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Johanna Fernando '26 Wins Congressional Art Competition

Sophomore Johanna Fernando was chosen as the winner of the Congressional Art Competition for D.C. Her artwork, a self-portrait called "Lost in Thought," will be on display in the Capitol for the next year.

Members of Congress hold the annual competition for their districts; an art committee organized by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton chose Johanna's piece out of the 56 submitted. 

Johanna has not yet taken any official art classes; it is a beloved hobby and she participates in Art Club with moderator and art teacher Kelli Smith.

"When I found out I won the contest as my name was announced as winner, I was  in complete shock. I had put in so much time and effort on my own at home, as I didn’t take art in school, making me doubt my skills. I wasn’t even sure if I would be worthy enough to compete amongst other talented D.C. students from all over the district, however, I was proved wrong," she said. "I felt immediate relief, joy, and pride coming out of the hard work I put in during my free time."

Smith noted that this is the first time she remembers a Visitation student earning first prize, though students have received honorable mentions and placed as runner-up. 

"I am happy that a student from Art Club won because it represents the desire to create even when an art class cannot fit into one's schedule," said Smith.

Read more at the Washingtonian, here.