Matthew Oh took home the grand prize, a $1,000 scholarship, for the oil painting “Viscous Layers.”

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The Johns Creek Arts Center’s newest exhibit, High Honors, features the talents of high schoolers from across three counties. 

The summer show was open to students from Fulton, Forsyth and Gwinnett Counties. The show includes 52 pieces from eight schools. 

This is the first time the Johns Creek Arts Center has held a show specifically for teenage artists, and given its success the staff hopes to make it annual event. 

“We’re all about fostering a love of art in young people, and this is a great way to do it,” Arts Center Executive Director Stuart Miller said. 

The contest was open to all mediums, including photography, graphite, painting, digital, ceramics and other sculpture. 

Curator Althea Foster said the show features high-quality work with a unique, teenage perspective. 

“It’s very accomplished work,” Foster said. “It’s a testament to the quality of the art programs in the area and the support from the parents.”

Johns Creek High Schooler Matthew Oh took home the top prize, a $1,000 scholarship, for the oil painting “Viscous Layers.” Jimin Suh and Erin Lee, both from Johns Creek High School, received honorable mentions. 

For young artists looking at colleges and considering career choices, it can be a huge boost to be featured in a show, win a scholarship or sell some of their work, Foster said. 

 “It’s a great way to inspire students who are considering art school and show them what they can achieve,” Foster said. “It really is inspiring to see young people who are working hard to achieve their goals and to see what they’ll do next.”

Miller said the exhibit is also perfectly timed for younger students.

“With our summer show, we try to engage the campers who are here in the summer,” he said. “This is a great way to inspire them.” 

In past years, the arts center has done shows with comic book art and children’s book illustrations, but featuring the work of teenagers engages young campers more directly, Miller said, by showing them what they can achieve in just a few years. 

The High Honors exhibit will show at the Johns Creek Arts Center, at 6290 Abbotts Bridge Road Building 700, until Aug. 2. 

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