By Alicia Couch Payne

Dahn Hugh - AP Student - Senior 1
Artwork by senior Dahn Hugh who is an AP Art student at Lanier High School. Photo credit: Alicia Couch Payne

Sugar Hill City Hall was full of activity on the evening of April 17.  People of all ages showed up to view works of art on display in the lobby of city hall.  These impressive pieces were created by the talented art students at Lanier High School.

Lanier High School’s two art teachers, Ms. Tiffany Cole and Ms. Kristina Jaunais happened to attend a meeting of Sugar Hill’s Art Commission.  While at the meeting, members of the Art Commission were looking for more local artists to display once a month at Sugar Hill City Hall. Ms. Cole and Ms. Jaunais volunteered to have one of their many art shows that they put on to promote their students’ work.  Collaborating with Nicole Klein, a Sugar Hill City employee, the last Lanier HS Art Show of the 2018-2019 school year was brought to city hall.

Artwork by junior Lanier High School AP Art student Aneesa Julmice.  Photo credit:  Alicia Couch Payne

Ms. Cole and Ms. Jaunais praise Gwinnett County Public School System for their support of fine arts.  The county is generous in its funding of the fine arts department including visual arts. Lanier High School has its own darkroom to process photos, spinning tables to work clay into masterpieces, and a kiln to bake the clay into pottery.  Students at Lanier get to gain experience working with many different mediums including but not limited to oil paint, watercolors, colored sketch pencils, and charcoal.

The Visual Arts at Lanier host nine shows a year where various mediums are used to create the artwork.  At this show, pieces from throughout the year were selected to be on display. A total of 240 different works of art can be seen in the lobby of Sugar Hill City Hall until the end of the month.  The artwork sported a wide range of subject matter. Viewers were kept engrossed with paintings of wildlife, men, women, boys, and girls, sketches of landscapes, colorful pottery, and more.

In the center of the exhibit in the lobby were folding panels that contained the work of eight AP Art students.  They had to each have a theme that they were to create various pieces of art that represented that theme. The works created with their theme in mind were their final test grade of the year.

A lady studies a drawing that is hanging in the lobby of Sugar Hill City Hall until April 30 as part of the Lanier High School Exhibition.  Photo credit:  Alicia Couch Payne

Each AP students’ works of art were creative and detailed.  While each AP student created stunning pieces, one student in particular’s work really stood out to me.  I came eye to eye with a woman in a blue dress holding an infant. Her sadness is palpable as a lone tear slid down her cheek.  Below that painting was another striking painting where again I could feel the emotion of the woman depicted there. The beautiful lady wearing a blue scarf was emotional which lent a rawness to the painting.  

These were a few of the collection of artist Aneesa Julmice who is a junior AP student at Lanier.  Her works were created with the theme of powerful women in history, including lesser-known women of the Bible. Aneesa plans on pursuing art well into the future.  She has been invited by SCAD or the Savannah School of Art & Design to participate in a summer art program in Hong Kong.

I left City Hall simply amazed by the sheer level of (fill in a word) and an invitation to visit the Art Department at Lanier High School.  One day in the near future I will venture over to Lanier to see the facilities that were able to produce these young artists with promising futures.

This art exhibit could not have happened without the support of the City of Sugar Hill, administrators at Lanier High School, Nicole Klein, Sugar Hill Arts Commission, Ms. Cole, and Ms. Jaunais. For more information on this exhibit, other art exhibits, and the Sugar Hill Arts Commission visit

The City of Sugar Hill is playing host to Lanier High School’s art exhibit until April 30.  All photos credit:  Alicia Couch Payne

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