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Rebecca Gallagher

Broadway shows top 2019-20 Presenter Series

By Blog

VALDOSTA- Music by Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson and Frankie Valli top the 2019-20 Presenter Series.

The arts center, and its support organization, Lowndes/Valdosta Arts Commission, has put together a Presenter Series of nationally touring, professional shows for more than 50 years.

Presenter Series fans can look forward to three nationally touring productions in the coming months, said Nancy Warren, who co-chairs the Presenter Series committee with Tina Folsom, and Sementha Mathews, arts center executive director.

Written by Dean Poling
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Javon Longieliere named Turner Center’s 2019 Art Instructor of the Year

By Blog

The Turner Center for the Arts held its second annual Art Instructor of the Year Reception on July 29. The center employs more than 20 art instructors throughout the year.

Photography instructor Javon Longieliere has been an instructor at the center for nearly two years, teaching more than 113 students to date in both beginner and advanced photography sessions.

Longieliere has been aptly named as the center’s 2019 Art Instructor of the Year.

“I learn and experience just as much as these students do each time we get together for a class,” said Longieliere. “We have so much fun and really learn what each others needs are, which make the classes very mutually beneficial. Now that I’ve started with the center, I just can’t imagine not doing this every week.”

Longieliere is renowned for his destination wedding photography and his continual support of his craft throughout the region. He has published a book titled, “Destination Weddings” and more recently was published in Digital Photo Pro magazine.

At the reception, Lowndes-Valdosta Arts Commission Board President Jeani Synyard, Executive Director Sementha Mathews and Art Education Administrator Debi Davis each publicly thanked the teachers and instructors for their time and dedication to the Turner Center for the Arts, noting that the center’s goals and overall mission would be impossible without each of them.

For information about classes and events, contact the center at 229-247-2787 or visit

Photo caption: Pictured L to R: LVAC Board President Jeani Synyard, Arts Education Administrator Debi Davis, 2019 Art Instructor of the Year Javon Longieliere and Executive Director Sementha Mathews during the Art Instructor Reception Monday evening at the Turner Center for the Arts.

Turner Center Announces 2019-2020 Broadway Shows

By Blog

Presenter Series Co-Chair Nancy DeRuyter Warren (center) and Co-Chair Tina Folsom (right) reveal the Broadway shows included in the 2019-2020 Presenter Series season to Valdosta Daily Times Executive Editor Dean Poling. The announcement, written by Poling, will appear in the Sunday, July 28 issue of the Valdosta Daily Times. Season tickets sales will begin on Monday, July 29 with a blockbuster “buy two, get one free” special that will run through Aug. 31. For more information, visit or call 229-247-2787.

PAAC Meets July 18

By Blog

The Valdosta Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) will meet on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. The regularly-scheduled meeting will take place in the second-floor board room of the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, located at 527 N. Patterson Street.

The purpose of PAAC is to further the purchase, creation and appreciation of public art for its aesthetic value to the community. The PAAC also encourages the preservation and protection of works of public art which play a vital role in the economic development of the community.

For more information about the PAAC, call 229-247-2787.

Local author to sign novel copies at Gallery Opening Reception

By Blog

The Turner Center will host local author Michael Orenduff at a free Gallery Opening Reception on July 29, from 5-7 p.m.  The Gallery Opening will also feature a solo exhibition by Buddy LaHood and the biennial Withlachoochee Quilters Guild exhibit. “The Pot Thief Who Studied Edward Abbey,” Orenduff’s eighth book in the The Pot Thief series, will be available for purchase during the reception as well as in the gift shop following the event, and all proceeds will benefit the Turner Center, thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Orenduff. For more information about the upcoming opening reception or other Turner Center events and workshops, visit, call 229-247-2787 or visit 527 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta.


Turner Center Hosts Art History in a Nutshell

By Blog

The Turner Center for the Arts will host Art History in a Nutshell, a two-day workshop focused on the “big hitters” in art history. Instructor Connie Wells has prepared a take-home handout that will allow attendees to take notes in class as well as retain the information afterwards. Wells said the goal of this class is to “give everyone a sense of wonder at the art that changed how we see [art] and the artists that showed us how to see in a new way. I also hope to unlock the door to the mystery that we all see [art] differently and how we look at art is a treasure in itself. No secret code, learned handshake, or amount of education can alter this mystery.” Art History in a Nutshell will take place on Monday, July 22 and Tuesday, July 23, from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m., at the Turner Center Art Annex, 601 N. Patterson St. For more information, including cost, call 229-247-2787. Registration is also available at under “Upcoming Classes” on the main homepage.

Lowndes/Valdosta Arts Commission welcomes new board members

By Blog

The Lowndes-Valdosta Arts Commission (LVAC) is proud to announce the appointment of five new board members who will each serve a three-year term, beginning in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Joining an existing Board of Directors comprised of 30 members are (pictured in front row, from left) Roni King Strickland, Jennifer Powell, Nancy McGee, Cheryl Oliver and Allen Lehmann. Also pictured in second row is LVAC Board President Jeani Synyard and Turner Center Executive Director Sementha Mathews.

“We are excited to have these talented, like-minded individuals on our team, officially,” said Synyard. “These key players have been instrumental in the growth of the Turner Center and we have no doubt they will continue being strong advocates for us and the arts community.”

The LVAC also said farewell to Rev. Peter Ingeman (pictured with Synyard, LVAC Board President), but he will only be missed at monthly board meetings. Rev. & Mrs. Ingeman continue to be influential, treasured members and volunteers of the Turner Center.

For more information about the Lowndes-Valdosta Arts Commission and the Turner Center for the Arts, please visit, call us at 229-247-2787 or visit us at 527 N. Patterson St.

A complete list of board members can be found here.

Sizzlin’ Summer Sessions: Creative Classes for Ages 13-18

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The Turner Center for the Arts announces it’s final week of summer classes with sessions dedicated to youth ages 13 and up. Sizzlin’ Summer Sessions is a single week of t-shirt design and screen-printing classes, smartphone photography and a modern craft class teaching processes for jewelry making, macramé and other hands-on crafts. Students and parents are encouraged to take advantage of the “buy two sessions, get the third free” promotion, which will allow students to bring their lunches and spend their day at the center. More information including pricing can be found at, by calling 229-247-2787 or by visiting 527 N. Patterson St.

Smartphone Photography 101

Build Fundamental Skills: learn about composition, image quality, editing tips and more



Create computer-generated images and print them on t-shirts, aprons or canvas totes



Develop fundamental skills in wire work jewelry, macrame and other modern crafts

Youth Create their Summer at the Arts Center

By Blog

Dozens of local youth have participated in the 2019 Summer Art Class season at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, in classes ranging from traditional painting and pottery to digital art and culinary. With only two weeks left in the season—July 8-12 and July 15-19—parents are encouraged to register their children ages 5-12 for the classes before they fill up. A complete class list can be found at Call 229-247-2787 or visit us at 527 N. Patterson St. for more information.

When Technology and Art Collide

By Blog

By Abigail Murphy, Turner Center Summer Intern

With the continuous intrusion of technology in nearly all aspects of life, art can now be created digitally. The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts is offering digital art classes for kids throughout the summer in two different time blocks: 10 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 3 pm.

Digital Art Instructor Becca Waterman uses Microsoft Office Paint and Photoshop to introduce students to the technology and the art process, to inspire them to create, and to help them develop their own styles utilizing brushes, blending and layering of colors.

The classes, already into the fourth week of the summer art program, are open to kids with various levels of experience. Each week the classed are focused around a theme to give some direction with the projects designed to help students “put themselves in their artwork.”

“I definitely do think it’s important for artists, especially kids, to make work about themselves,” she said.  “Literally including themselves in the work somehow is an interesting and direct way to do so.”

During the week of July 8, Oceans will be held in the morning and All Around the World in the afternoon. All Around the World offers a project on China with dragons and motifs and a project on African patterns and textures. Similar to other classes, All Around the World will incorporate some history in the lessons.

During the week of July 15, Summer Fun and The Dream World will be offered. Summer Fun will feature projects on fun things that took place over the summer, something the students love about summer, and the ideal summer activity. The Dream World projects will explore sleeping dreams, as well as the students’ hopes and dreams.

With each class, Waterman makes time for students to present their projects. At the conclusion of the classes, students receive printouts of the artwork they created.

“I want them all to show each other and talk about it,” she said. “They are not just thinking of the art, but they have to think of a story or explanation behind it, as well.”

She said art is always shifting with new mediums. Now that computer programs have become more accessible, so has the ability to form art with them.

“Artists have the ability to take anything and bring it into the art world,” Waterman said.

For more information about the Digital Art classes or other kids’ summer classes at the Turner Center, visit or call (229) 247-2787.