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Louisiana News

Two Ouachita Parish students announced as winners in the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts annual visual arts and songwriting contest

(NEW ORLEANS, La.) – The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) announced today the winners of its annual visual art and songwriting contests, awarding 13 high school juniors and seniors from across Louisiana with $25,000 in college scholarships (winners listed below). The 2022 contest theme was “Louisiana’s Culinary Heritage,” which encouraged students to create a work of art or song representing our state’s unique culinary heritage while honoring its festivals, dishes, chefs and local ingredients.

This year, in addition to receiving college scholarships, contest winners will also have their artwork and/or song lyrics featured in GRFA’s second cookbook, The Pot and the Palette Cookbook II. The cookbook will feature recipes from Louisiana chefs, alongside illustrations from Louisiana high school juniors and seniors. The Pot and the Palette Cookbook II will debut in Fall 2022.

“We are so impressed with the quality of the work – both art and song – that the students have created for this year’s contests,” said Jacques Rodrigue, Executive Director of GRFA. “We are thrilled to not only award these students college scholarships but give them the opportunity to be featured in our new cookbook The Pot and the Palette Cookbook II. These impressive artworks and songs, combined with recipes from Louisiana’s great chefs are a wonderful representation of ‘Louisiana’s Culinary Heritage,’ and we can’t wait to share the new cookbook with everyone.”

Songwriting Contest Winners: A panel of celebrity judges, including Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Aaron Wilkinson (Honey Island Swamp Band), Marc Broussard, Mikayla Bruan, Hans Williams, Maggie Koerner, Ashley Shabankareh, Juan Pardo, George Wilde, and Lindsey Candler selected three finalists to share $6,000 in college scholarships. Judging criteria was based on structure and composition, melody, and lyrics. Read more about our Songwriting Contest Judges HERE.

*Soundcloud files for each song are hyperlinked below.

1st Place - $3,000

Kaleb Summers (Junior, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans)

“Nothing is Missing”

2nd Place - $2,000

Jayda Martin (Senior, Edna Karr Secondary School, New Orleans)

“The City Where We Live To Eat”

3rd Place - $1,000

Emma Navarro (Senior, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans)

“Sweet Tooth”

"We are so grateful to work with our friends at the Rodrigue Foundation on this important initiative that supports creative expression amongst the youth in Louisiana,” said Bill Taylor, Executive Director of the Trombone Shorty Foundation. “Every year we are blown away by the inspiration displayed in the songwriting submissions, and this year is no exception. Congrats to the winners!"

Visual Art Contest Winners: Contest judges selected the below 10 finalists to share $19,000 in college scholarships. Individual visual artwork was judged on concept/design, technical skill and creativity.

Art contest judges included Jill Hackney (Artist), Misty Taylor (Collections and Exhibitions Manager - Hilliard Art Museum), Kay LaFrance-Knight (Old Post Office Museum, Winnsboro), Emily Feazel (Designer, Exhibits & Special Events - R.W. Norton Art Gallery), Kathy Rodriguez (Professor, Department of Fine Arts - University of New Orleans), Justina Wolford (Director - Imperial Calcasieu Museum) and Catherine Pears (Executive Director - Alexandria Museum of Art).

*Full details on each winner’s artwork can be found HERE. Image files for each winner are hyperlinked below.

1st Place Senior -- $5,000

Callan Thornton (West Monroe High School, West Monroe)

“Fresher Than Expected”

2nd Place Senior - $4,000

Lily Ni (Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Shreveport)

“It Takes Berries to Make Jam”

3rd Place Senior - $3,000

Abigail Rinaudo (Ouachita Parish High School, Monroe)

“Ruston’s Sweetest Peach”

4th Place Senior - $2,000

Mary-Evelyn King (Glenbrook School, Minden)

“Meredith Meets Mudbug”

5th Place Senior - $1,000

GraceAnne Hodgson (Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Shreveport)

“Mrs. Leah Chase”

1st Place Junior - $1,500

Nancy Shi (Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Baton Rouge)

“Louisiana Supper”

2nd Place Junior - $1,000

Anna Miley (Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Shreveport)

“Awe Shucks”

3rd Place Junior - $750

Emma Jackson (Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Shreveport)

“The Holy Trinity”

4th Place Junior - $500

Emily Bonin (Southside High School, Youngsville)

“Les Cadien”

5th Place Junior - $250

Sophia Bi (Hayes Academy School for Advanced Studies, Metairie)

“The Reward”

Special thanks to this year’s Art & Songwriting Contest sponsors: Jones Walker LLP, Paul J. Leaman, Jr., Dathel Georges, Barbara and Biff Motley.

Founded by George Rodrigue in 2009, the GRFA Scholarship Arts Contest has received 5,881 submissions and awarded $555,000 in total scholarships to almost 220 students. For more information, please visit

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