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Gainesville State College President Martha T. Nesbitt, far right, stands with the winners of An Artistic Discovery: 2010 Congressional Art Competition for the Honorable Nathan Deal's Georgia 9th District High Schools. From left are Amy Lee, Brenau Academy, honorable mention; Krista Banda, West Hall High School, third place; Hali Steinmann, North Hall High School, second place; and Tikurete Grebremariam, West Hall High School, first place.

Gainesville State College recently announced the winners of "An Artistic Discovery: 2010 Congressional Art Competition for the Honorable Nathan Deal's Georgia 9th District High Schools."

This juried competition is initiated annually by Rep. Nathan Deal of Georgia's 9th Congressional District and is displayed in GSC's Roy C. Moore Art Gallery, which is located in the Continuing Education/Performing Arts Center.

Twenty-eight students from seven high schools participated. Eight teachers helped with student involvement: Joe Emery and Clay Sayre, Gainesville High School; Nina Ford, West Hall High School; Carmen Gregg, Stephens County High School; Joe Hall, Brenau Academy; Marjorie Hinkley, North Hall High School; Linda Tilden, Heritage Academy; and Stephanie Turk, Johnson High School.

First prize-winning artwork was submitted by Tikurete Grebremariam, a student at West Hall High School. He won a cash award and the honor of having his photograph on display in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill. Grebremarium is the student of Nina Ford

Second, third and honorable mention artists were also recognized.

Alexis Baez, Quintavis Handcock and Jacquez Lipscomb of Gainesville and James McLaney of Flowery Branch recently graduated from Fort Stewart-based Youth Challenge Academy. They successfully completed a 22-week in residence program for at-risk youth.

Buford resident Joy Fowler has been named Best Local Entertainer in the January issue of Gwinnett Magazine.

She received the nomination after more than 86,000 votes were cast.

Fowler, a resident of Gwinnett County for 16 years, recently released her second album, "Joy," a collection of Christmas songs. She has performed for musical artists such as Alan Jackson, Mark Wills, Keith Stegall and Newsong.

Fowler's solo performances include the opening of the library in Suwanee, the Gwinnett Philharmonic and the Gwinnett Community Band at the Georgia Dome.

Sterling on the Lake in Flowery Branch has received a 2009 Metro Atlanta Landscape & Turf Association Distinction Award for its Village Green.

The annual MALTA awards recognize residential and commercial real estate professionals for landscape installations, maintenance, seasonal color, lighting, green innovations and community service.

The Village Green at Sterling on the Lake is one of the community's focal points. Events are held throughout the year including the Life is good Pumpkin Festival, Songs 4 Summer concert series, outdoor theater productions and other special programs. Landmark Landscapes, which completed the project, created a natural boulder seating amphitheater on the green and a free-flowing sidewalk that wraps around the area.

The Distinction Award is given to projects that are superior overall and is judged on a number of factors including attention to detail, degree of difficulty, overall appearance and meeting owner objectives.