Local student’s eye-catching art wins national contest, will be featured in U.S. Capitol

Indian Hill student's artwork heading to D.C.

INDIAN HILL, Ohio (FOX19) - An Indian Hill High School student is going to have his artwork featured on the walls of the U.S. Capitol after winning the 2020 Congressional Art Competition.

Pranav Rastogi, 14, has been putting his pandemic time to good use.

With school buildings closed and remote learning the rule, Pranav used the extra time he found to discover a new love of art. Now you’re as likely to find him with a pencil and sketchbook than not.

It’s a hobby that’s been turning heads.

“When he started doing all this doodling, it was just doodling,” said Nalini Rastogi, Pranav’s mother.

It quickly became more than that, especially after Pranav completed a graphite drawing expressing his feelings during the pandemic.

“It shows the mourning of all the families around the world who have lost family members friends because of COVID 19," Pranav said, referring to his drawing of an eye shedding a tear. “And it also is dedicated to all the frontline, essential workers who work hard every day to make our lives better and do that we can stay safe and healthy.”

Pranav titled the picture “Masked Mourner,” and with the encouragement of his mother and art teacher, he decided to submit his work to the 2020 Congressional Art Competition.

He won second place along with the Viewer’s Choice Award.

Pranav’s artwork will now be displayed near U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup’s office.

“It feels great! I was so enthusiastic about this competition, and just being able to show my work in the Rayburn House Office Building in D.C. means so much to me,” said Pranav.

The project has created a new excitement for Pranav and his family.

“I feel proud about it that his hard work his inspirations have shown colors,” Nalini said.

Pranav tells us he is already working on his next project.

As for “Masked Mourner,” it will remain in D.C. for the next year.

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