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Florida Teen Sraddha Karthik’s Self Portrait Wins Top Prize in Congressional Art Competition

Florida Teen Sraddha Karthik’s Self Portrait Wins Top Prize in Congressional Art Competition

  • The Indian American high school junior’s artwork is to be showcased at the U.S. Capitol.

An Indian American high school junior from Tampa, Florida, will have her artwork showcased in the U.S. Capitol this summer. Sraddha Karthik, an eleventh grader at Sickles High School, won the top prize at the annual Congressional Art Competition hosted by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), where high school students from across Hillsborough County competed for a spot to showcase their work in the Capitol. 

The winning self portrait  by Sraddha Karthik.

The teen won the award for her graphite drawing “Pensive Gaze,” created with intricacy and precision, said a media release issued by Castor. “Art will add depth to Karthik’s career in architecture, which she plans to pursue after high school.” The self-portrait tackles perception versus reality. “I wanted to see if I could draw myself as I am and not how I think I am,” she said in the media release. “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 competition.

The artwork will then be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year alongside winners of congressional art competitions from throughout the country, the media release said. 

Karthik has been drawing since she was 7 years old when her parents registered her for an art class, per Castor’s media release, “I don’t have as much time as I used to before high school, but I do try to fit in art as much as possible because it’s really helpful for me to express myself,” the teen said.

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This wasn’t Karthik’s first art competition – she’s been competing in the Salvador Dali Museum’s annual art competition since eighth grade, and her artwork has been chosen to be displayed every year. Her family is originally from Chennai, and she’s been living in the United States since she was 1 year old.

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