Meet Annika, Founder of the Art Animal Rescue Team

Annika Sarma is a fifth grade student at Rancho Solano Preparatory School. While still an elementary-aged student, Annika has truly embodied an important tenet we celebrate and practice through all grades at Rancho: the importance of giving back and supporting our local community. When Annika was a second grader, she founded the Art Animal Rescue Team and has since donated over $700 to various animal welfare causes, including foundations like Southwest Wildlife and the Arizona Humane Society!

Q. How did you get into pet portraiture?

A. I used to go to an art place called Carrie Curran’s Art Studio and they had an annual art class focused on painting people’s pets. One day, I asked the instructor if kids could participate, and she decided to make a class for kids only.

Q. So how did you move from the art class to your business, the Art Animal Rescue Team?

A. The Art Animal Rescue Team was based on the art class I took, but after painting so many pets, I got the idea to ask people for pictures of their pets to paint. Then I would sell the portraits to raise money for animal welfare.

Q. What kind of pets do you paint? Is there an artistic style you tend to gravitate towards?

A. I can do any pets, but so far I mostly do dog portraits. Usually the portraits are realistic, but some small pieces I make are abstract and cartoonish.

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