Johns Creek residents take prizes at ‘Block Party’ opening

Two local adults win cash awards



JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Arts on the Creek Inc. (AOTC) has awarded three first-place cash prizes and an honorable mention at the debut exhibition of The Block Party, which was hosted by Fresco Art Galerie and Café Saturday, Nov. 16. Three of the four honored participants live in Johns Creek.

Cash prizes were awarded for first-place winners in each age bracket: $50 for students and mixed-aged groups, $75 for adults and $125 for professionals.

The Block Party is a public art project and traveling exhibit. It is a collective journey of exploration in which participants use a block of wood to express their unique vision of a particular concept. AOTC selected “community” as the theme.

Local resident Janine Lancour received first place in the professional category. In her essay about her piece called “A Lover’s Rose,” Lancour wrote:

“My rose represents community by the many parts it took to make the single rose. Then when you think of a rose, it is not grown as a single rose; it grows in a bush that contains many roses. So the single rose represents me (the artist) as a part of a community, and community is represented in pieces of wood that create the rose.”

Her work consisted of a painting that held the block cut to form the rose and leaves.

Johns Creek resident Margaret May, who was honored for her work submitted in the adult category, wrote, “My yard is now a certified wildlife habitat – for a community of wildlife which includes birds, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, butterflies, bees, spiders and more. Some stop by for a visit, while others live in my yard.”

May’s piece consisted of photos wrapped around blocks and mounted on a slice of a tree.

Winners of the student category were the middle school students of the Epstein School in Sandy Springs.

They produced a video entitled “Our Digital Community” demonstrating how youngsters share their common experiences in a digital world.

“With today’s technology and the ability to connect with others through the Internet and social media, our communities are no longer limited to those who live nearby,” stated part of their essay.

The Aviary Homeowners Social Committee won the student honorable mention award for a cooperative project in which young children each used their block to portray themselves and their interests.

The Home Depot is the main sponsor of the project and donated the blocks.

AOTC plans to show the exhibition at numerous locations in metro Atlanta.

“We were very pleased with the quality of The Block Party artwork shown in the opening, which was attended by many of the exhibiting artists and their families. We are very excited to continue to show the exhibition at other sites and for further projects we are planning for The Block Party,” AOTC President Ron Cioffi said.

The block is a 6-inch-long piece of standard 2-inch by 2-inch pine lumber, a small and humble piece of wood with which artists have to create something of meaning and value. It may be beautiful, surprising, humorous, satirical or ironic, but above all, it must be original.

Serving as judges were Cioffi, AOTC Project Coordinator Karen Cohen, Chattahoochee High School art teacher Dorsey Sammataro and painter and art teacher Patricia Gagne.

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