Home Audio Transcription Sickles HS student artwork will be showcased in the U.S. Capitol

Sickles HS student artwork will be showcased in the U.S. Capitol


U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced the winners of her annual Congressional Art Competition at the Tampa Museum of Art where high school students from across Hillsborough County competed for a spot to showcase their work in the U.S. Capitol.

This year, Sraddha Karthik, Sickles High School junior, claimed the top prize with her graphite drawing “Pensive Gaze” created with intricacy and precision. Her 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 used different shades of graphite to create depth and dimension for her artwork.

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Sraddha has been drawing since she was 7 years old when her parents registered her for an art class. “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.”

Art will add depth to Sraddha’s career in architecture, which she plans to pursue after high school. This wasn’t Sraddha’s first art competition – she’s been competing in the Salvador Dali Museum annual art competition since eighth grade, and her artwork has been chosen to be displayed 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!” Sraddha said of U.S. Rep. Castor’s art competition. It’ll be her first time visiting Washington, D.C. when she goes for her national showcase this summer. Her artwork will then be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year alongside winners for congressional art competitions from throughout the country.

A photo of Sraddha’s art is available here . Sraddha and her family are originally from Chennai, India, and she’s been living in the United States since she was 1 year old.

“The Tampa Museum of Art provides an incredible venue for one of the top high school arts competitions in the country. I am grateful to our parents, teachers and especially students who have turned to arts for encouragement and connection as we mend from the pandemic. Reflective artwork has been a prominent theme and I look forward to welcoming Sraddha to Washington, D.C. this summer to represent our talented and diverse community,” U.S. Rep. Castor said.

According to a report issued 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). U.S. Rep. Castor’s annual Congressional Art Competition is an opportunity to celebrate the art and artists of Hillsborough County public and private high school students. The contest features drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures. This year, 71 entries were submitted into the competition from 21 high schools from throughout Hillsborough County, 37 of which were chosen to be displayed in the Tampa Museum of Art. The panel of judges is made up of local artists and experts from the Tampa Museum of Art, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and more. Winners and their instructors of the other categories listed below received cash prizes. 

The exhibition featuring the student’s artwork will be on display at the Tampa Museum of Art through Sunday, April 10. For more information, visit their website at: www.tampamuseum.org

List of award winners:


Congressional Award – Sraddha Karthik, Sickles High School, Grade 11, Pensive Gaze


1st Place Overall – Jayda Wilson, Bloomingdale High School, Grade 11, Mera


2nd Place Overall – Crista Guevara, Academy of the Holy Names, Grade 11, Dinner Time


3rd Place Overall – Jordan Ritter, Academy of the Holy Names, Grade 10, Weighted Expectations


Museum Choice Award – Isabella Ancheta, Wharton High School, Grade 11, Unrequited


Photography Award – Natalie Szwedoski, Steinbrenner High School, Grade 11, Spider Eyes


Sculpture Award – Mya Watson, Howard W. Blake High School, Tangle


Water Media Art Teacher – Seth Firestone


1st Place Water Media – Angelina Bernard, Carrollwood Day School, Grade 12,  The Kintsugi Cracks


2nd Place Water Media – Cyenna Ison, Gaither High School, Grade 11, The forest battle


3rd Place Water Media – Paige Holmgren, Academy of the Holy Names, Grade 11, Hong Iong (Red Dragon)



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