integrate myself into art as much as possible because it really helps me express myself.”

The art will add depth to Karthik’s career in architecture, which she plans to pursue after high school, according to a press release from Castor’s office.

This wasn’t Karthik’s first art competition – she’s been participating in the Salvador Dali Museum’s annual art competition since eighth grade, and her works have been chosen for display every year.

“It was a very talented display of art at this year’s event – this honor could have gone to anyone in the competition!” Karthik said of Castor’s art contest.

Karthik and her family are from Chennai, India, and she has lived in the United States since she was one year old.

“The Tampa Museum of Art provides an incredible venue for one of the best high school art competitions in the country,” Castor said. “I am grateful to our parents, teachers and especially students who have turned to the arts for encouragement and connection as we recover from the pandemic.

“Reflective artwork has been a big theme and I look forward to welcoming Sraddha to Washington, DC this summer to represent our talented and diverse community,” Castor said.

Read: Native American student’s artwork to be displayed at the United States Capitol (March 31, 2022)

According to a report by Americans for the Arts, arts and culture in Hillsborough County alone generates $433.2 million in economic activity and nearly 15,000 jobs are tied to the industry (pre-pandemic) .

The annual Castor Congress Art Competition features drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures. This year, 71 entries were submitted for the competition from 21 high schools across Hillsborough County, 37 of which were chosen for display at the Tampa Museum of Art.

The exhibit featuring the student’s works will be on view at the Tampa Museum of Art through Sunday, April 10. For more information, visit their website at:

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