CHS student places second with pandemic inspired masterpiece

Carrollton High School student Hailey Jackson poses with her piece “The Courageous One” at the Hughston Foundation Art Gala. Hailey placed second in the competition and received the “Best in Show” recognition.

A Carrollton High School student inspired by the global pandemic recently won second place in the Hughston Foundation Art Gala.

The Hughston Foundation Art Gala is a biological and medically inspired art contest that encourages students to create artwork while integrating the principle areas of the national Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) initiative.

Hailey Jackson, an aspiring artist, entered her art piece “The Courageous One” and won second place out of more than 300 entries.

Jackson said the theme for the competition was based on medicine, and she immediately knew she wanted to paint a piece in honor of healthcare workers.

“Healthcare workers were and still are facing struggles because of the pandemic,” said Jackson. “The flowers in the painting resemble the beauty of them being brave enough to help others in this hard time.

“Therefore, I tried to convey emotions that we’ve all felt during this pandemic.”

Jackson said she began taking art more seriously at the end of middle school.

“I started trying to learn how to draw and after a few years of prating I began to paint in the 8th grade,” said Jackson.

“I painted with acrylic paint for the most part until my sophomore year of high school. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to perfect my skill in oil paints. I enjoy learning new techniques and mediums in my artwork.”

Jake Richardson, visual arts teacher at CHS, said Jackson is one of the most naturally talented students he has had in his 16 years of teaching.

“I know the pieces she created for these two entries were not easy,” said Richardson. “I am so appreciative of her hard work and willingness to put her artwork out there.

“Hailey’s future is bright in the visual arts and beyond.”

Jackson said that she hopes to study fine arts in college to pursue a career as an art professor.

“As far as my future goes, I would love to continue entering more competitions, doing some commission work, and continuing to practice my skills,” said Jackson.

“I’d like to study fine arts in college and maybe be an art professor one day. But, regardless of the career I end up with, I’ll always keep art in my life.”

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