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U.S. Representative Val Demings

Representing the 10th District of Florida

Orlando Teen Honored in Congressional Art Competition

June 28, 2018
Press Release

ORLANDO, FL – Today, Rep. Val Demings (FL-10) welcomed and congratulated the 10th District’s winner of the Congressional Art Competition, 16-year-old Alexia Rangel Krashenitsa. Alexia submitted her acrylic painting “Can You Imagine?”, which features her sister. The painting’s official description is: “My sister brings happiness to my family. In this painting, she is standing with her camera, looking to the left. The background springs with life as trees grow and sea animals swim in the sky. This is our backyard, the animals are our dreams.”

The competition, sponsored by the Congressional Institute, gives high school students the opportunity to have their art displayed in the U.S. Capitol for a year. Alexia is a student at Freedom High School in Orlando, and her painting is now hanging in the U.S. Capitol. The winners in each district are selected by their Member of Congress.

Said Alexia Rangel Krashenitsa, “I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. It was something I’ve always been passionate about. Immediately when I heard about this contest, I knew I wanted to draw my sister. She has inspired me a lot. She has a kind of light to her. She’s very funny, she’s always in a good mood and takes things easily. She’s kind of an opposite to me in that way. She’s younger than me but I really look up to her. I wanted to capture her beauty. I wasn’t sure about the pose I wanted her to do, but she creatively did the pose that’s in the painting and I knew it was perfect.

“In addition to my sister, the inspiration for this painting was a big combination of things that I’ve imagined while walking—that’s why I called it ‘Can You Imagine?’. Sometimes while I’m walking I think about if the sky was an ocean with animals that fly around like clouds. It was a fun idea, not too serious, and I thought it would look really nice to incorporate. The painting is really a bunch of little ideas that I thought would come together to make something much more beautiful.

“To see that it actually won is so extraordinary, I don’t even believe it myself. I feel really satisfied that it’s done and that other people can see it. I hope that people will be able to feel the happiness that I had when I looked at it. I was taking two AP classes, and it was right at the time tests were coming up, so I had to put a lot of effort into it and I’m so happy that it turned out the way that it did. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do in life, but I know that art is going to be leading me in what I want to do.”

Said Rep. Demings, “For the next year I will walk by Alexia’s painting every day on my way to cast my votes in Congress. What I love about Alexia’s painting is the feeling of joy that it immediately conveys. You can see the love in it—not just the love for her sister but a love of life itself. That feeling of love and hopefulness is something we can all use a little more of. Alexia’s painting is an important reminder to me each day that we are here in Washington to encourage and protect that feeling of love and hope in our community.

“We had dozens of incredible pieces to choose from, and everyone who submitted their work should be very proud. I’m so proud to represent Alexia, and she has my heartfelt congratulations.”