The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Artist-in-Residence: Diya Karthik

Photo+courtesy+of+Diya+Karthik
Photo courtesy of Diya Karthik

Diya Karthik is a multi-talented artist who infuses studio art, Indian classical dance, songwriting, poetry and piano into her life. With a passion for expressing societal issues through her art, Karthik’s presence enriches Menlo’s artistic community.

Karthik’s artistic journey began when she would write poetry alongside her mother during her childhood. “Poetry and these other passions I have were definitely a way to distract myself from how hard the pandemic was,” Karthik said. Today, she channels her emotions into her poetry and uses it as a tool for introspection.

The Indian classical dance that Karthik focuses on is called Bharatanatyam, a style that expresses Indian cultural and spiritual themes. “It’s a lot about footwork and the different ways you use gestures of your face and hands to either go with the beat or convey a meaning about Indian heritage or culture,” Karthik said.

Karthik’s mother began dancing from an early age, which inspired Karthik to do the same. Though the sport is an intense commitment, Karthik has learned to embrace it and fully let herself go when she dances. Next year, she will perform her Arangetram, a long solo performance that lasts two to three hours. All the choreography and music are from the dancer, and they can only perform it after 10 years of dance.

“Once you do the Arangatram, you basically get a diploma and a graduation from dance and an opportunity to dance with the academy around the world,” Karthik said.

Additionally, Karthik’s artistic talent extends to the piano, which she has been mastering since the age of nine. Though she was originally drawn to classical music, Karthik soon realized that playing piano and songwriting go hand in hand. “I’d create melodies and music on the piano and then put my lyrics over it,” Karthik said.

In terms of studio art, Karthik is currently experimenting with various mediums for her AP Art portfolio. One notable piece is a collage depicting frequently returned store-bought items, including electronic devices, Christmas decorations and baby products. Another piece of hers involves layering paints over a printed photo, showcasing her innovative approach to mixed media. “I like how when I do dance or do art I kind of lose myself in my passion,” Karthik said. “It honestly just gives me a break from the mundane and tedious work of everyday life.”

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About the Contributor
Eleanor Kinder
Eleanor Kinder, Social Media & Marketing Director

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: learning more about the community around me and getting to share it

Interests outside of school: volleyball, hanging out with my friends, and spending time with my dog
Class of 2026

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