Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Announces Congressional Art Competition Winners

Apr 25, 2016
Press Release
Record Number of High School Students Participate In This Year’s Contest

First Place Winner Is From Sarasota High School

SARASOTA – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, FL-16, has announced the winners of the 2016 High School Congressional Arts Competition, a 16th district-wide showcase for young artists. The first-place winner of the annual competition was Kali Karcher of Sarasota High School. 

Buchanan and Ringling Museum Deputy Director Jennifer Price presented the awards at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. 

“I’m impressed by the exceptional talent of every high schooler who submitted artwork for this year’s competition. It’s clear that students from the 16th congressional district have an endless amount of creativity and skill,” Buchanan said. “Kali’s art will be placed on display in the U.S. Capitol and Madison’s will be displayed in my Washington, D.C. office.”

Ringling Museum Assistant Curator of Exhibitions Chris Jones, Curator of Contemporary Art Matthew McLendon and Curatorial Research Fellow Lauren von Bechmann judged the entries from Sarasota and Manatee County. This year there were 45 submissions in the contest – a record high. The winning entry, Karcher’s “Three Sisters of Fort Hancock,” will be showcased for one year in the highly traveled corridor between the U.S. Capitol and the Cannon House Office Building. 

The Sarasota High School student will receive roundtrip airfare to Washington to attend the Congressional Reception on Thursday, June 23, as well as an opportunity to receive a $5,000 scholarship.

New this year for the 16th congressional district’s contest was a separate recognition – the “Facebook Fan Favorite” Award – awarded to the student whose artwork won the highest number of likes and shares combined on the Congressman’s Facebook page. Madison Schmitz of Sarasota High School was this year’s Facebook Fan Favorite winner with her piece "Amber K."

The Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide high school visual art competition. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 students have participated.

The full list of winners include: 

• First Place: Kali Karcher, “Three Sisters of Fort Hancock,” Sarasota High School in Sarasota.

• Second Place: Raegan Turner, “The Show Must Go On,” Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton.

• Third Place: Elizabeth King, “Stressed,” Pine View School in Osprey.

• The “Facebook Fan Favorite” Award: Madison Schmitz, “Amber K,” Sarasota High School in Sarasota.

The second and third place winners’ art work, as well as the honorable mentions’ submissions, will remain on display in the Johnson-Blalock Education Center at the Ringling Museum until the fall of 2016.