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May 6, 2016

Out of more than 400 entries, Grant Mercer places second in Cowboy Poetry division


(L-R) HHS English Teacher Macon Weaver, Grant Mercer, and Booth Western Art Museum Director of Education Patty Dees.

Booth Western Art Museum is proud to announce winners of the 2015-2016 Writing Through Art Literary Competition. The purpose of the contest is to encourage students to develop writing skills by using works of art from the Booth Museum Permanent Collection as inspiration.

The original contest, inspired and developed by the late Doc Stovall, focused solely on Cowboy Poetry. This unique genre originated from the cattle drives of the late 1800s. In 2005, the contest became a feature of the Museum’s annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering, with winners reciting their poems before an audience in the tradition of cowboys on the cattle trails. Currently, the expanded writing contest includes short stories, essays, narrative poetry, as well as cowboy poetry.

“It is exciting,” says Tom Shinall, Booth Museum Director of Marketing. “The competition continues to grow and we are seeing some of the best quality pieces ever submitted. The Booth is a true resource to our surrounding communities and this competition provides an outreach opportunity for teachers to get their students involved. Using pieces from the Permanent Collection as inspiration, these students must really refine their thought process and writing skills in order to develop a story,” says Shinall.

The competition was open to students, grades 9 – 12, in Georgia public and private schools, as well as students, grades 9 – 12, who are home-schooled. More than 400 students from Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Gordon, and Oconee counties participated in the competition. Eight finalists were selected in each of the four divisions with cash prizes awarded to the first three places and teachers of finalists, while honorable mention certificates were awarded to the remaining finalists. Each finalist in the cowboy poetry division had the opportunity to recite his/her entry during Booth Western Art Museum’s 12th annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Here, the first place winner was presented the Doc Stovall Cowboy Poetry Award.

Winners of the Writing Through Art Literary Competition from Cherokee County Schools and their respective categories are as follows:

Harrison High School

Student: Grant Mercer, 2nd Place – Cowboy Poetry

Teacher: Macon Weaver

About Booth Western Art Museum

Booth Western Art Museum, an Affiliate to the Smithsonian Institution, is a 120,000 square foot museum located in Cartersville, Georgia, where guests are invited to See America’s Story by exploring the American West through contemporary Western artwork. The Museum also houses a Presidential Gallery, Civil War art gallery, and Sagebrush Ranch, an interactive children’s gallery. Open since August 2003, Booth Museum is the only museum of its kind in the Southeast and is the second largest art museum in the state of Georgia. To learn more about Booth Western Art Museum, visit

Photo credits: ©Booth Museum




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