JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The city of Johns Creek invites students to apply to the “Share Joy!” art contest for a chance to be featured on social media and at City Hall. 

Open to elementary, middle and high school students in the city, participants can submit 2D art pieces such as paintings, drawings or digital illustrations. The city, in collaboration with the Johns Creek Arts Center, is asking students to paint or draw whatever brings them joy.

With Georgia Public Schools closed for the rest of the school year, Johns Creek Communications Manager Edie Damann said the city wanted to give students an opportunity to connect with the community.

Share Joy infographic

“We wanted to come up with an idea that would help to bring some positivity to their daily lives,” Damann said.” Right now, a lot of the news and things they’re hearing isn’t exactly uplifting, and we wanted to do something to generate joy.”

Participants should take a horizontal, 16x9 aspect ratio photo of their piece or scan it and submit their work at Submissions will be accepted until Friday, April 17.

Several submissions will be shared on the city’s social media and website. A handful of finalists will be selected by the Johns Creek Arts Center Board, and the winning selections will be displayed at Johns Creek City Hall.

Damann said she hopes the city receives lots of submissions.

“We want to put as much positivity out there as we can,” she said. “The students share it with us, we’ll share it with other people, and we can spread that joy around.”

The “Share Joy!” contest is just one way the Johns Creek Arts Center is continuing to promote the arts in the city even as the doors to the center are closed.

This spring, the Arts Center was set to host an exhibition in collaboration with the Atlanta Collage Society. After the center was forced to cancel its opening reception and later close the gallery to visitors, the arts center instead offered a virtual reception, titled “Picking up the Pieces.”

Arts Center Director Stephanie Donaldson, who just took the reins at the end of February, said she didn’t want COVID-19 to prevent art enthusiasts from viewing the collection, so she prepared a video tour of the exhibition, which can be viewed at

“This is a spectacular exhibition, a year in the making,” Donaldson said. “For the artists who are featured, we are really excited to share a virtual reception with our community.”

The show features almost 50 works by members of the Atlanta Collage Society. Sharon Crumley of Roswell won first place in the show for her piece of woven fabric, Untitled #14.

Elise Aronson of Johns Creek, Chery Baird of Norcross and Ellen Stein of Sandy Springs also won awards. Stein is one of the founders of the Atlanta Collage Society.

“By hosting an established group of collage artists, Johns Creek Arts Center is highlighting the variety of styles and techniques that their artwork represents,” Stein said. “With glue as the distinguishing and unifying element of the work, this exhibit is as diverse and creative as the individual artists.”

The center is also sharing art tips, tricks and tutorials on its Facebook page to keep aspiring artists engaged while they’re stuck at home.

Carson Cook is an Editor with Appen Media Group and covers Johns Creek, Dunwoody and Fulton County.

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