Jack McWhorter said music inspires him and he wanted to paint something that pays tribute to that inspiration. The result was "Live Jazz," a painting of jazz musicians performing.
On Monday at Dalton City Hall, "Live Jazz" was named the winner of the 2021 14th Congressional District art competition.
Also recognized was Cason Glover of North Murray High School for “Phantasmagona,” which received Honorable Mention.
"I really didn't come here tonight expecting to win," said McWhorter, a senior at North Paulding High School in Dallas. "But I'm really honored they selected my work."
The annual contest is open to students in high schools in all of the 11 counties in the 14th District, including Whitfield and Murray.
This year, students from Calhoun High School, the Darlington School, Model High School, North Murray High School, North Paulding High School, Ringgold High School and Sonoraville High School submitted works. They were judged by a panel of artists from across the district.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, who represents the district, said that's less than in past years, which she said was likely because of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting schools.
This was the first year that Greene, who was elected in November 2020, has hosted the contest.
"I'm amazed at how talented they all are," she said. "This has really been a lot of fun."
The artwork was on display at City Hall for the past three weeks.
"It has been really fun to walk past all of this when we came into the building," said City Council member Gary Crews.
Other winners included:
• Second place: Joy Harris, North Paulding High School, “Typewriter Still Life”
• Third place: Allison Craig, North Paulding High School, “ A Strong Hold in Hard Times”
• Honorable Mention: Blakely Winkles, North Paulding High School, “In the Hen House”
• People’s Choice, awarded by the Creative Arts Guild: Tessa Knowles, Model High School, “ No Title”
Students from North Paulding High School ended the evening with four of the top six awards.
"They are amazing," said their art teacher Anne Aurand. "They have done such great work and worked so hard all year."
McWhorter received a $12,000 scholarship to the Art Institute of Atlanta for his first place finish. Harris received a $7,500 scholarship and Craig a $3,500 scholarship.
In addition, McWhorter's work will hang in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for the next year along with winners from all of the other congressional art competitions this year.
The second- and third-place works along with those that received honorable mention will hang for the next year in Greene's district offices, including the one in Dalton.