“Resilience” by Nancy Blum took home the top prize. 

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The Johns Creek Arts Center’s largest annual juried art show, Summer Serendipity, opened Aug. 10 with nearly 200 visitors and artists attending the opening reception. 

The competition was open to all artists 18 and older for both 2D and 3D artwork. Now in its sixth year, Summer Serendipity is larger than ever. 

“We’re really pleased to see it continue to grow and attract artists,” Johns Creek Artist Guild President Rae Prall said. 

Arts Center Curator Althea Foster said the show connects the art community, not only in Johns Creek, but from across the region.

“It is a show for the local art community,” Foster said. “It gives artists an opportunity to see what other artists in the community are doing.”

Those who attend the show, which runs through Sept. 14, will see a wide variety of work. 

“There’s a lot of different mediums, different styles, different sizes,” Prall said. 

This year’s honorable mention awards went to Susan K. Friedland for “Ice Cream Abstract” and Jenny Bishop Heaton for “Hot Tamale.” Janis Hughes took home third place for her Cornucopia Totem sculpture, and Leslie Murphy won second for the painting “Mama in Bloom.”

The first-place winner was Nancy Blum, a portrait and still life painter from Dunwoody. Her winning painting, “Resilience,” was based off a model. 

“I wanted to capture her strength and resilience, which is where the name came from,” Blum said. “With portraits, I like to capture emotion and movement, rather than an ordinary photo.

Blum said in addition to portrait commissions, she often paints dogs. To see more of Blum’s art, visit

Prall noted that thanks to sponsors, many local businesses, Summer Serendipity is able to offer several $100 ribbon awards in addition to the name recognitions. 

“That allows us to give more ribbons than the average show which we hope attracts artists,” Prall said. 

Foster said the strategy is working. 

“[Summer Serendipity] gets bigger and bigger every year, and it’s now a show people really want to enter,” she said. 

The success of the show is another sign the Arts Center itself is receiving broader recognition and outgrowing its existing facility, with plans for expansion in the works. 

“It’s a dynamic center that’s growing,” Prall said. “It’s a great facility with a great faculty. It’s almost like a family. They’re all so supportive.”

Prall sees this growth first-hand as president of the Artists Guild, a group of volunteers that facilitate exhibit opening receptions and special events, promote local artists throughout the community through offsite galleries and serve as ambassadors for the center. 

“The guild is a great organization,” Prall said. “We support the Arts Center year-round. We’re made up of a good group of people who are either artists themselves or just love the community and want to support it.”

The Johns Creek Arts Center is at 6290 Abbotts Bridge Road, suite 700.

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