PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — North Bay Haven Academy senior, Kaitlyn McCarty, was surprised by a phone call from Congressman Neal Dunn to congratulate her for winning the Congressional Art Competition for District 2.
“I’m surprised and happy that I won. This has been amazing and I am super excited to be representing Neal Dunn and our district,” McCarty said.
The watercolor painting she titled “The Calm After The Storm” was inspired by a half-sunken sailboat she saw everyday on her way to school after Hurricane Michael.
She said her art symbolized the communities ability to overcome struggles and challenges from the hurricane.
“The hurricane has always been something that I thought was not just bad, but was good and beautiful, too,” McCarty said.
McCarty’s art teacher, Kimberly Robideau, played a major role in her growth as an artist. She said she is proud of her accomplishments.
“She has put in the work. She has built on her skill set and natural talents, obviously, and now it has paid off,” Robideau said.
McCarty just graduated from North Bay Haven Charter Academy in the top ten of her class and will be attending the University of Florida in the Fall.
The painting will hang in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. for a year. It will be alongside artwork from other Congressional districts throughout the United States.