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541 Wiley Parker Road
Jackson TN 38305


JIFAF Art & Poetry Contest 2017


JIFAF Art & Poetry Contest 2017

Katie Howerton


We are so proud of the dozens of local students who submitted their artwork and poetry to our contest in collaboration with the Jackson International Food & Art Festival! If you missed the festival last weekend, make sure to check out our winners in this virtual gallery, then go see them for yourself at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital's new gallery later this month.

Art | Elementary


3rd Place
Annie Payne | "MY ROOTS"

Trinity Christian Academy


2nd Place
Logan Lott | "The Flavors of America"

Trinity Christian Academy


1st Place
Jaylon Longley | "Day of the Dead"

The Augustine School

Art | Middle


3rd Place
Preslie Lovelace | "L'art Caddy"

Trinity Christian Academy


2nd Place
Ella Hames | "Reflection"



1st Place
Annalise Bennett | "Annalise's Celtic Tree of Life"

Community Montessori School


Art | High


3rd Place
Terrica Cole | "My Circle of Life"

North Side High School


2nd Place
Sarah Miles | "Hair of Heritage"

North Side High School


1st Place
Jordan Chandler | "Proud to Be Me"

North Side High School



3rd place
Joseph Walker

Trinity Christian Academy

"The Cardinals Stadium is Full of Wonders"

It tastes like nachos and pretzels straight from the over tickling my taste buds after every bite.
It sounds like crowds screaming after every home run shot from the bat and cleats digging into dirt.
It smells like popcorn and hot dogs releasing aroma from every stand making their way towards human nostrils.
It looks like dust, crowds, grass, and players dashing from base to base during every hit.
It makes me feel wild and free from work and worry.


2nd place
Tu Le

Sacred Heart of Jesus High School

"Dear Father"

My mother, she left when I was six years old
My poor father struggles, he’s alone!
Winter is cold, the sky is dark like heaven’s burdens on his shoulders
He went fishing—A man against the storm.

Early afternoon, afternoon, evening or . . .
The bare footpath all day he’s gone
The sadness of tears, he’s alone!
I can see what is in his mind.

His hands instead of Mother (salty)
Give my life a sea of heaven
Dear filial love Daddy!
How grateful you give to me and for my life.

Ten years raising me without my mother.
My father—the best man in the world! I love you Daddy!


1st place
Raven Meadows

Sacred Heart of Jesus High School


mom had always told me i was too old to color,
but you got me so many crayolas i couldn’t count.
the first thing mama told me as to take off my headphones.
i knew what she was going to say before the words left her mouth,
voice crackling like crumpled tissue paper, she told us:
“poppa will still take you to los portales
even though nana won’t be there anymore to fuss.”
i’d almost hoped the whole situation was just misunderstood.
you taught me to spell my name with letter cubes made of wood:
RAVEN AND NANA spelled out in a crooked line on your carpet.
the pink blanket formerly owned by my dad was passed to me,
and even though it was stained with god-knows-what, i loved it.
while i sat in the middle of your living room building a horse farm
out of wooden blocks, it was always draped over my back.
i was afraid of the curling iron, but the way you’d squeeze my arm
would calm me enough to let you style my hair for church.
as a reward for my patience, you would let me wear your glasses.
i thought i looked like you in the red rims; it made my heart lurch.
dressed in sweet red and green sundresses we would walk
together into east union baptist church to hear the sermon.
i was afraid of the preacher’s yelling; why couldn’t he just talk?
so you let me play games of tic tac toe, one after another.
macaroni and cheese on a sunday afternoon
was the most comforting thing, especially prepared by a grandmother.
i always wanted to help you stir the cheese and milk in—
you wouldn’t be caught dead with macaroni from a box.
then in the summertime when you deemed it time to swim,
we would make our way to the swimming pool.
i was very proud of myself to be able to swim without floaties.
while i leaped from the deck into the water, you sat on your step stool
plucking fat green worms from the branches of your tomatoes.
i wish you could see the person i am now,
how long i have spent thinking about you and shedding tears,
how much i’ve grown and how much i’ve learned from you.
i’m glad the last thing i said to you was “i love you . . .

To learn more about the Jackson International Food & Art Festival, visit their website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Originally from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Katie Howerton moved to Jackson in 2011 to study Graphic Design and Drawing at Union University. She discovered Our Jackson Home in January 2015 and used it as a guinea pig for her senior design project, creating the first issue of Our Jackson Home: The Magazine. After graduating she was given leadership over Our Jackson Home at theCO, where she now runs the blog, designs the magazine, and coordinates events. She and her husband Jordan live in Midtown and are active members of City Fellowship Baptist Church.